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Overview

The Grey Storm Air Force (GSAF) is a military branch of Grey Storm, specializing in aerial warfare and airborne operations. Despite their official status as a branch of Grey Storm, the GSAF primarily operate independently of their parent faction.

Whilst the exact locations of their bases and installations remain a mystery, the GSAF are known to operate in and around the Arctic Circle. Some speculate that the GSAF's bases may be hidden in the extreme northern regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia, though this remains sheer speculation as no GSAF aircraft have ever been successfully tracked back to their home bases.

The bulk of the GSAF's military forces are comprised of units operating an assortment of aircraft for different roles, ranging from fighters and long-range bombers to high-altitude reconnaisance aircraft and aerial tankers. The GSAF also  maintain a number of airborne infantry and armored units, as well as a significant security force committed to the defence of their bases and outposts.

In addition to aircraft and airborne units, the GSAF operate a limited naval force, comprised of a single carrier group and an unknown number of submarines and patrol ships.

History

The GSAF's origins, much like Grey Storm's, are shrouded in mystery and uncertainty. Due to the GSAF's tendencies not to use identifying marks or insignias of any kind on their uniforms and equipment, attributing historical actions to the group can be difficult, if not impossible. The GSAF themselves are very secretive and rarely talk to outsiders, and they have never confirmed or denied their involvements in any activities linked to them over the years.

Only in recent history have the GSAF and their activities become more easily identifiable. Due to the rise in the quality and availability of cameras and the more widespread availability of information, it has become far easier for the common public and world governments to document sightings and reports of GSAF aircraft, naval vessels, and military operations.

Listed below are a number of the most significant confirmed sightings and activities of the GSAF within recent history, including their actions in the

Global Espionage Wars.

1994 Yukon-Charley Rivers F-4 Phantom II crash

On the night of the first of April 1994, an unmarked F-4 Phantom II crashed in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve near Fairbanks, Alaska. A park ranger heard and saw the navigation lights of a group of fighter aircraft passing over the area, and assumed they were aircraft from the nearby Eilson AFB. One of the aircraft appeared to suffer some kind of mechanical difficulties and was forced to make an emergency landing within the National Preserve. The pilot and WSO ejected safely and the aircraft crashed into a lightly wooded area, losing a wing and suffering significant damage but remaining mostly intact.

The park ranger who had witnessed the aircraft go down arrived at the crash site minutes after the incident to investigate and look for survivors. As a former USAF ground crew member, the park ranger recognized the aircraft as not belonging to any USAF units stationed in the area. His inspection of the wreck revealed the aircraft to be a quite heavily upgraded and modified F-4 variant, unlike any known to be in service with the US Military.

With no functional radio to report the incident or call for assistance, the park ranger was forced to leave the crash site to inform the local authorities of the incident. When military officials and rescue services returned to the crash site several hours later, the aircraft was found to have been completely destroyed by fire. Expert analysis of the aircraft's remains suggested that somebody had deliberately and carefully destroyed the airframe using Thermite to prevent capture or analysis.

The two pilots were picked up just after sunrise by the Alaskan Highway Patrol, and were detained and interrogated. They revealed very little information, disclosing only their names, ranks, and that they were Grey Storm Air Force personnel on a training flight. When questioned about the aircraft's destruction, the two airmen suggested it was likely that a search and destroy team had been deployed to 'clean up' the crash site, and claimed no responsibility themselves for the fire.

Almost immediately after the pilots were taken into custody, the US Government were quietly contacted by Grey Storm officials. After brief negotiations, were quickly released, with very little information officially released to the public. The entire incident remained an urban legend untill documents detailing the event were declassified in 2008.

1999 Naval exercises, Greenland

GSAF Carrier1

Grey Storm's Kiev-class carrier, believed to be the former Novorossiysk, photographed anchored off Greenland in 2002.

