The four disenfranchised pilots were enticed to Diego Garcia, where they met with the local Venezuelan cultural attaché. They were informed that they had been chosen to form a mercenary flight, and infiltrate Gryphon Security, a prominent PMC. The cultural attaché refused to answer direct answers concerning why, but offered significant monetary rewards for successful penetration of Gryphon, part of it payed up front.
"Grizzly" Jack Guessler - Air-to-Ground Specialist - Flight LeadEdit
Jack Guessler was born on the first of September, 1966, in Smithfield,
North Carolina. His father worked some land and as a mechanic while his mother worked at a DUPONT plant in Kingston, two counties away. Despite being the Johnston County seat, Smithfield was still a very poor town and When Jack was twelve, he started working under the table picking tobacco to help support his family, which had grown with the birth of his sister. He attended Smithfield-Selma High School and played football as a tight end, graduating in 1986. He escaped poverty by attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, paying for it by joining the AFROTC. Finishing four years later, he transferred into "the last great fighter squadron" and began flying F-4s. Jack first saw combat during Operation Desert Storm, where he performed SEAD missions against Iraq. He also took part in the truncated Operation Vigilant Warrior and helped prevent Iraqi attempts to prevent coalition enforcement of the no-fly-zone in Operation Southern Comfort. In 1996 The venerable F-4 was finally retired and the squadron deactivated. Rather than transfer to another SEAD unit using F-16s, Jack decided instead to join the 82 ATRS at Tyndall, where he finished his career. After serving for twenty years, the now Colonel Guessler retired in 2006 and moved to the Emerald Isle, North Carolina, and spent the next few years lazing on the beach. Unfortunately, hidden amongst the cuts in the defense budget were military pensions, and Jack had to work again. He saw an ad for EIDS that gave a number to call. At first he thought it was a fake commercial because the number had a 555 prefix, but seeing as he had nothing to lose, he called anyway, and was surprised when it actually rang and some one answered...
Haakon was born the son of Gustav, a farmer in Oppland. Smack dab in the middle of 3 siblings, he learned when to talk, and when to bite. Having the standard Norwegian upbringing however, did not prevent the RNoAF from grabbing his attention, and at his first conscription meeting, got sent to the first round of selection at the RNoAF Air-War School. Passed without distinction in either the lower or higher segment.
The education was rough, but enjoyable, but left him with a distaste for Arizona and Norwegian-English, as it conflicted with his idea of doing a job properly. His duty years passed, and he did average for himself, never hitting the ends of the spectrum. Doing this allowed him to get quite a bit of "free" time, that he spent on the simulators and in other aircraft, building on his F-16 experience and education. What marked the turning point, was two events, that would affect the RNoAF in ways he was not pleased with. The first, was the inability of the RNoAF to acquire proper numbers of aircraft, the second was the idiotic idea of the whole RNoAF shifting to the F-35. Haakon had always been a strong opponent to that idea, favoring instead that the RNoAF should get some of the wealth the rest of the nation was showing off, and invest it in several types of aircraft. Getting involved in the black market for his specific type of subset, was an idea that formed in his mind, during the "Kongo" affair. He remembered that a few of his school mates, who had left the service with dishonorable discharges, had gotten work with some company or another. And so he pulled a few strings, and got lined up for a job. Taking his leave from the RNoAF was simple, all his personal belongings he could pack in a bag that he could pass of as hand-luggage at any airport. And so, without further drama or special event, Haakon the average man, left for greener pastures, in the private sector. Speaks fluent Norwegian and English. Speaks semi-understandable German.
Teemu grew up in Helsinki, the first son to a pilot in the Finnish Air Force. The first of four children and the only son, he quickly became enamored with the prospect of continuing the family tradition of flying. Claiming a relation to noted Finnish pilot Hans Wind, Teemu was certain success was in his blood. He preempted conscription and received a commission into the Finnish military, where he underwent training at the Tikkakoski Air Force Academy. He received excellent marks for both formal schooling and practical application. He completed his training and became a professional pilot. After a few years, however, he became jaded with the prospect of growing into administrative duties. Due to his prominent father and grandfather, it was suspected by many that he would eventually work his way into a more prominent role in the military hierarchy. Feeling as though he would be unhappy with such a life, he quietly allowed his commission to expire and began searching for alternatives. For a short time, he served as a flight instructor in Finland, until he was able to apply for service to a mercenary outfit operationally located primarily in Eastern Europe. He made excellent practice of his training, proving, at least to himself, that the fortune of his birth was true. It was during this time that he gained experience in a few more western airframes and even a short period were he flew in a MiG-29A against other Soviet Bloc fighters. A reputation began to build as an excellent dogfighter, able to avoid seemingly every enemy attack. Eventually, he again found himself rising faster than he wished in the administrative chain. Too proud to claim or act incompetent, he left the company, citing personal differences, while privately he blamed the lack of challenges being offered to him. He placed himself back on the market, keeping an eye out for the exceptionally dangerous and well paying opportunities for peoples of his skill set. He maintains a house in Helsinki, under the care of relatives, and he makes it a point to return to his home often, at least once a year. Fluent in Finnish, Russian, and English.
