Ustio, officially known as the Republic of Ustio, is a small landlocked nation located on the Osean continent. It is bordered by Belka to the north; Recta and Ratio to the east; Sapin to the south; and Osea to the west. Ustio's capital, Directus, is situated near the center of the nation.
Formerly Belkan territory, Ustio seceded in May 1988 as a result of the former's ongoing economic crisis. The country appears to be largely agrarian, featuring rolling patchworks of farmland and remote towns, such as Solis Ortus, situated in the rugged mountain ranges. Ustio's northern regions are known to be rich in natural resources. As a fledgling nation, Ustio supports a modest military force, which has been known to employ mercenaries to bolster its numbers.
Ustio is the player character's employer in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
It is unclear how long the Ustian territory was claimed by Belka. However, there is evidence that the ethnic Ustios regarded the Belkans quite unfavorably: by the time Ustio gained its independence, the Ustian citizens were vehemently opposed to any form of Belkan presence in their country.
Secession and independence (1988)
In the wake of its heightened military expansion during the Cold War, Belka descended into an economic recession. In December 1987, the Belkan government underwent an internal Federal Law Review with the goal of stabilizing the national economy. This review ultimately resulted in the secession of Belka's eastern territories. On May 12, 1988, the Republic of Ustio officially declared independence and established its new capital in the city of Directus.
Over the next seven years, Ustio underwent little industrial growth; its economy was largely based on skilled craftsmanship and agriculture. Although Directus experienced some development, the country as a whole remained stagnant. This was echoed in the nation's modest military force, which remained relatively insignificant by the mid-1990s. However, sometime in early 1995, vast deposits of valuable natural resources were discovered along Ustio's northwest border with Belka. It is unknown what steps, if any, were undertaken by Ustio to mine and profit from these resources.
Belkan War (1995)
On March 25, 1995, Belka invaded Ustio in an effort to acquire the newly found resource deposits for its own benefit. Ustio's nascent military was caught off-guard and quickly overwhelmed by the strength and technological superiority of the Belkan Army and Air Force. Within a matter of days, the Belkan Army swept through Ustio, occupied Directus, and controlled a majority of Ustio's territories, except the mountain ranges.
Outmatched and unable to counterattack, Ustio's government in exile allied itself with the Osean Federation and Kingdom of Sapin to form the Allied Forces and resist the Belkan onslaught. As a result of the modest army's and air force's considerable losses during Belka's opening offensive, Ustio resorted to employing mercenary pilots, such as Galm Team, to bolster its numbers and contribute to the coalition.
After Galm Team prevented a Belkan bomber strike on Valais Air Base (April 2) and secured Route 171 as a transport line (April 15), the Allied Forces began mounting a counterattack. Ustio's liberation became one of the primary objectives of Offensive Campaign No. 4101, which was the Allies' largest offensive operation to date. The retaking of the Futuro Canal on April 24 allowed the Allies' naval forces access to the inland Great Lakes, and by mid-May, the Allied armies had advanced into the mountains outside Directus. On May 12—the seventh anniversary of Ustio's independence—the Allied Forces launched an airborne invasion of Solis Ortus in preparation for an assault on the Ustian capital.
The following day, May 13, at 1630hrs, Allied and mercenary fighters, including Galm Team, attacked the Belkan occupation forces headquartered in Directus. The city's five administrative wards were eventually freed from Belkan control, and citizens flooded into the streets, ringing the city's bell towers and celebrating their reclaimed freedom. Following the liberation of Directus, the Belkans' hold on Ustio crumbled, and the Allied Forces advanced on all fronts toward the Belkan border.
Ustio would be threatened with annihilation when Belka sent a fleet of nuclear-armed bombers towards the country. The Allied Headquarters redirected mercenary squadrons like Galm Team from another mission, who then proceeded to shoot down the the bombers and save Ustio in the process. However, this did not prevent Belka from detonating nuclear bombs on their own soil elsewhere.
Although Ustio had been ravaged by the conflict, it continued to support the Allies with its mercenary forces until the end of 1995. In the years after the Belkan War, Ustio presumably maintained friendly relations with Osea and Sapin. The Ustian people remain outspokenly proud of their independence, and Directus's bell towers chime every day at sunset to commemorate the city's liberation during the war.
On June 30, 2020, Ustio attended a ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the end of the Belkan War after being invited by the Osean Federation. The Ustio Air Force sent five Mirage 2000-5s to be showcased at Redmill Air Force Base alongside the aircraft of other participating nations; replica Galm Team aircraft were also present.
Ustio is a landlocked nation with varying topography. Mountainous regions along its eastern and southern borders are difficult to traverse, while the nation's central regions feature rolling pastures and farmland, dotted with hills and undeveloped woodlands. Ustio's climate appears to be temperate, apart from the arid desert regions to the north towards the Waldreich Mountains. The nation's capital, Directus, is situated along the Crescere River in southeastern Ustio.
Apart from being a republic, little is known about the government Ustio established after gaining independence in 1988. However, it is likely that (as a republic) the Ustian citizenry elect their representatives in the federal government. When the Belkan invasion force captured Directus in late March 1995, the Ustian government was forced into exile until the capital's liberation on May 13. It is presumed that Ustio has maintained good relations with its former allies, Osea and Sapin, in the years after the Belkan War.
As a young nation, Ustio's military is relatively weak in terms of numbers and outfitting. The nation's military consists of the Ustian Army and Ustio Air Force, the latter having been known to recruit mercenaries as a means to bolster its numbers. As a landlocked nation, it is unlikely that Ustio maintains any naval forces.
Ustio's national economy is largely based on agricultural production and skilled craftsmanship. There is little evidence of any manufacturing or industrial production within the country. Even after vast deposits of natural resources were discovered in Ustio in the mid-1990s, it is possible that Ustio lacked the means to extract and process them.
- Diapason, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- WORLD / WORLD NEWS / ПОСЛЕДУЙТЕ, Ace Combat 5 Website. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Cutscene 02, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- BACKGROUND, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, Bandai Namco Entertainment (JP). Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Glacial Skies, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- Annex, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- Juggernaut, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- Flicker of Hope, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- Cutscene 03, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- The Stage of Apocalypse, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- The Valley of Kings, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- Cutscene 13, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- ACES at WARS: The classified document about Circum-Pacific War was revealed
- Briefing, Diapason, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.