When we are talking about "Usean Continental War", it can be referred as "Usean Rebellion" in ACE Combat 2, a.k.a. "First Usean Continental War", or "Usean Continental War" in ACE Combat 04 which was triggered by impact of Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid, a.k.a. "Second Usean Continental War", or both of them. In the narrowest sense, it only means "Second Usean Continental War". This war began in summer of 2003, as Federal Republic of Erusea, the military power resided in western region of Usean Continent, suddenly invaded and occupied San Salvacion, a small, neutral state locaded in hinterland of continent, and the war concluded on September 19th 2005, as Federal Republic of Erusea surrendered to sign a treaty under coercion from its adversary.
An Armed Peace
During the long history of Usean Continent, for reasons such as geopolitics and economy, two opposing factions were formed. In the western regions, Federal Republic of Erusea (abbr. Erusea), a strong power backed by sheer military might, always had strained relations with eastern countries, especially the alliance which represented such nations, Usea Treaty Organization (abbr. UTO). The main body of UTO, Federation of Central Usea (abbr. FCU), deployed oversea army corps to achieve a standoff against Erusean forces, a balance was maintained for many years.
The complete global map of Planet Strangereal was not disclosed in ACE Combat 04, so we can deduce Usean Continent alone represents entire world. Therefore Erusea can be compared to Warsaw Treaty Organization while UTO can be considered as NATO, and FCU is United States.
Nemesis from Heaven
In October 1994, Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid was discovered, later International Astronomical Union concluded it was running on a collision course to the planet. This asteroid had a diameter of 1.6 km, although way smaller than the asteroid or comet which believed to bring Cretaceous–Paleogene Extinction Event 65 million years ago, but after the calculation of its velocity and impact angle as well as other factors, run by Shellsbridge University, this celestial body would hit planet surface on approximately July 3rd 1999. It was also forecasted that from equator to northern hemisphere, a large portion of planet surface would fall victim to asteroid fragments, Usean Continent was in center of this area. Worse, the equivalence of impact would be 2 million nuclear warheads and would cause a global-scale nuclear winter.
The world was in panic upon acknowledging impending catastrophe. FCU announced it will take actions to prevent the worst outcome for itself and its allies. Four major measures were implemented as starters:
- Construct a missile defence system, much like TMD or NMD, for member nations of UTO.
- Build underground shelters in major cities.
- Recall military forces garrisoned in foreign lands.
- In order to impede political unrest caused by rumors, censorship of computer networks and cellphones are justified.
In Japanese version of ACE Combat games, there is no planet named as "Strangereal", only "Earth". When Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid was mentioned in a cutscene of ACE Combat 6, the narration clearly said "Earth".
Stonehenge Turret System
The primary countermeasure against incoming asteroid, Stonehenge Turret Network (abbr. Stonehenge), was begun soon. This megastructure was consisted by eight hybrid projectile launchers called "120cm-Caliber-Anti-Surface-And-Air Gunpowder-And-Electromagnetic-Propelling Semiautomatic-Fixated Guns", powered by a nuclear reactor. It links with supercomputers and observation posts around continent, as well as satellites, all for the sole purpose: Intercept and destroy asteroid fragments before they hit ground.
Stonehenge was built in a desert area of southern San Salvacion. A protest was held by San Salvacion citizens, but it didn't change anything.
Aside of Stonehenge, auxiliary projects were underway too. Megalith, a giant stronghold capable of launching ballistic missiles, was under construction on Twinkle Islands, off coast of Erusea. A similar facility called Intolerance, located in the other end of Usean Continent (North Point) was being reconditioned for similar functions, but it was rendered inoperable during final phase of Usean Rebellion. There was a plan to use space-based lasers to annihilate a part of asteroid's mass, the plan was never executed due to satellites with laser weapons were destroyed in Usean Rebellion too.
As the unprecedented crisis neared, all the world banded together, waiting for the arrival of the nemesis from outer space.
Stonehenge was chosen to be built in unpopulated desert of San Salvacion as a good will of eastern and western faction's reconciliation and cooperation. However it should be constructed at a point which has the highest elevation and as near to geographic center of Usean Continent as possible, in order to maximize its potential as a planetary defense system (factors of population density and regional economic development disparities also should be considered).