In June of 1999, a US Air Force aircraft en-route to Thule AFB spotted an unidentified carrier group conducting maneuvers off the Northwestern coast of Greenland, approximately 45 nautical miles Northeast of Alert, Canada. This caused some alarm, as the ship at the centre of the group was the newly refitted Kiev-class aircraft carrier "Novorossiysk".

The sight of what appeared to be a Russian carrier group so close to US shores prompted the US to put several Navy and Air Force units on alert status, though once a channel of communication could be opened between the US and the mystery carrier group, the ex-Novorossiysk identified themselves as belonging to the GSAF and announced that they were simply conducting sea trials of their newly refitted carrier.

Once the carrier group were verified as non-hostile and US forces were stood down, the exercises resumed with US observers watching from afar. After conducting training and sea trials for a week, the GSAF carrier group left the coast of Greenland and were last seen sailing Northeast before visual and radar contact was lost.

2002 Seawise Midget boarding incident

On the 23rd of December 2002, the cargo vessel Seawise Midget operated by Beaneso Express Arctic Nourishment Solutions (BEANS) suffered heavy damage from an arctic storm and were left without functional navigational equipment. Attempting to navigate using the stars and what few charts and maps they had available, the crew ended up sailing aimlessly through the Arctic Ocean for several days in an attempt to retrace their steps and return to port.

After three days of sailing aimlessly in the ice, the ship was approached by two unmarked, grey MI-24 'Hind' helicopters. Radio contact with the Seawise Midget was established, and the unknown helicopters instructed the crew to stop the ship and prepare to be boarded. Once the ship had come to a full stop, One of the helicopters hovered over the foredeck and deployed a boarding party by fastrope, whilst the other helicopter circled.

The crew were detained and interrogated whilst the ship was searched. After learning that the ship and its crew were simply lost and had no malicious intent, the boarding party identified themselves as belonging to the Grey Storm Air Force, releasing the crew and making what repairs they could to the damaged navigational systems. After giving the crew some supplies and directions back to the nearest port, the boarding party returned to their helicopter and departed.

With the navigational systems barely working and enough supplies to sustain them the rest of the voyage, the Seawise Midget was able to reach the port of Pevek, far off course, but safely out of harms way. In 2005, Beaneso Express Arctic Nourishment Solutions attempted to sue the GSAF for trespassing and unlawfully detaining the crew of the Seawise Midget during the incident.

2012 Odessa airdrop

Ep1 c17 02a0011

Tbonian infantrymen during the battle of Odessa recieve supplies from a GSAF airdrop.

During the battle for Odessa in October of 2012, GSAF operated C-17 globemaster cargo planes made a number of flights over the city to drop supplies to the TPA and their allies.

A total of four aircraft were used in the operation, making a total of 74 airdrops during the two weeks they were conducting operations, dropping munitions and medical supplies to troops stranded deep within the city.

Three of the four aircraft managed to survive the operation with only light damage from small arms fire, but the fourth aircraft used in the operation was struck twice by rocket-propelled grenades and had to be grounded for repairs untill the conclusion of the mission.

The aircraft were stationed at the TPA-occupied Odessa International Airport for the duration of the operation.

2013 Taymyr Peninsula exercises

GSAF Exercises1

Grey Storm Air Force paratroopers conducting training exercises in the Taymyr peninsula region of Siberia.

In May 2013, GSAF airborne infantry units were observed conducting field exercises in the Taymyr Peninsula region of Siberia. A total of 3,000 troops were involved in the training exercises, which were apparrently known about and approved by the Russian government some time before they occurred. The exercises lasted for a week.

2014 Operation Arctic Sunrise

For several weeks in March of 2014, GSAF airborne infantry and armored units participated in Operation Arctic Sunrise, training alongside VDI and TPA forces in the heart of Greenland.

2014 Operation Summerslam

For one week in April 2014, Tbonian and GSAF personnel conducted joint training exercises in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France, under the codename "Operation Summerslam."


