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Episode 1: Survive

Tensions rise as NATO peacekeeping forces begin to leave The Republic of Altis: a strategic fault-line between crumbling European influence and a powerful, resurgent East.

With their five-year long deployment coming to an end, the U.S.-led peacekeepers of Task Force Aegis prepare to pack up and leave the Republic of Altis and Stratis. The majority of the task force's combat forces have already left the island weeks earlier, while barely more than a hundred engineers and support personnel remain behind to decommission the remainder of NATO facilities on the island of Stratis.

Drawdown 2035

The last of the U.S. forces on Stratis prepare to pack up and leave

However, tensions are also on the rise as a year of miscommunications and repeated conflicts of interest between the AAF and the peacekeepers have caused both sides to increasingly mistrust each other.

As one of the many non-combat troops left on the island, Corporal Ben Kerry makes his way towards the helipad at LZ Connor just as a helicopter arrives with his squad leader Staff Sergeant Adams and fellow member Sergeant Lacey onboard. He quickly gets on one of the benches as the helicopter proceeds to make its way towards Camp Rogain.

Upon arrival, the trio check in with the commanding officer, Lieutenant Edwards, who informs them that Colonel McKinnon requires additional logistical support at the Kamino Firing Range. Adams and Kerry take one of the HEMTT trucks while Lacey boards another.

« Kerry: Jesus, the AAF seem really on edge, huh?
Adams: No kidding. I better give Lacey the heads up.
Kerry notices the heightened security as they pass through an AAF checkpoint
»

The short drive towards the base begins as they pass through an AAF checkpoint along the way. Before they're allowed to drive on however, they're stopped for an impromptu inspection. The duo note how tense the AAF troopers seem to be while they check their truck.

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Adams attempts to resuscitate MacKinnon to no avail.

Just as they're about to arrive at Kamino, they spot an overturned MRAP and find its seemingly unconscious driver lying on the ground right next to it. Adams and Kerry immediately stop and proceed to dismount from their truck to get a closer look.

« Kamino, I say again, requesting urgent medical support at our position! Commander MacKinnon is down! Please respond!
Adams radios for help just as Kamino is attacked
»

On closer inspection, it's revealed to be MacKinnon himself; Adams desperately tries to revive him, but it's ultimately futile as MacKinnon shows no signs of life.

Things go from bad to worse as at that exact moment, they overhear jets flying over their position and witness explosions and gunfire at Kamino. A flurry of panicked and confused radio communications confirm that all NATO forces on the island are being attacked; not by an unknown hostile force, but by the AAF in a green-on-blue attack.

Amidst the confusion, Adams receives urgent orders from Edwards to fall back to Rogain. With Kerry in tow, the duo head towards the camp on foot through the woods that they just drove through. They don't get very far before running into an AAF patrol. Adams calls for them to stand down, but the patrol open fire, forcing the duo to retaliate with lethal force.

« Broadway to all NATO forces on Stratis: Code Foxtrot. Code Foxtrot. AAF forces have overwhelmed the airfield and Air Station Mike-26. We're pulling back. Try to get -
Broadway cut-off just as the Stratis airbase is attacked
»

After neutralising the patrol, they receive one last broadcast from Broadway telling all NATO troops to regroup, and that the AAF are now considered to be hostile. Before any more details could be clarified however, Broadway and the rest of the command element are killed as their post at the Stratis airbase is destroyed.

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Caught completely by suprise, the disoriented survivors of TF Aegis are forced into a full retreat.

Kerry and Adams soon reach the outskirts of Rogain, only to see it in ruins as the AAF raze it to the ground. They attempt to regroup at Point X-Ray, but also discover that the AAF have already taken out the troops stationed there.

Unsure of what to do, a NATO helicopter flies past them and informs the duo to link up at LZ Baldy for a hasty extraction. However, the helicopter is also shot down just as they barely reach half-way. The duo are forced to retreat into the woods again (much to Kerry's dismay) in order to evade detection from the AAF.

Soon after, Adams intercepts a radio call from Lacey, who managed to survive the initial attack alongside another small group of survivors. Hoping to link-up with them, Adams and Kerry make their way towards their position. But before they can even leave the forest, Adams steps on a landmine which instantly kills him, leaving a shocked Kerry to proceed alone towards the rendezvous point.

