Island Thunder C04
Walkthrough By Jester
Published : 16 October 2002
Feedback : Here
C01 C02 C03 C04 C05 C06 C07 C08

Hidden Spectre
Cabo Pepe, Isla de la Juventud

Objectives

1 - Seize airfield
2 - Plant charges at ammo dump
3 - Reach extraction zone
X - Neutralize all opposition


Introduction

Let me preface this with some administrative notes. This is not your typical walk-through. As an old saying goes, "There's more than one way to skin a cat." Rather than present to you a traditional walk-through with my idea of how this mission should be completed, I have set this up as an intelligence briefing on what you can expect. First, there is basic mission information from your briefing. Next, I break down what you can expect from the opposition forces with regard to strength, equipment, locations and patrol routes. Following that, you will see what kinds of reactions to expect from the enemy. Finally, I will give some tips on potential strategies and tell you what worked for me on this mission. The finally decision about how to tackle this one is entirely up to you. Please note that the whole point of this is to give you 'spoilers' about the mission in order to help you complete it. Please stop reading now if you do not want any surprises ruined.

Briefing

Buckle up, people. You're going to Isla de la Juventud, a hundred miles south of the main island. Batista used it for political prisoners, but Castro turned it into a tourist trap. The beaches are nice, but half the island's still swamp, and guess which part you're going to be seeing.
The FDG's got an airfield right in the middle of one of those swamps, on the western side of the island. They've been using it for weapons transfers - the plane that dropped off those packages you recovered on the tobacco plantation flew out of there - and to dabble in the drug trade. By shutting it down, we shut down one of their primary supply pipelines.
You'll be inserting by boat on this one, so be prepared. Your two main objectives are the airfield itself and the ammunition storage dump nearby. Seize one and then plant demolition charges to destroy the other. After that, get out as quickly as you can. With the way things are going on the main island, we don't expect that the airfield is heavily defended, but that's no guarantee.

Opposition Forces

 

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Key:

Green = present on all difficulty levels
Red = present on elite only
Yellow = strength of team varies by difficulty level

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B1 = One man on all difficulty levels. Second man added on elite. Armed with vz58s. Patrol(s) indicated zone south of footbridge.
B2 = One man patrol in indicated zone, north of footbridge. Armed with rp46.
C = A three-man patrol that walks around cluster of three small buildings. Armed with vz58s.
D = Guards approach to small building. Cover arc shown on map. Armed with z84.
E = Two man stationary team at southwest airfield gate. Both personnel are armed with vz58s.
F = Main airfield defense/patrol force. Number present ranges from eight to nineteen, depending on difficulty level. Some stationed in fixed locations on airfield and inside buildings. Others patrol airstrip. Weapons include vz58s, rp46s, and degtyarevs.
G = Two-man stationary team located at east airfield gate and armed with vz58s.
H = Lone sniper located at northeast corner of airfield. Armed with Dragunov. Firing arc indicated.
I1 = Lone guard patrolling road between Ammo Dump and southwest airfield gate. Armed with vz58.
I2 = Two to three man on guard at Ammo Dump. All are armed with vz58s.
J = One to three man patrol in indicated zone. Armed with vz58(s).
K = Two man patrol, armed with vz58s. Responsible for northwest section of outer road.
L = Up to four men armed with a mix of weaponry. Patrol designated area.
M = Up to four men armed with a mix of weaponry. Patrol designated area.
N = Four personnel in two jeeps, all armed with vz58s.
O = Four man patrol, armed with a mix of weaponry. Patrol designated area.

Trigger Plans

 

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Alerts - These trigger plans go into effect when the enemy has been alerted to the presence of your team in some way. This does not always have to be the result of being spotted. Too much noise can cause an alert trigger plan to be activated.

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E = If the guards at the southwest airfield gate are alerted to the presence of your team, they will immediately run to the northeast corner of the hangar and take up defensive positions in order to protect the aircraft/airfield.
G = If the two men guarding the east airfield gate are alerted, they will immediately run to the wrecked helicopter in the southeast corner of the airfield and take up defensive positions.

Ambush! - If any member of your team enters the ambush zone delineated on the map, then the proverbial waste matter will impact the air circulation device. This single act will send ripples through the opposition forces arrayed about the airfield and outlying areas. Needless to say, this could be hazardous to the health of your team. The mission can be completed without triggering the ambush - however, 1) you have to be pretty careful and 2) while an interesting exercise, it takes something away from the overall experience of this mission. If you have already experienced this ambush and are having trouble progressing beyond this map, then I recommend trying to avoid engaging it by not entering the ambush trigger zone.

F = Once the ambush is triggered, the airfield defense force will issue forth from the buildings and do their utmost to help you and your team give your lives for your country. They will take up various defensive positions and/or initiate patrols of the airfield (as depicted on the map) until they locate you and will then engage with maximum violence.
L & M = These two patrols will immediately run for the gates adjacent to their respective patrol areas and enter the airfield grounds to take up defensive positions, as indicated.
N = The two jeeps will immediately race down the road to the gate in the southwest corner of the airfield perimeter fence. Upon entering the airfield, they will travel down the runway to the east end and the soldiers will disembark and prepare to engage your forces.

Courses of Action

As in all Ghost Recon missions, the tactics and plans employed by your team are entirely up to you. There are as many different ways to perform this mission as there are players. One common factor -- no matter which approach you take, you will need at least one demolitions specialist equipped with demo charges in order to complete the mission.

The more-or-less 'traditional' approach to this mission would involve a team with a mixture of weapons/specialties conducting a coordinated assault on the enemy. One element could advance from the beach across the footbridge while another advance by the huts to the east. Advancing onto the airfield itself will trigger the ambush and all heck will break loose. This can be frustrating for some players, but others may find it an interesting challenge to deal with, particularly on the harder difficulty levels. Most of the approaches to this mission are variations on this one, using different tactics and avenues of approach for your teams. Often, the best way to use this approach is to maximize violence on the objective by having all of your forces converge on the target simultaneously with as much firepower as you can muster.

The way that I completed this mission was also something of a challenge. Using three teams, I stacked Bravo team with two demolitions men and loaded Charlie team with two riflemen and a support gunner. Alpha team consisted of one specialist armed with a suppressed M4 carbine. I used Ramirez, my Alpha team member, to slowly stalk the enemy and eliminate all resistance. I completed the mission in 37:27 with 41 kills for Ramirez on Veteran difficulty by slowly crawling around the map, so as not to alert the enemy, and quietly eliminating them with single shots whenever possible. The route I used is depicted in the two screen shots below. The key was to eliminate all opposition forces outside the airfield before entering the ambush zone. If you can do that, then the forces that the enemy can bring to bear on you will be significantly less than he could otherwise. By the time I triggered the ambush, there were less than half a dozen enemy troops left and almost all were located inside the airfield's buildings. When using this approach, remember to walk, not run, and crawl when necessary. This will help keep the enemy from being alerted to your presence. You can also use a lone sniper for this approach, but I prefer the M4 because I can lay down suppressive fire with it when necessary in bursts.

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