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Valais Air Base

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"Valais Air Base is our country's last line of defense. If our base falls, no one will be left to stop Belka from taking over Ustio ... Belka's invasion must end here."
― UAF briefing officer[2]

Valais Air Base is an isolated Ustio Air Force base located in the Tyrann Mountains, several dozen kilometers west of Ustio's eastern border with Ratio. During the Belkan War, it served as the base of operations for the UAF mercenary 6th Air Division, 66th Air Force Unit "Galm".

Description

Valais Air Base is situated atop a flat stretch of land within one of the Tyrann Mountains' rocky, glacial valleys. Due to the area's wind gusts and rugged topography, landing at the base requires a high degree of piloting skills.[3] Valais's main runway features an elevated approach that extends several hundred meters over the precipice at the north end of the base; the approach likely serves to reduce the risk of crashes during less than ideal weather conditions. Some of Valais's assigned aircraft are likely stored within the mountainside to the west, as evidenced by a shorter, secondary runway that extends out of a large tunnel opening.[1]

History

Valais Air Base was constructed for use by the Belkan Air Force and primarily served as an outlying border patrol station. While under Belkan jurisdiction, it is possible that Valais took part in numerous border disputes that arose in the Tyrann Mountains throughout the mid- to late 20th century.[3] Following Ustio's independence in May 1988, the base became an Ustio Air Force installation.

When the Belkan War erupted in March 1995, Valais's remote location in the inaccessible mountains ensured that it remained untouched during the Belkan Army's invasion and subsequent occupation of Ustio. However, Ustio's nascent military suffered considerable losses, which compelled the government in exile to employ mercenaries to bolster its military.[4] At some point, the famed mercenary unit Galm Team was recruited and became stationed at Valais.[1]

Main article: Operation Crossbow

On April 2, a large formation of Belkan bombers was dispatched to the Tyrann Mountains to destroy Valais Air Base, thereby eliminating one of Ustio's last remaining means of resistance. In response, Galm Team and other UAF fighters were scrambled to intercept the bombers. The operation was a success, and Valais was spared from annihilation.[5]

Main article: Operation Valkyrie

More than eight months later, on December 25, Valais Air Base was attacked by the XB-0 Hresvelgr gunship, which had been commandeered by A World With No Boundaries. Valais's anti-aircraft defenses proved no match for the XB-0's formidable size, and the base was heavily damaged. Despite this, Galm took off from the bombed-out runway and successfully shot down the XB-0 over the Waldreich Mountains.[6]

Gallery

Trivia

  • Valais Air Base derives its name from a mountainous canton in southwest Switzerland.
  • The aircraft stationed at Valais Air Base have the tail code "VL".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ending cutscene, Glacial Skies, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  2. Briefing, Glacial Skies, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  3. 3.0 3.1 BACKGROUND, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, Bandai Namco Entertainment (JP). Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  4. Cutscene 02, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  5. Glacial Skies, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  6. The Talon of Ruin, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.

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