The 108th Tactical Fighter Squadron, also referred to as Wardog Squadron or the Sand Island Squadron, was an auxiliary squadron of the Osean Air Defense Force's 5th Fighter Wing stationed at Sand Island Air Force Base.
Wardog Squadron was at the forefront of the Circum-Pacific War from its onset. The squadron underwent several changes in command the first day of the war and went on to serve in many of the war's decisive engagements. The Wardog pilots' tactical efficiency was lauded by the Osean military and feared by the Yuktobanians, earning them several nicknames—most famously, "The Demons of Razgriz."
On September 23, 2010, a group of Wardog trainees and flight instructors were ambushed by unknown fighters during a training exercise over Cape Landers. Over the coming days, more confrontations between Wardog and the unknown fighters would eventually erupt into a formal declaration of war by the Union of Yuktobanian Republics on the Osean Federation.
On September 27, Wardog's flight leader, Captain Jack Bartlett, was shot down over the Ceres Ocean and listed as "Missing in Action". Following this, 2nd Lieutenant Kei Nagase was placed in command of the squadron, but she refused the promotion, instead opting to give her position to Blaze.
On the first day of the war, Wardog successfully halted three separate attacks by Yuktobanian forces, pushing the pilots' endurance to the limit. Following Lt. Colonel Ford's death, Blaze became the new squadron leader with Nagase as his second-in-command; 2nd Lieutenant Alvin H. Davenport filled the number three position; Airmen First Class Hans Grimm assumed the vacant number four position.
On October 4, Wardog successfully sank the submersible carrier Scinfaxi during Yuktobania's failed amphibious invasion of Sand Island. The Wardog pilots consequently received promotions for their efforts, and word of their exploits began to spread among the Osean military.
Invasion of Yuktobania
Beginning on October 31, Wardog supported the Osean Army's invasion of the Yuktobanian mainland. On November 4, Wardog reported to Oured, the Osean capital, for questioning in regards to an unauthorized attack on Yuktobanian civilians that had occurred two days earlier. Wardog, which had been the only known OADF unit operating in the area at the time, became the suspected culprits. While their loyalty was in question, Wardog was sent to address one of the two simultaneous attacks that Yuktobania had initiated in retaliation.
In early November, Wardog performed tactical air strikes on Yuktobania's military production facilities in the Duga and Sonza regions. On November 14, Wardog sank the second Scinfaxi-class submersible carrier, the Hrimfaxi, in the northern Razgriz Straits. The engagement earned the Wardog pilots another promotion, as well as a new nickname among the Yuktobanians: "The Demons of Razgriz".
Three days later, Wardog participated in a POW rescue mission in Yuktobania's snowy Glubina region. During the operation, Nagase was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. She was recovered the following day after her squadmates spearheaded an intensive search-and-rescue operation for her. A week after Nagase's rescue, Wardog Squadron supported the large-scale ground operation undertaken by the Osean Army, which broke through the Yuktobanians' defensive line in the Jilachi Desert.
On November 29, Wardog was assigned to perform a ceremonial flyby over November City prior to a speech from the Vice President. However, Yuktobanian forces suddenly appeared and attempted to attack the stadium. During the extended dogfight, Captain Davenport, callsign "Chopper", was shot down and killed in action. The loss of Davenport and the quiet void he left behind deeply affected his wingmen.
One week later, Wardog Squadron returned to the front lines and supported the Osean Army's third siege attempt on Cruik Fortress, Yuktobania's largest and last defensive stronghold before its capital, Cinigrad. Through the coordinated efforts of Wardog and the Osean ground forces, the "impregnable" fortress fell in half a day. However, during the return flight to Sand Island, Wardog was ambushed by the 8492nd Squadron over the Vladimir Mountains. Despite heavy ECM jamming in the area and the sheer number of hostile fighters, Wardog outran and escaped the 8492nd.
Espionage accusations and execution
Sometime that evening, Sand Island's adjutant commander, Major Allen C. Hamilton, received word from his former comrades in the 8492nd Squadron that the Wardog pilots were enemy spies. Hamilton consequently apprised his superior, Colonel Orson Perrault, of his suspicions.