July 3rd 1999 (or July 8th 1999), a day of darkness. Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid breached Roche Limit between itself and Planet Stangereal, thus separated into more than 1000 major pieces of fragments. Stonehenge did its best to destroy as many as possible, still unable to prevent planet surface being bombarded by debris. During the first two weeks, half a million people perished in Usean Continent, countless urban and rural infrastructures were razed in ruins, pecuniary loss was estimated to be 18 months of entire continent's GDP.
Stonehenge itself also got hit by meteorites, the cannon positioned on south was knocked out and was never repaired.
Other continents also suffered damages to different extents. Anean Continent was severely devastated as Usean Continent did, Osean Continent and Verusan Continent were lucky enough to sustain unapparent losses. Globally, there were about 20 million casualties.
According information from different sources, it can be concluded Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid (and its fragments) entered atmosphere from southwest and headed northeast. It split into two halves, one fell directly to Usean Continent and the other half continued to advance to Anean Continent, during the process they kept on disintegrating.
From Tensions to War
Counties in Usean Continent began shift attentions to aftermath issues, refugee problems, was a major component. Since infrastructures of continent-wide were too smashed, millions of people fell homeless. Each nation was given a pass line of refugee reception. However most of countries were in dire shapes during that time, and the very reason to unify them——the asteroid, no longer existed, so tensions sparked, especially the rift between eastern and western factions which had been overlooked for years, emerged again.
Erusea took a major hit from Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid. A large-sized fragment crashed into Spring Sea, off the coast of Erusean Capital, Farbanti. Initial tsunami killed tens of thousands inhabitants, southern sectors of the city also sank into ocean thanked to crustal deformation triggered by fragment impact. In addition, 9 other asteroid pieces fell on different locations inside Erusean territory, which made Erusea one of the worst stricken counties. Despite such reality, eastern nations insisted Erusea should take in more refugees, for it was a major economic entity and processed a military power on a par with total strength of FCU and its allies. Being meat-breaded by both internal and external pressures, Erusean decided to take radical solutions, namely war.
Invasion of San Salvacion
When time reached summer of 2003, four years after impact of Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid, Erusean army suddenly launched a blitz on San Salvacion. Airstrikes, followed by a three-day ground battle, San Salvacion fell in a blink of eyes. Stonehenge, which was under UTO's command, also seized by Erusea, with garrison force defeated and operators taken custody.
Invasion of San Salvacion marked beginning of Usean Continental War. Erusea gained a staging point for subsequent offensives, but the most prized premium was Stonehenge. Stonehenge was designed as a planetary defense system against asteroid, but could be used as a ultra-long-range anti-air and anti-satellite system as well, for its deadly slugs which traveled at super-hypersonic velocity, could pulverize anything above 2000 feet (609.6 meters) within maximum range (1200-1500 kilometers). Had such a trump card in hand, Erusea was ready to get rid of those pesky eastern nations once and for all.
Theoretically, Stonehenge can shoot targets below 2000 feet and can be used as a ground-to-ground delivery platform. All they need to do is precise calculations and fire slugs with appropriate muzzle velocity, then let air resistance and gravity to handle the rest.
Formation of Independent States Allied Force
In respond to Erusea's actions, FCU and other countries declared statements of accusation. President of FCU, Robert Sinclair, announced a proposition of creating an international military alliance called "独立国家連合軍/Independent States Allied Force (abbr. ISAF)", which include 11 member nations from the already existed organization "Economic League of Continental Nations" as well as 5 other countries, totally 16 sovereign states.
However, situation didn't go well for FCU and its allies. Since Stonehenge was in Erusea's hands, ISAF's air force was plummeted, therefore Erusean Air Force ruled skies. Without air support, ISAF's ground force took heavy beatings from joint assaults of both Erusean Air Force and Ground Force. Battlefront was quickly moving eastward. When escaping from Los Canas, a metropolis located in east of Usean Continent, ISAF took a very risky bet.