« Miller: This is Captain Scott Miller, Royal Navy. Come in, over.
Lacey: Uh... Receiving you, sir. Sergeant Lacey. Over.
Miller: Next time, avoid broadcasting over the whole net, soldier. We're consolidating the remnants of our forces at Camp Maxwell. You're welcome to join us, if you want.
Capt. Scott Miller
»
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Kerry and Lacey make their way through the woods.

At the same time, Lacey suddenly receives a response from a British special forces officer. Identifying himself as Captain Scott Miller, he informs the survivors that his team have set up a temporary outpost at Camp Maxwell, and are consolidating the remaining survivors of TF Aegis together to co-ordinate a counterattack against the AAF.

After linking with Lacey's team, Kerry and the rest move through the woods yet again in order to meet up with Miller's team. Though they run up against several AAF squads along the way, they manage to reach the rendezvous point in one piece. A small team of Miller's men, led by a certain Lieutenant James, greets and leads them to the base camp.

« Lacey: How many other guys have you helped this way?
James: You're the only ones so far.
Lacey asking James about the rest of the survivors
»

The team reach the camp and finally meet with Miller in person, who is revealed to be the leader of the highly-secretive CTRG special forces team. To their surprise, they find many other survivors also present at the camp; Sergeant Conway being one of them.

As the only highest-ranking NATO officer left on the island, Miller informs the survivors of the situation and divides them into four squads; Alpha (Kerry's team) forms the main assault element while Bravo, led by Lacey, is the recon squad. Charlie operates as a supporting unit that mostly consists of the walking wounded while Delta, consisting of Miller's CTRG team, performs reconnaissance deep inside AAF territory.

Though still heavily outnumbered, the remnants of TF Aegis, spearheaded by Alpha, undertake a series of guerrilla operations aimed at dealing sharp blows against AAF. They initially move out to deal with a NATO gunship that crashed near the camp during the early stages of the fighting. Though the pilots couldn't be saved, the wreckage is secured from the AAF and successfully destroyed by Alpha.

Death Valley

Alpha attempt a break through in order to assist Bravo.

When Kerry's squad get back to Maxwell, they immediately receive word that Bravo is pinned down in the nearby town of Girna. Despite the heavy opposition that they were up against (even involving mortars and airstrikes), Alpha manage to relieve Bravo and retreat back to camp together.

Following that, Alpha and Bravo stage a combined assault on the now AAF-controlled Air Station Mike-26, with Charlie standing by with a mortar, and Delta providing auxiliary support. After dealing with the defenders and a motorised counterattack, Delta attempts to establish communications with NATO MEDCOM in order to call in reinforcements.

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Kerry calls in mortars to bombard the AAF defenders at Mike-26.

« Lacey: Wait, what?! You can't just blow it up! What the fuck was all this for then?!
Miller: Stand down, Bravo. That's an order. If we cant hold it, we raze it.
Lacey protests against Mike-26's destruction
»

Their attempt ends in failure however, with James being unable to raise any channels with MEDCOM. He decides to destroy the facility instead in order to prevent the AAF from making use of it, in spite of the outraged protest from Lacey. The station is completely demolished by James' team, and the three squads make their way back to Maxwell.

Miller then receives intel that an AAF officer known simply as "Goblin" will soon be arriving in Girna. He appoints James to lead an amphibious assault, while Bravo sneaks into position from the hills opposite of their insertion point. The two teams manage to assassinate the officer, but is identified to be a completely different person with Goblin himself nowhere to be seen.

However, the remnants of TF Aegis soon find themselves in a conundrum. Having expended large amounts of their valuable equipment and ammunition on missions that have so far yielded questionable results, the survivors are beginning to run critically low on vital supplies.

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The remnants of TF Aegis meet with Nikos.

« Kerry: Who's this Nikos guy, again?
Conway: Miller says he's a resistance contact of his - tied with a bigger cell on Altis. I get the impression that it's somehow linked to his team being here, originally. The whole thing looks pretty fucking shady, to be honest.
Kerry and Conway discuss Miller's connections to the FIA
»

Miller arranges a meeting with a representative of the FIA, an anti-AAF resistance group based on the Altian mainland. They agree to resupply the NATO forces by sharing a supply cache stored at LZ Connor.