2015 Airstrikes against Vice Union

GSAF Blackjacks

A flight of GSAF Tupolev TU-160s and their F-4 Phantom II escorts high above Germany during the GSAF's operations against Vice Union.

In May 2015, GSAF aircraft conducted a number of airstrikes against Vice Union forces in the vicinity of Hannover, Germany. GSAF Tuplolev TU-160 strategic bombers struck convoys and bridges around Hannover, whilst F-4 Phantom IIs conducted attacks against Vice Union SAM sites and Anti-aircraft positions.

A total of twenty three major bridges were knocked out and several major highways were damaged beyond repair. A number of Vice Union convoys were damaged or destroyed in the attacks, and considerable damage was dealt to Vice Union anti-aircraft defences in the area.


Command structure and leadership

Very little information regarding the commander or commanders of the GSAF has ever surfaced. Not even Grey Storm's allies are aware of who is in charge of the group.

Due to the nature of their uniforms and the lack of any rank indications, even identifying ranking personnel among infantry is practically impossible.

Activities and zone of influence

The GSAF rarely operate outside of the Northern hemisphere, and the bulk of their operations are conducted within the Arctic Circle. Nome of the GSAF's home bases have never been located, though a number of temporary airstrips and outposts have been documented over the years at various locations throughout the Arctic circle. Some photographic evidence of at least one large GSAF airbase has emerged in recent years, but the exact size and location of the base still remains a mystery.

GSAF air and sea patrols within the Arctic circle are fairly common, and a number of unidentified submarines believed to be operated by the GSAF have been spotted within the Arctic Circle over the years. Civilian ships such as the Seawise Midget have occasionally been boarded and searched whilst traversing the Arctic seas, though Grey Storm's boarding teams have never inflicted any casualties or significant damage upon civilian vessels and their crews.

A large number of privately owned oil platforms are situated within the areas patrolled by GSAF aircraft and naval vessels, operating seemingly free of hassle from GSAF patrols. This has caused some to speculate that the GSAF may operate these platforms as a front to provide funds for their operations. The companies that operate the oil platforms have made no public comment on these speculations.

Uniforms and appearance

GSAF Infantry

One of the few photos officially released by the GSAF of their personnel, apparrently showing GSAF Rangers posing with their new uniforms for 2015.

The GSAF's uniforms generally consist of flat grey or faintly camouflaged fatigues, with dark grey or black vests and equipment. The only camouflages utilized by the GSAF are faint, angular patterns, and are most commonly used on helmets and vehicles.

GSAF personnel carry no insignias, patches, or other identifying marks on their uniforms, and are almost never seen without their balaclavas.

Vehicles operated by the GSAF are similarly unmarked, and are painted in grey, angular camouflage patterns, or simply painted flat grey.

Aircraft

The majority of the aircraft operated by the GSAF are unlicensed copies of Russian and American designs. It is believed that the GSAF manufacture their own customized and highly improved variants of these aircraft, turning aging, obsolete designs back into formidable weapons on today's battlefield.

A number of the GSAF's combat aircraft appear to have been refitted to accept both NATO and Russian weaponry and ordinance, as they have been reportedly seen using both.

Fixed-wing Aircraft

Cargo/Transport Aircraft

  • C-130 Hercules
  • C-17 Globemaster
  • Antonov An-225 "Cossack"

Combat Aircraft

  • F-4 Phantom II
  • MiG-31 "Foxhound"
  • MIG-29 "Fulcrum"
  • Sukhoi T-50 Pak-Fa

Bombers

  • Tupolev TU-160 "Blackjack"
  • Tupolev TU-95 "Bear"

Tankers

  • KC-135 Stratotanker
  • KC-10 Extender

Reconnaisance/Patrol aircraft

  • MiG-25 "Foxbat"
  • P-3 Orion
  • Boeing E-3 Sentry


Rotary-wing Aircraft

Cargo/Utility Helicopters

  • MI-8 "Hip"
  • MI-26 "Halo"
  • Ka-29 "Helix"