Stonehenge is the largest threat to ISAF and there was no way to reclaim air superiority of airspace inside of its range, so destroying such a terrifying weapon was an essential issue even since retreating began. Due to limitation of operating radius, ISAF couldn't launch an airstrike on Stonehenge from air force bases too eastward, Los Canas was barely in range and would fall into Erusea's control shortly. Time is ticking, chances are dwindling, ISAF finally took risks, dispatched a squadron of twelve F-15Es, escorted by another twelve F-15Cs, in an attempt to knock out Stonehenge. All aircraft were piloted by best pilots selected from those who survived the previous battles, to increase combat duration of F-15Es, ISAF even armed them with minimum payloads. Pilots knew they were going on a kamikaze mission, but they took to skies.
The brave twenty-four planes approached Stonehenge without trouble, but suddenly five Erusean Su-37s appeared and engaged them. These fighters were from none other than Federal Erusean Air Force 156th Tactical Fighter Wing "Aquila", aka "Yellow Squadron" for all of them had yellow paint scheme. ISAF squadron were exterminated in short order, days later Erusean army occupied Los Canas.
Following loss of Los Canas, ISAF continued to run eastward, with Erusean army followed like a suitor, soon both of them moved out from Stonehenge's maximum range limit. ISAF decided to evacuate to islands off eastern coast, and relocate its General Headquarter to North Point.
On the other hand, since Erusea's superiority over ISAF was largely attributed to Stonehenge, once exceeded its range, Erusean army couldn't enjoy hegemony in air, other problems also arisen, such as extended replenishment lines and declining numbers of available mobile units. As a result, Erusean army's pace began to drop, gave ISAF time to breath and put themselves together. In summer of 2004, eastern sectors of Usean Continent had been ISAF-free, Erusea was hurried to stabilize new-taken territories, didn't attack island over the sea. In northern provinces, there were still many ISAF units stranded and were bombarded by Erusea, a radar facility "Northern Eyes" were activated atop Mt. Shezna to implement electronic warfare against any evacuation efforts carried out by ISAF, even Saint Ark, or what was left of it, was covered by jamming field.
At this point, Erusea almost controlled entire continent, ISAF was on a blink of total defeat. With tremendous military advantage, Erusea should held a ceasefire negotiation to secure its claims, but it never did.
Erusea's victory was not steady, they had to face resistances in many areas, also needed to purge remaining ISAF units in north, not to say since they took over too many lands, an enormous portion of military strength must be redirected to maintain local orders...in short, they reached limit of exaggeration. Despite these facts, Erusea was still preparing to crush ISAF once and for all. After learning ISAF's General Headquarter was poorly defended from strategic air force, Erusean Air Force gathered Tu-95 squadron at Rigly Air Base, a former ISAF facility, intended to destroy ISAF's central command via airstrike. Meanwhile, Aegir Fleet, the pride and joy of Erusean Navy, was deployed in Comberth Harbor, getting ready to invade North Point via sea and open beachheads for ground forces.
September 19th 2004, Erusean operatives partly deactivated ISAF's early radar warning systems, allowing bombers took off from Rigly Air Base to penetrate ISAF-controlled airspace. Tu-95 squadron planned to bomb Newfield Island then move to North Point, dealing lethal blow to ISAF General Headquarter. However all bombers were shot down by a ISAF fighter squadron led by a pilot with TAC Name/Callsign "Mobius One", a rising star in ISAF's air force, thus allowed ISAF's central command to survive for another day.
Erusea scrambled another contingent of Tu-95s at Rigly Air Base, intended for another bombing raid, but on October 5th 2004, Mobius One sneaked into airspace over the base and destroyed them all. After this battle, taking out ISAF General Headquarter by means of airstrike was rendered impossible. The base would been reclaimed by ISAF months later.
Five days later, Mobius one led several ISAF fighters blew up Northern Eyes, paving road for evacuation of remaining ISAF troops. From this point on, a de facto strategic stalemate was reached: Erusea still roamed across mainland, yet unable to push forward anymore, ISAF secured their last stands, however didn't process sufficient strength to fight back. This was a good opportunity to call for a negotiation, but once again Erusea let the chance to slip away.