Born to prominent Ba'ath party members in 1965, Jamail always wanted to fly. He was particularly influenced
on a family trip to Moscow in the early 70's, during which he watched a fly-by of Soviet bombers during a parade. Completely enamored with something so big managing to fly, Jamail dedicated himself to becoming a bomber pilot. He got his chance during the Iran-Iraq war. His parents used their influence in the party to put him on the fast track to and in flight school, and in 1985 he got his wings. He was assigned to one of the Iraqi Tu-22 flights. However, the need of the Tu-16 flight quickly saw him reassigned, and he spent the rest of the war in a Badger over Iran. Peacetime brought medals and promotions, and Jamail's career was looking brighter than ever. His family's party ties and his conduct during the war allowed him to escape the purges after the war, and those same purges accelerated him to the commander's seat. However, Desert Storm would change all of that. By a sheer stroke of luck, Jamail was on medical leave visiting his parents in Baghdad when the Coalition forces started their bombing campaign. He pointedly did not like being on the receiving end of bombings and missile attacks. Desert Storm left him without a plane to fly, and then the uprisings of 1991 saw his parents killed. He was dismissed from the Air Force during the 90's, and the invasion in 2003 saw him working as a semi driver. During the occupation, he heard rumors of Iranian agents taking revenge on Iraqi pilots from the war, but he took no heed. It was not until his former commander wound up shot in his own home did realize the danger he was in. Jamail immediately made a break for parts unknown, and by late 2004 he was in Africa. On the constant lookout for Iranian agents, Jamail decided the safest place for himself was a combat zone. He signed on with a mercenary company and started flying an An-12 in and out of combat zones for the next ten years, although an AK is never far from his reach. By 2015, he has acquired a reputation in the industry as an old-reliable who is cool under fire (since nothing in Africa compares to the air war over Iran). By this time, the drums of war are starting to beat again. Jamail has heard of the opportunities for pilots with combat experience, and that ones with bomber time are even more in demand. Looking back at his life up to this point, Jamail made a decision. It is time to stop running and hiding. If he is going to die, so be it. At least he would have been able to return to his beloved Tu-16, instead of living the rest of his life looking over his shoulder for an Iranian assassin. Jamail has had first-world combat experience in a Tupolev Tu-16 Badger, and third-world comabt experience in an Antonov An-12 Cub. He speaks fluent Arabian and Russian, and a working grasp of English and French.
Born in Colorado Springs, Rupert was raised within earshot of, what had been at the time, one of America's proudest schools, the United States Air Force Academy. From when he was young he had a fascination with the flying machines. He, before he even had a driver's license, convinced his father to get him a pilot's license, spending most of his time in the air with cheap props and retired WW2 planes. By the time he was fifteen, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with himself in life: be a part of the US Air Force. He pushed his way though school, doing good enough to be accepted into the USAFA, where he studied for a computer science degree, not interested in the computer science as much as the flying and commanding. And he excelled at piloting, if not commanding. He seemed much to happy to simply be in the sky while they didn't give him weapons. When the dummy weapons were first introduced, he was much less proficient in firing on opposing planes as he was at firing on ground targets. He always assumed it was just how long he'd spent flying close in the mountains that gave him the skills to hit ground targets, so his trainers made sure he was focused on it. When he graduated with a bachelor's in computer science, Rupert was immediately sent off on peacekeeping, as his computer science degree offered diddly squat in terms of employment. Although he was able to maintain himself well, he seemed out of touch with the people he was supposed to be "liberating". So, in 2013, in a day that will live on in the leak-sites of the internet, he struck a mosque with a 300kg dumb bomb intended for a reported ammo cache 500 meters off the eventual target, killing 29 and injuring 15, including women and children. In the ensuing investigation, it was found that the release mechanism was faulty, but due to Tellard's distinct lack of remorse, he was discharged without honors. Still craving that flying and that fighting, but looking for a place he wasn't bound to maintaining appearances for people he didn't know or care of, he soon made his way to Djibouti in 2015, looking for work with someone who'd give him the chance to shine as a man who lived for utter destruction with a plane.