Before they can move out however, a loud explosion is heard as they see LZ Connor seemingly in flames. Nikos panics and immediately drives off in his pickup to check on the cache. Kerry's squad attempt to catch up to Nikos, only to run into an AAF patrol (who they promptly eliminate). His vehicle is completely wrecked and the driver is slumped over dead, with Nikos himself nowhere to be seen.

Kerry's squad proceed on foot by themselves to LZ Connor. Though they also clear out the AAF troopers at the outpost, they only find the corpses of several FIA guerrillas, with all the supplies burnt to a crisp. Out of options, Miller orders them to clear out the nearby village of Agios Ioannis instead, hoping to at least inflict some damage against the AAF despite their enormous setback.

« All teams, do not return! I say again, do not return! Find shelter. Keep your heads down. Wait until you hear from me! How copy?!
Miller advises all teams to stay put and to not return to Maxwell
»
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Kerry returns to what's left of Maxwell after the artillery strike.

Once the village is cleared however, Maxwell itself suddenly comes under attack from an AAF artillery strike, with Miller telling Alpha and Bravo to not return. Unsure of what to do, they proceed to head back regardless. Both squads return only to find it heavily damaged and in complete ruins.

To their apparent luck however, Miller informs the gathered survivors that during the attack, he managed to raise contact with NATO MEDCOM. He also informs them that the task force must consolidate all of their remaining forces to secure town of Agia Marina first, in order to establish a safe landing zone for NATO reinforcements.

« We need to lay the groundwork for a full invasion. They need an established foothold, not a broken down base hidden in the woods. I say we attack now. We catch the AAF off-guard. We hold the ground we seize.
Miller rallies the survivors for one final strike against the AAF
»

What's left of TF Aegis split up into two main elements; Charlie/Delta launch diversionary attacks on Rogain and behind enemy lines north of Agia Marina, while Alpha/Bravo assault the town itself.

After linking up together on the outskirts of the firing range near Agia Marina, Alpha and Bravo begin the assault on the town. At the same time, Charlie and Delta successfully distract the AAF with their own attacks, forcing them to divert the bulk of their reinforcements away from the town.

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The Battle for Agia Marina begins as TF Aegis mount an all-out assault with their remaining forces.

Divided up and stretched thin, the plan appears to work with the AAF being forced into a full retreat on all fronts. Just as the battle is about to decisively end in a complete victory for NATO forces, a flotilla of CSAT transport and attack helicopters are spotted making their way towards Stratis. The gunships open fire on the remnants of TF Aegis, and completely annihilate Charlie in the process.

« Numerous aircraft and infantry firing on our positions! Charlie is under heavy assault, I say again -
Charlie radios in moments before being wiped out by CSAT
»

The sudden CSAT counteroffensive almost results in the death of all of the remaining survivors, with the battle's tide now fully swinging in favour of the AAF. Delta orders a last minute retreat, having secured an escape route via boats just to the north of the town.

The survivors are forced to desperately flee through the valley north of the town, all the while fighting against paratroopers and mortar fire. They finally reach the boats and together with Delta, successfully evacuate from Stratis with CSAT hot on their heels.

« Kerry: Respectfully, sir, when the hell are you going to tell us what's going on?
Miller: Saying 'respectfully', Corporal, and proceeding to be disrespectful somewhat defeats the purpose, don't you think?
... Look, I can't say exactly what happened. What I can say is what's happening right now. We're headed to Altis. There's a local guerilla movement there - FIA - the same guys that got themselves killed for us back on Stratis. We'll make a quiet entrance and link up with them.
Kerry: Well, with respect -
Miller: You're doing it again, Corporal.
Kerry: Okay, fine. It sounds insane. We're walking straight into a hornet's nest!
Miller: It's our best option - and there are only bad options.
Kerry questions Miller's plan to aid the FIA following their escape
»

With their last plan in complete shambles, Kerry questions Miller on what exactly he has planned for them next. Along with the other survivors, Miller informs them that they intend to sail directly to the mainland of the country, Altis, and link up with the FIA resistance movement in order to continue their fight against the AAF. Though Kerry voices his doubts about the merits of Miller's plan given their close call, he and the other survivors have little choice but to accept and follow through with CTRG's plans.