So Much for an Invincible Fleet
Erusea expedited preparation for Aegir Fleet to set sail once acknowledged there was no way to get ISAF General Headquarter from air. ISAF also took measures against Erusea's efforts, postpone the fleet as long as possible.
First, on November 7th 2004, ISAF sent in fighters to intercept Eursean transporters responsible to transfer supplies to Aegir Fleet. A large quantity of supplies were lost as transporters were shot down.
Second, ISAF's air force assaulted a petrochemical complex providing fuels for Aegir Fleet, it was estimated a total of 5 million barrels of crude oil reserves gone up in smoke, plus the nullification of ability of processing 250,000 barrels of crude oil daily. Without enough fuel, Aegir Fleet was effectively stranded in Comberth Harbor. ISAF's air force also suffered heavy damage as Yellow Squadron arrived on scene for reaping "a little payback".
Finally Aegir Fleet was sunk to seabed in Comberth Harbor by an ISAF special detachment, led by Mobius One. The strategic initiative fell to ISAF's hands. The date was November 23rd 2004.
Turning the Tide
ISAF began the preliminary preparations to reclaim mainland, meanwhile continued to harass Eursean armies in order to keep them from undermining their works. ISAF fighters attacked a solar power plant in Faith Park, but since it was in Stonehenge's range, many participating aircraft were smashed by its deadly slugs.
Then on last day of 2004, one of the largest air-to-air battle throughout Planet Strangereal's history broke out around Comona Islands. Stonehenge continued to be active during past four years since impact of Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid, it destroyed many asteroid debris remaining in orbit, as well as aircraft and satellites alike. So ISAF must launch a replacement satellite to provide vital tactical information for further operations. Erusean Air Force responded by sending a large number of fighters to secure air superiority over launch base, then raze entire site to rubble by bombers. ISAF countered this plan by sending in many fighter squadrons. Both Yellow Squadron and Mobius One joined the furball, Mobius One, in an rare act of extraordinary performance, shot down incalculable bandits, including all bombers, even managed to hit leader of Yellow Squadron. ISAF won the battle and subsequently succeeded in satellite launch.
ISAF Struck Back
Finally the day of returning to mainland arrived. January 24th 2005, ISAF initiated three landing operations simultaneously on three beaches of southeast. Although landscape and weather condition were in favor of Erusean defenders, all landings ended with success. As the last resort, Erusean Air Force sent in A-10s, but since the theaters were outside of Stonehenge's range, all of them were shot down.
To stop ISAF from pushing deeper, Erusean forces erected a defense line called "Tango Line", Mobius One led an airstrike on one of its major nodes, Istas. Istas was actually clusters of military facilities built in hilly region, consisted by Scion Airbase, VOTL craft pads, supply silos and sub pens, covered by Stonehenge. Mobius One inflicted sufficient damage to the complexes, enabled ISAF ground troops to capture them. Subsequently the nearby Los Canas was liberated by ISAF, and a frontline command post was placed there.
ISAF did achieved some victories of counteroffensive, but there's one essential issue must be addressed: Stonehenge. Every time ISAF's air force entered Stonehenge's range, they got smashed solidly, only few planes operated by those aces who had enough lucks survived. At such rate, ISAF would be depleted of aircraft and pilots soon. So Stonehenge must be destroyed if ISAF wants to win the war. However no pilot could get close enough to attack Stonehenge due to its insane firepower plus Yellow Squadron's extra protection, and without air force, ground units would be shredded by opponents with ease. Ballistic missiles were also not an option for the grave government risk and Stonehenge's ability of intercepting them. ISAF was facing an endless cycle of perplexity.
However finally luck went on ISAF's side, engineers who participated in Stonehenge's development expressed their wills of defection and therefore fled from Erusean's surveillance in two airliners, with their families accompanied. ISAF sent Mobius One to meet them and take them to safety. A brief dogfight broke out in airspace above Chopinburg, all pursing Erusean fighters were destroyed and defectors were escorted to ISAF controlled territory with impunity. Those engineers brought ISAF many intelligence regarding Stonehenge's characteristics, allowing them to draw a plan to cease its functionality for good.