Born in Ireland to an Irishman and a French mother, Donovan was always a headstrong youth. He bullied other boys, started drinking when he was seven, smoking when he was nine, and by the time he was eleven his mother had had enough. She divorced his father (a drinker himself, and no disciplinarian), and swept little Donovan away to France to live with her family. This did not please the young Donovan. He became a hellion, thrashing the children that lived in his neighborhood, and stealing from the merchants for a thrill. Donovan was a delinquent, but he was also extremely smart. It took him less than a year to learn French to a workable level, with no formal instruction (his mother tried to teach him at home, and homeschooled him for a time as well), and was fluent the next year. He finally drove his mother to send him away to a boarding school, where she hoped he'd learn discipline. He was sent home eight months later, having set fire to the chapel while hiding for a cigarette between classes. His mother, desperate, simply threw up her arms and sent him to public school. He enjoyed the freedom much more, and to her surprise, calmed down some. He gave up smoking but not drinking, though he replaced his love of hard liquor with wine; this was a habit she could tolerate. Donovan passed through school, still raising hell and skipping classes, as well as drinking on campus, but he managed to graduate with a fair grade. He then was sent off to university, and here he thrived. For some reason, he had gotten it into his head that he wanted to fly, and so he studied aviation, engineering, and mathematics religiously. However, his mother did not have the money to keep him in school, and his grades were not the best pre-uni, so he had to drop out several times. He had trouble holding down a job (beat one of his superiors to unconsciousness for raising their voice at him), and so he turned to the military academy, hoping to become a pilot. He had severe disciplinary issues while in the academy, but was brilliant in his studies, and warmed to several officers, so he eventually passed, and joined the officer prep program. He then was instated into the FFAA, and assigned to training. He got on well with his superiors, and passed his training, and was then assigned to the 11F Flotille, piloting a Super Etendard. He managed to keep out of trouble for several years, but when his superiors retired or were re-assigned, he did not get on well with their replacements. He had been passed over several times for promotion due to his bad habits, but always managed to avoid severe disciplinary action due to his friendships with his commanding officers. Now, he was at the mercy of men that did not like him, and that he did not care for. It was not long before he struck one of them, beating them into a pulp after 'violating his personal space'. Soon after, the inevitable happened, and he was discharged from French service. He took up with a few PMCs, flying outdated airframes, until the economy collapsed. He then signed on with a flight in Africa, having heard about it from a friend who had been in the Legion, only to get angry when his flight lead ordered him to fire on civilians without confirmed threat from any source. Refusing the order, Donovan shot his FL down, and ditched his Super Etendard in an empty plain north of the Op Area. He paid what little cash he had to be smuggled out of the country, and made his way to Djibouti to try his luck finding a flight "filled with less cowardly fucks and more real pilots".
From a family where both his father and grandfather served in the RAF, it was only fitting that the young Stark also enlisted with Her Majesty's Aerial Warfare branch.Graduating from the Royal Air Force College, Cramwell in 2001, he requested, and was assigned a position with the No. 31 RAF Squadron; his grandfather’s old unit. In 2003, his unit was mobilised for ‘Operation Telic’ or what would eventually be known as the 2nd Gulf War. Flying the Tornado GR.4, 31 Squadron took on many roles, including Air Interdiction, Close Air Support and SEAD.In 2007, Flt Lt. Stark was injured during a mortar attack on Basra Air Station. Despite shrapnel injuries to his arm, he assisted base personnel in evacuating more critically injured servicemen before finally allowing himself to be treated. He returned to his squadron after 7 months. When 31 Squadron withdrew from Iraq in 2009, he was offered a transfer to a desk position in light of his injuries. Not wanting to relinquish his wings, Flt Lt. Stark naturally refused. His unit was later redeployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick in the same roles. His injuries, however, came back to haunt him as cuts in the RAF budget resulted in him being discharged from the Service in 2013. Out of a job and still raring for more, Sqn Ldr (Ret.) Rufus Stark packed his bag, returning once again to the deserts of the gulf.
Walter "Jager" Johannes - Air-to-Ground Specialist (Deceased)Edit
Walter Johannes was an Aircraft Maintenance Technician with the US Airforce during Desert Storm, and the recent Iraqi War. Having served his term, the now 43 year-old Johannes, proud of his training and service, sought his next big thrill. Not having the grades to be a pilot, Walt was grounded, and joined up with the ground crew to get the next best thing, in his mind: keeping the birds in the air. He proved to be a stellar tech, and with service extension after service extension, he just got better and better. In his last term, however, his career finally interfered with his private life one too many times, and his wife of 11 years left him, taking the children. Disappointed but not broken, when his term came up, he opted to retire, and try something else with his life. He took some time to visit his kids while he pondered what to do, and in the end, it was his son Andrew that gave him the idea: "Daddy, you wanted to be a pilot right? So... do that!" This little bit of wisdom proved to be the fire in his belly that he needed, and soon he was training, studying, schooling, and testing himself as best he could. He knew the ins and outs of a control panel, and what made a bird tick. He just had to get behind the cockpit, and stretch his wings. He trained on civilian jets, and even landed a spot piloting jets in air shows, making passes, as well as taxiing planes around the airfield. The vets he hooked up with joked that he should get a real job as a pilot, and that what he was doing was old man's work. He didn't agree, but he did agree that making a real career out of it was what he really wanted. Not wanting to sign on with an airline or anything like that, a call to home gave him the inspiration yet again. Andy was right there to tell him what to do. "Dad, you should fly planes as a mercenary! I've seen it in movies, it looks cool!" Of course, being 'in the shit' is what Walt had always wanted to do, but his grades had kept him grounded. Now, he might just have the chance. The problem would be finding a plane. He had the know how to get her flying, but didn't know where he could get one, or even who he could work for. His ethics and personality wouldn't let him work for just anyone, and he had no idea who he could ask. But, one day when poking around at a veteran's club, he got a tip about a gig in Djbouti that might be his ticket into the blue.
He is notable as the only pilot lost during the Iranian attack on Djibouti.