Attack Helicopters

  • MI-24 "Hind"
  • Mil Mi-28 "Havoc"

Special Purpose

  • AH-6 "Little Bird"

Weapons

The following is a list of small arms and vehicles that are known to be utilized by the GSAF's personnel. Like the rest of the GSAF's equipment, much of the weaponry used by the GSAF is modified and improved in some way. For example, GSAF operators are frequently seen using the M16A2 in Arctic conditions without issue, suggesting the rifles used by the GSAF are modified to perform more optimally and reliably in the cold and snow of the Arctic Circle.

Small Arms

Assault Rifles

  • M16A2 + M727 Carbine
  • AK-74 + AKS-74U Carbine
  • AK-100 series

Sniper Rifles/Designated Marksman Rifles

  • SV-98
  • Dragunov SVD + SVU

Sidearms

  • SIG Sauer P226
  • MP-443 Grach

General Purpose Machine Guns

  • PKM + PKP
  • M249

Shotguns

  • Remington M870
  • SPAS-12

Rocket Launchers/ATGMs

  • RPG-22
  • AT-4

Vehicle-mounted

  • Browning M2 Machine Gun
  • PKT

Ground vehicles

The GSAF operate a significant number of air-mobile armored and infantry divisions, which are equipped with a selection of lightly armored, air-portable vehicles. Most are either purchased from or produced under license from Russia, though several designs are modifications of existing vehicles, produced by the GSAF themselves.


Light Tanks

  • 2S25 Sprut-SD Tank Destroyer

Main Battle Tanks

  • 'Templar' MBT - Apparrently designed and built by the GSAF, with some similarities to the M1 Abrams and Merkava series. Most often seen armed with what is believed to be a 125mm smoothbore cannon, but variants mounting what appears to be some kind of railgun have also been spotted on exercises. Rumored to be air-deployable, but the practicality of this is dubious.

Infantry Support

  • BMD-4

Armored Personnel Carriers

  • BMD-4 based APC - Similar in concept to the BTR-MD "Rakushka", but built somewhat differently. Utilizes a modified BMD-4 hull minus the turret, sometimes with a remote weapon system mounted on the vehicle commander's hatch. Can be deployed via parachute from cargo aircraft.

Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns

  • 'Arclight' SPAAG - Based on BMD-4 chassis with a turret similar to that of the 9K22 Tunguska. Mounts four reloadable Surface-to-air Missile tubes, and four 30mm autocannons. Can be deployed via parachute from cargo aircraft.

Selt-Propelled Artillery

  • 2S9 "Nona" - Grey Storm's version of the 2S9 "Nona" self-propelled 120mm mortar utilizes a BMD-4 chassis, presumably for parts compatability with their other airborne vehicles. Can be deployed via parachute from cargo aircraft. Very rarely seen in use.

Transport/Cargo/Utility Vehicles (WIP)

  • add a utility vehicle/jeep thing that can be airdropped
  • add a heavy cargo truck here kali (probably something like a KRAZ-260)
  • add a general cargo truck here (like an URAL-4320 or something)
  • also add some kind of fast attack vehicle
  • snowmobiles
  • GAZ-71?
  • BVS-10

Other equipment

The GSAF are known to operate a single carrier group and an unknown number of patrol ships and submarines.

The largest ship of the GSAF's carrier group is the ex-Novorossiysk. The ship was believed to have been sold for scrap in the 1990s, but ended up in the hands of the GSAF through unknown circumstances. According to UN inspectors that were permitted to board the ship in 2001, the GSAF have extensively refitted the ship, and have even installed a nuclear reactor to power the vessel.

The other vessels in the carrier group are upgraded ex-Russian naval vessels, most of which were similarly thought to have been sold for scrap in the 1980s and 1990s.

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