After some further analyses, ISAF concluded it was possible to infiltrate to vicinity of Stonehenge via flying on an ultra-low altitude. On April 2nd 2005, Mobius One led many other aces launched airstrike on Stonehenge after sneaked inside its proximity with most impossible altitude. Stonehenge responded by firing to them at extreme close distance, but they were too close and too low to be pinpointed. Yellow Squadron, who was supposed to protect the megastructure, was previously assigned to bomb ISAF positions, but local resistance detonated their ordnance and fuels, delayed their takeoff, also made them unable to respond to Stonehenge's scramble alarm in time. When belated Yellow Squadron arrived on scene, Stonehenge had been demolished beyond repairable condition. Yellow Squadron attempted to engage Mobius One, the pilot who single-handedly smashed this superweapon, only got one of their member, Yellow 4, shot down and killed in action. Knowing not on a favored position, rest of Yellow Squadron retreated dejectedly, with the myth of "Yellow Squadron is undefeatable" ended.
Path to West
Destruction of Stonehenge was a tremendous boost on ISAF's morale, also without it, there was nothing to fear about Erusea. ISAF troops continued to pound Erusean armies, forcing latter to deflate on both tactic and strategic. Tac-recon reported Megalith was undergone extensive construction, if was highly possible it would be used as a replacement of defunct Stonehenge, but for the time being it didn't pose actual threat.
Then ISAF initiated a large-scaled landing operation on northern coast of mainland, Erusea responded by send in a supersonic bomber as well as a dozen of cruise missiles. All of them were intercepted by Mobius One, as a result, landing was successful and ISAF sustained minor casualties. It was rumored one of the cruise missiles carried a special warhead which was actually a Burst Warhead or low-yield nuclear warhead, but this was yet to confirmed.
San Salvacion was liberated on July 10th 2005. Erusea set up defense perimeters in and around it, but local resistance lit up entire region, illuminating targets for ISAF forces who attacked in midnight. Yellow Squadron also took off to fend off ISAF's air force, and they were defeated by Mobius One. Seeing the situation could be reversed, a squadron of Erusean Tu-160s flew in as the last-ditch to execute the scorched earth policy, as well as buying time for friendly units' evacuation. Mobius One shoot down all bombers before they could drop any ordnance, but many Erusean troops escaped during the chaos, alone with remaining members of Yellow Squadron.
To date, majority of Usean Continent had been emancipated by ISAF, soon they would enter Erusean territory.
Approximately one month after San Salvacion's liberation, a decisive battle erupted between ISAF and Erusea, on the desert plain between Lambert Mountains and Amber Mountains, nicknamed "Whiskey Corridor". Erusea built up heavy defenses throughout entire theaters in an attempt to block off ISAF, they surely threw in almost everything they got left. Comparison of military strength was not on ISAF's favor, nevertheless they breached Erusean defense lines with aid of air force then subsequently rounded up Erusean combatants. Finish line of such long march, Farbanti, had appeared above horizon.
On September 19th 2005, almost two years since beginning of the war, ISAF entered Farbanti. Cornered like rats, Erusean made their last stand in city area, they called units scattered in surrounding regions to reinforce capital, even deployed battleships in water channels ran through urban blocks. The battle was enormously fierce, for ISAF, taking each step forward equaled paying huge price of casualties. A large quantity of armored units came from north to rendezvous with defenders of Erusean General Headquarter, but their only passageway to do so, Johnson Memorial Bridge, was destroyed, isolated them long enough for ISAF to launch a general offensive against enemy's headquarter.
As ISAF getting close to vicinity of Erusean General Headquarter, top-ranking personnel of Erusean army began to evacuate. Last members of Yellow Squadron took off to buy them some times. Mobius One engaged Yellow Squadron single-handedly, shoot them all down, including squadron leader Yellow 13. Then ISAF took over Erusean General Headquarter, declared their victory, and demanded Erusean troops who were still putting up fights to surrender unconditionally. Supreme commander of Erusean army was found dead, took his own life to avoid being charged as war criminal, fellow Erusean officers succumbed to ISAF's terms.
