ION logo.

ION Services, Incorporated (alternately stylised as IoN and shortened to ION Inc.) is a U.S.-based private military company. It serves as a playable Independent faction in ArmA: Armed Assault and ArmA 2, and also makes a minor appearance in ArmA 3.

Prior to its rebranding, the company was also known as Black Element.


« ION, Inc. Keeping an eye on your security.
Company motto


Initially established as an aviation security agency, ION Services, then-known as Black Element, expanded further into the private security sector following an increased need for PMCs in the wake of the growing tensions in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002.

Growing in size and reputation with the acquisition of several influential rival companies, ION has emerged as the largest PMC to date in the United States, and is a key player in the global security services market.

ION offers a broad array of business and security-related solutions to a wide base of international clients, ranging from providing strategic resource protection, petrochemical mining, as well as security for nuclear facilities.

The company predominately hires ex-military servicemen and women, including nationals from NATO and Eastern countries alike. As a result, all ION contractors are highly trained professionals who are experts in their various fields.

ION is a subsidiary of the Canada-based Vrana Corporation, and is the PMC's primary shareholder.


Black Element PMC was first founded in 1998 as a private aviation security agency based in South Carolina, U.S.A.

After a series of incidents involving Black Element contractors operating in Sahrani, the company was acquired by the Montreal-based Vrana Corp Industries in 2010. It was renamed to ION, Inc. on October 1st, 2010 due to the "Black Element" name being tainted and thus a liability.

Events of Royal Flush (2007)

Events of Harvest Red (2009)

Little is known about Black Element's operations in Chernarus during the U.S. intervention, save that Mark Reynolds was in the country at the time searching for the notorious arms dealer Aslan Radayev and interrogated the ChDKZ's second-in-command, Mikola Bardak.

They were however, involved in a series of controversial incidents that included the death of several Chernarussian civilians in Elektrozavodsk, which sparked worldwide outrage for Black Element's activities in the country.

In 2010, Black Element's contract from the U.S. government was eventually declared void, and all operations in the Green Sea region were forced to cease immediately.

Events of Operation Black Gauntlet (2013)

Post-Operation Black Gauntlet

To no surprise, ION succeeds in its PR "offensive" and secures further security contracts in Takistan, greatly expanding its activities and influence in the region for years to come.

Events of The East Wind (2035)

More than two decades after Operation Black Gauntlet's aftermath, ION continues to play a key role in global events, with active contracts throughout the world's hotspots in the wake of NATO's continued decline, political turmoil throughout Europe, and CSAT's ever-growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

ION provides instructors for NATO's jointly-operated training facilities on the Mediterranean island nation of the Republic of Altis and Stratis. They are later contracted by the U.S. government to assist in the decommissioning of NATO facilities on Stratis, but their arrival is delayed after the peacekeepers of Task Force Aegis are suddenly attacked by the Altis Armed Forces.

Post-The East Wind

With the AAF's defeat at the hands of the U.S.-led NATO retaliatory force, ION is once again sent to assist in the dismantling of NATO facilities on both islands.

Several ION security contractors can be seen escorting the new president of Altis, Nikos Panagopoulos, as he tours the nation in the aftermath of the conflict.


ION's contractors come from a highly diverse range of ethnic and national backgrounds. As a result, there is no standardised set of hardware for their forces. Contractors utilise weaponry ranging from Belgian-made FAL rifles to German prototypes like the XM8, Russian-made RPG-18 rocket launchers, and even American M16A2s and MX rifles.

Naturally, this also extends to personal gear, with contractors choosing to wear casual clothing mixed with military-grade personal protective equipment like plate carriers, combat helmets, and tactical vests.

Vehicle operators trained in offensive driving and former military pilots are also deployed where necessary, serving either as the drivers of V.I.P limousines or transport helicopters/cargo planes (respectively).



  • ION's overall purpose, structure, and design is heavily inspired by the real-world "Academi" PMC based in the United States (formerly known as "Blackwater USA" and then renamed to "Xe Services").
    • Academi is well-known for its operations in the Middle East and throughout the world, along with having a notorious reputation for being involved in numerous scandals and controversies surrounding its past activities.

See also