At 0132hrs on December 7, Wardog returned to Sand Island. Blaze and Nagase, who disliked Perrault for mocking President Harling, decided to report the incident to Hamilton; Grimm proceeded to the crew quarters to share the news with Genette and Pops, who were aware of Hamilton's ties to the 8492nd. Alarmed, the three men went to Perrault's office to report their findings, only to discover that the base commander had been already deceived by Hamilton.
Meanwhile, upon learning of his connection to the 8492nd, Nagase punched Hamilton, rendering him unconscious; she and Blaze then cut the building's power, giving Grimm, Pops, and Genette an opportunity to escape. The base was placed on lockdown, and Perrault issued a "shoot on sight" order to base security. The fugitives eluded the patrolling MPs and eventually fled Sand Island in four lightly guarded training jets. Following their escape, Hamilton issued a general order to all nearby OADF aircraft, authorizing the traitors' execution.
Pops temporarily assumed the role of flight leader as the fugitive pilots headed north over the Ceres Ocean. At 0702hrs, they were spotted and pursued by the 8492nd over the Solo Islands. Through a combination of precision flying and the islands' natural electromagnetic field, Wardog eluded the 8492nd. Shortly afterward, Captain Marcus Snow intercepted and shot down the fugitives. The Sea Goblin team was dispatched to search for survivors and reported that it did not find any. Official OADF records list the pilots as KIA on December 7, 2010; however, rumors persist that the squadron has some relation to the mysterious "Ghosts of Razgriz", which brought about the war's conclusion.
- Ford – Squadron commander
- Jack Bartlett / "Heartbreak One" / Wardog 1 – Flight leader and training instructor
- Blaze / Wardog 4 / Wardog 1 – Flight leader
- Kei Nagase / "Edge" / Wardog 2
- Alvin H. Davenport / "Chopper" / Wardog 3
- Hans Grimm / "Archer" / Wardog 4
AWACS Thunderhead was the OADF electronic support aircraft that worked with Wardog Squadron since its first mission over Cape Landers. As an AWACS, Thunderhead provided vital tactical and data analysis for Wardog until December 7, 2010. After Wardog was accused of espionage, Thunderhead supported the 8492nd Squadron's efforts to eliminate the fugitive pilots; he later confirmed via radar that Marcus Snow of the naval air force had successfully shot down the spies.
September 23 casualties
The following is a list of callsigns of Wardog's trainers and rookie pilots who died during the Yuktobanian surprise attack on September 23, 2010:
- Nagase, Davenport, and Grimm appear as the first player's wingmen in the seventh level of Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War's multiplayer mode.
- Although unofficial, Captain Marcus Snow (callsign "Swordsman") assumed Chopper's vacant number three position in "Ancient Walls". This is supported by the fact that Blaze and his wingmen still use the OADF paint livery, as well as the Wardog emblem; furthermore, the launch crew states "Wardog, launch." during the Hangar screen and takeoff sequence.
- Jascha Krasnow, callsign "Sternchen", flew an F-5E Tiger II in Wardog's livery during the Belkan War; it is unknown whether or not he is related to the squadron in some way.
- Wardog Squadron's F-14A livery appears to be based on the real-life United States Navy's Strike Fighter Squadron 103. VFA-103's livery was later used in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Ace Combat Infinity as the F-14D -Jolly Rogers- .
- Fortress, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene 05, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene 02, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Ending cutscene, Open War, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene prior to Narrow Margin, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- First Flight, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Front Line, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene 11, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Powder Keg / Four Horsemen, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Demons of Razgriz, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene during Ice Cage, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- White Noise, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Desert Arrow / Desert Lightning, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Journey Home, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene 17, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- 8492, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene 18, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Final Option, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Ending cutscene, Final Option, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene 19, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- "Aces, Demons, and Ghosts: Mysterious Heroes of the Belkan Conflict", OBN Journal (Special Issue). Published July 2014.
- Shorebirds, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene 07, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Assault Records #106: Jascha Krasnow, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.