"Good morning troops. I have an important announcement. In one hour, each one of you will take part in the most important mission in our history - a mission that will result in the defeat of the vile enemy who has brought chaos to our continent. Although we are from different nations and of different races, we have fought, suffered and died together, fighting for what we believe in - fighting for freedom. Today, we shall gather for our final battle, to liberate our beautiful continent and restore freedom to our people, our friends, and our families. Our victory will hail (herald) the beginning of a new era of prosperity for the Usean Continent. Victory will be ours! We shall return peace to our people, and win back our freedom, and our future! The skies belong to everyone! Now, let us take back our shattered skies!"
Above was the announcement from ISAF supreme commanding officers, just before start of Operation Judgement Day on September 26th 2005. After losing their capital, a group of young Erusean officers escaped to Megalith, the gigantic stronghold which was constructed as an auxiliary measure against Ulysses 1994XF04 Asteroid, later was re-purposed to cleanse asteroid debris remained on orbit. Those extremists planned to use large reserve of ballistic missiles stored in Megalith to retaliate ISAF, by launching them directly to entire Usean Continent or shooting down asteroid pieces from space to bombard lands below. ISAF respond this grave matter by sending in a elite taskforce, aided by a fighter squadron led by Mobius One. Fighters would secure air-superiority over Megalith, then flew in its megastructure to knock out three generators, once generators were our, taskforce would occupy a sub-control room to open entrance and exit of central silo for Mobius One, where a para-doomsday weapon, V2-Class MIRV, was pending for lift off.
The battle began under the scene of apocalypse: Millions of meteorites fell from heaven like sky's fragments, as if deities' rage to humanity's sins, columns of thick smoke didn't disperse for a very long time, as if the God who is wailing in mourning garments, countless ballistic missiles rose upward with bright fiery dragons behind them, as if humankind's final struggle against their nemesis from outer space.
Operation Judgement Day didn't proceeded as planned, a dozen of young Erusean pilots took off to fight Mobius One and fellow wingmen, meanwhile taskforce was trapped in Megalith and taking poundings from Erusean suppression forces. However once all Erusean fighters were down, situation quickly tipped to ISAF's favor. Mobius one destroyed all generators, created a black out for taskforce, seizing this change, taskforce occupied sub-control room and did their jobs. Then Mobius One flew into central silo, smashed V2 missile and safely escaped outside.
Usean Continental War officially ended in September 2005, and Erusea was placed under custody of ISAF, its government was reestablished and its military was reduced. But many radical Erusean officers saw their fatherland in such status as a humiliation, they rallied each other to form an extremist group "Free Erusea", continued to fight against "ISAF Tyranny". Therefore ISAF decided to initiate "Operation Katina" in order to wipe out those dissidents for good. Mobius One was chosen to lead this operation.
Free Erusea gained access to many military hardware and technologies left by Erusean armies in last war, they were well equipped and abundant in numbers. Against all odds, Mobius One progressively pushed Free Erusea back. The final battle unfolded over Free Erusea's headquarter and they deployed six X-02 Wyvern, the superfighter had been under development for a long time, after other military hardware were all but decimated. Despite their superior performances, Mobius One destroyed all of X-02 Wyvern, putting an end to Free Erusea's rebellion once and for all. Later ISAF recovered sufficient data of said superfigters and an unidentified UCAV for their own uses.
Road to Rejuvenation
With leaders of Free Erusea detained and their organization devastated, it seemed ISAF had served its purposes and no longer needed. However, there were still some issues to be addressed, a few Erusean remnants still put on pockets of resistance, and refugee problems was still a factor. To find fitting solutions, ISAF called for intercontinental helps. In August 21st 2008, G7 Summit was held aboard Osean Federation's gigantic maneuverable orbiter, Arkbird. Attending nations, including FCU and Erusea, agreed to house refugees altogether, under new partnership relations. They also reached consensus on many other topics such as disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.
Let's pray for peace and prosperity of Usean Continent, and wish war will never break out again.