Suddenly, two AAF jets perform a flyby over the would-be escapees. Miller orders James to open fire on the jets, but it's already too late as they strafe past both boats, dropping their ordnance on them and capsizing the vessels.

Knocked overboard from the blast, Kerry's vision blacks out as his consciousness fades away...

Timeline

Drawdown 2035 (7th July, 2035)

« Tensions grow as NATO peacekeepers prepare to leave the island of Stratis. »

With their mandate having expired, the peacekeepers of TF Aegis prepare to pack up and leave Stratis. Before they can finish their preparations however, the AAF launch a surprise attack on the task force, resulting in the deaths of almost a hundred NATO personnel.

Situation Normal (7th July, 2035)

« NATO forces struggle to regroup. »

The survivors of TF Aegis desperately attempt to evade detection from the AAF after the initial attack. SSgt. Adams is inadvertently killed after walking into an AAF minefield, while Cpl. Kerry and several other survivors link up with CTRG special forces operators and regroup at Camp Maxwell.

Blackfoot Down (7th July, 2035)

« A NATO helicopter went down in a nearby forest. »

Having regrouped together at last, the remnants of TF Aegis and CTRG attempt to rescue the pilots of an AH-99 Blackfoot gunship that had crashed near the camp. Though unsuccessful in saving the pilots, they manage to at least destroy the wreckage.

Death Valley (7th July, 2035)

« Friendly forces are pinned down in Girna. »

Alpha makes a quick push towards the small village of Girna in order to relieve Bravo. They are successful, but are driven back into the woods after an AAF jet bombards their position.

Radio Silence (7th July, 2035)

« The survivors launch a coordinated assault on Air Station Mike-26. »

The combined elements of Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta attempt to reclaim Air Station Mike-26 from the AAF in order to call for reinforcements. They are unsuccessful in doing so, and are forced to destroy the facility.

Wet Work (7th July, 2035)

« An opportunity to neutralize an AAF commander presents itself. »

Infiltrating via the sea and through the nearby hills, Alpha and Bravo attempt an assassination on an AAF high value target. Though they succeed in doing so, the officer isn't their intended target.

Crossing Paths (7th July, 2035)

« Ben Kerry meets FIA soldiers lead by Nikos. »

Low on supplies, Miller arranges a meeting with an FIA contact in order to obtain more ammunition and equipment. The cache is destroyed by the AAF before the two sides can obtain them however, and the FIA contact himself is seemingly captured in the process. Camp Maxwell itself is soon attacked afterwards by an AAF artillery strike.

Tipping Point (8th July, 2035)

« The survivors launch a last-ditch effort to drive the remaining AAF units into the sea. »

Miller informs the survivors that help will soon arrive, but they need the town of Agia Marina secured first. The remnants of TF Aegis mount an all-out assault and manage to drive off the AAF, but are beaten back by a surprise CSAT counteroffensive which almost results in their complete annihilation. What's left of the task force escape on boats towards the mainland, but are intercepted by AAF aircraft before they can do so.

Trivia

  • Miller's team are shown arriving via Ghost Hawk at Camp Maxwell barely ten minutes before the AAF attack occurs.
    • Both Adams and Lacey note that their arrival at the camp is odd, given that Maxwell's decommissioning had already occurred many months prior to the actual drawdown.
  • The exact cause behind the AAF's attack is never shown or explained in The East Wind and the rest of the official campaigns in ArmA 3.
    • However, it is somewhat implied that CTRG were heavily involved in manipulating the events of Survive and subsequent episodes in several ways.
      • Prime examples include the helicopter carrying Miller's team arriving mere minutes before the attack begins, and MacKinnon's Hunter being specifically blown up by an anti-tank mine/heavy explosive (which ends up killing him).
      • Furthermore, CTRG's destruction of Mike-26 was seemingly done deliberately by James' team in order to prevent the survivors from being able to actually raise communications with NATO command. The soldiers of the 111th Infantry Division (111th ID) in the campaign's third episode comment that the facility was wrecked beyond repair, despite noting that its equipment was fully functional prior to its destruction.

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