- This article is about an in-universe event. For the in-game mission, see Rendezvous.
- "I can't help but feel like everything's working against us."
- ― Kei Nagase
Operation Whalebird was an attempted rendezvous by the 3rd Osean Naval Fleet in the Eaglin Straits. The operation was aimed at creating a counter-attack strike group based within in the Eaglin Straits, using the OFS Kestrel, OFS Vulture, and OFS Buzzard as the centerpieces of the force.
The rendezvous was a failure following the deployment of the Yuktobanian underwater aircraft carrier Scinfaxi, which launched various carrier jets as well as burst missiles to destroy the Vulture and Buzzard before leaving the area.
Following their declaration of war, Yuktobania launched offensives against Port St. Hewlett and Sand Island Air Force Base within hours of each other, causing extensive yet non-crippling damage to the Osean armed forces. In response, Osea planned to develop a counter-attack force to fend off further Yuktobanian attacks as well as to tip the balance of the war towards Osea.
The plan involved creating a "base" using Osea's three aircraft carriers, the Kestrel, Vulture, and Buzzard, within the Eaglin Straits from where the armed forces would initiate any necessary operations. Osea called on all of their available air squadrons to support the initial rendezvous of the three carriers, set to take place on September 30.
Enemy flights comprising Harriers and F-35Cs armed with anti-ship missiles approached the carrier fleet, prompting Wardog and VFA-206 squadrons to defend the fleet and engage the fighters. An air-to-air skirmish then ensued, resulting in complete loss of Yuktobanian fighters.
Scinfaxi launched 2 burst missiles towards the fleet afterwards. The Kestrel, Swordsman, and Wardogs barely managed to evade the blasts caused by the second missile.
The mission ended in failure for Osea. Vulture, Buzzard, and half of the Osean Fleet were sunk. Most of the air units guarding the fleet were shot down, leaving VFA-206's Swordsman and the Wardogs. Kestrel, Andromeda, some escort ships, a tanker, and a freighter escaped the attack and headed to Kirwin Island.