Operation Keynote was a covert operation undertaken by the Kestrel Fleet following Wardog Squadron's escape from Sand Island. They freed Osean President Vincent Harling, who was captured during the Akerson Hill Incident by the Grey Men.
Following his capture by Belkan operatives, Harling was taken for imprisonment to Stier Castle to easily allow the Belkans to further increase hostilities between Osea and Yuktobania. However, due to the victories of the Wardog Squadron over Yuktobania which resulted in the Osean Defense Forces reaching the perimeter of Cinigrad, the Grey Men attempted to eliminate them from the war, first over the Vladimir Mountains with no success. The second attempt happened after the Wardog Squadron escaped from Sand Island Air Force Base over false charges of espionage. The Grabacr Squadron gave chase to the squadron and, as with the attempt at Vladimir, failed to shoot the escapees down. On orders from the OFS Kestrel, Marcus Snow was sent to Solo Islands to feign the deaths of the Wardog members and to allow easy rescue by Sea Goblin.
Sometime before the Wardog Squadron's arrival at the Kestrel, the intelligence ship Andromeda intercepted a mysterious transmission encoded in Belkan. With help from Lt. Peter N. Beagle, the decrypted transmissions confirmed that President Harling was held in southern Belka.
The Wardog Squadron, now including Snow as wingman, and Sea Goblin departed from Kirwin Island to Waldreich Mountains to commence the rescue of President Harling. Upon arrival at the perimeter of Stier Castle, the Wardog Squadron took out the anti-air weapons protecting it. This allowed Sea Goblin to safely approach the rooftops of the castle and send the team inside.
Fearing the worst, the Grey Men began to deploy their available land, air, and water assets within the area to Stier Castle in their attempt to halt the rescue of President Harling. Despite their best efforts, alongside the usage of fighter jets, the Wardog Squadron kept them at bay long enough for Sea Goblin to find Harling's cell and free him. After doing so, they began their escape but a wall had cut them off from their waiting helicopter, and their available explosives were not enough to make a hole. Blaze was requested to destroy the marked wall, and upon doing so, Sea Goblin and President Harling reached for the helicopter.
In their last attempt, the Grey Men's remaining fighters jets tried to shoot down the helicopter; however, the Wardog Squadron successfully allowed Sea Goblin to escape safely. While this was going on, Harling recognized the voices of Edge and Blaze, though it was unknown how the latter responded.
With the success of the President's rescue, hopes began to raise that the war can be over quickly and the truth of the conflict can be brought out to the public.
A day after the rescue, Andromeda received another mysterious transmission which detailed a location of interest within northern Belka. It was intented to be given to President Harling as the transmission included the number of votes he had won in the 2004 and 2008 elections.
- ↑ Handful of Hope, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ 8492, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Final Option, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Cutscene 20, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Briefing, Ancient Walls, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ancient Walls, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Cutscene 21, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.