Operating under the direct command of NATO's highest echelons, CTRG is a multi-national special forces unit that conducts clandestine, black operations throughout the globe.
CTRG's existence is neither acknowledged or recognised by NATO, and all operations involving the unit are always publicly denied or are conducted under the guise of other conventional forces.
Its known specialities include but are not limited to, assassination, psychological warfare, counterinsurgency, and military technology espionage.
All activities are coordinated through the forces' internal network, which is designated as CTRG Central. The intranet is used to relay mission orders, gathered intelligence and electronic data, as well as providing a secure communications channel for operatives deployed in the field.
Though the exact size of CTRG is not fully known, the organisation is shown to be structured into different "Groups" which are scattered to various countries throughout the world.
Group 14 was previously stationed in the Republic of Altis and Stratis, but were later covertly transferred to the South Pacific region after their mission was aborted following several complications. 14's members operated under the guise of being British special forces from the Royal Navy, and were assigned to supporting the local resistance movement.
Group 15 meanwhile, was stationed on Tanoa, the main island in the South Pacific nation of the Horizon Islands. Their operation was conducted under the cover of conventional Pacific NATO forces operating in the country as part of the "Safe Horizon" joint exercises.
Other than Groups 14/15, at least six other groups are known to exist as of the events of Apex Protocol, with seven more presumed to be located elsewhere in the world. Each of the groups are stationed at their respective area of operations:
Group 14's members consist predominately of operatives with a British background, while 15's members are mostly American. Though the nationalities of the other Groups are not known, they too are presumably made up of members from different NATO countries depending on the region they're operating in.
Little information is officially known about CTRG's exact date of organisation.
However, the unit has presumably been active for at least a decade prior to the events of The East Wind, as Group 14's operatives were already providing covert assistance for Altian government loyalist forces as early as 2026 at the onset of the Altian Civil War.
In recent years, CTRG's priorities have also begun to shift eastward towards the Asia-Pacific region, as the unit refocuses its ISTAR assets for counter-cyber operations in the South China Sea.
Events of Beyond Hope (2026)
NOTE: This section contains spoilers from ArmA 3's Tac-Ops Mission Pack DLC scenario 'Beyond Hope'.
Nine years prior to the events of The East Wind, civil war rages on the island country of the Republic of Altis and Stratis in light of the violent coup led by a military official by the name of Georgious Akhanteros.
CTRG's Group 14 was deployed to the nation in order to assist the government loyalists (predecessors of the present-day FIA) who were engaged in a bitter struggle against Akhanteros' AAF and his paramilitary allies. Early in the war, Group 14 actively provided tactical support for the loyalists, and participated in the assault to retake the mountain villages of Galati and Abdera.
Group 14 operated in the country under the guise of being British special forces, but their overall presence in the war was limited and at the same time was divided amongst the loyalists. While most agreed that their help was necessary to achieve victory, many of the loyalists also saw their presence as an attempt to re-establish the United Kingdom's sovereignty over the former colony.
Despite their efforts however, Group 14 were unsuccessful in preventing the loyalists from losing the war. Their activities after the signing of the Jerusalem Cease Fire in 2030, which put an end to the bloodshed, are not known.
Events of The East Wind (2035)
NOTE: This section contains spoilers from ArmA 3's 'The East Wind' campaign.
In spite of the NATO peacekeeping operation coming to a close after a five year-long deployment, the U.S.-led Task Force Aegis on Stratis suddenly finds itself coming under intense attack from the Altis Armed Forces, who are supposedly retaliating against the peacekeepers for unclear reasons.
With all the remaining NATO officers killed in the initial attack, CTRG Group 14's leader, Captain Scott Miller, quickly assumes command of the ragtag survivors and establishes a hidden base in the now-decommissioned Camp Maxwell in order to help the survivors retake the initiative.
Miller and his CTRG team are viewed (rightly) with suspicion by the survivors of TF Aegis, who find their presence especially peculiar due to British Army forces having been pulled out of the country many months prior to the attack. Nonetheless, the survivors follow him without question as Miller was the only high ranking NATO officer left amongst them.
During one offensive to assault the AAF-held Air Station Mike-26, a CTRG team led by Lieutenant James demolishes the satellite communications facility after securing it in order to prevent the facility from "falling into enemy hands". In reality, CTRG needed to prevent word of the AAF attack from getting out in order to delay any NATO reinforcements from arriving to assist TF Aegis.
In order to further incite and draw additional forces to be brought from the mainland, CTRG plan an assassination attempt against an AAF officer in the town of Girna.
Though the survivors of TF Aegis were deceived that the high value target was one of Akhanteros' men and the leader of the AAF garrison on Stratis, the operatives knew that the target was just another low-ranked officer and was not the target they were after. The attempt is successful, and the AAF are provoked into sending more reinforcements to reinforce the Stratis garrison.
With supplies running critically low, the survivors of TF Aegis are informed by Miller that he has arranged a meeting with the FIA, a rebel group from the mainland, that would be able to provide them the necessary contraband to continue their fight.
On the following day, the survivors meet up with the resistance members, but are also unsuccessful once again after the caches are destroyed by the AAF. Maxwell itself soon comes under heavy attack by AAF artillery, and forces the NATO troops to fall back to the camp.
Returning to what was left of their hideout, Miller soon informs the survivors that his team "managed" to contact NATO MEDCOM during the chaos (despite the destruction of Mike-26). The surviving group then assaults Agia Marina in an effort to create a bridgehead to NATO reinforcements. The AAF are forced to retreat and the initiative is retaken by TF Aegis, but in a sudden move are reinforced by CSAT airborne units.
Now outgunned and undermanned, the remnants of TF Aegis are completely overrun and are almost wiped out entirely by the surprise attack. Miller's team arranges a fast extract via boat from the island with whoever was left. Upon "escaping" together at last, Miller informs the survivors that they were headed to the mainland in order to continue the fight against the AAF with the help of the FIA resistance.
The survivors voice their doubts with Miller's idea, but have little choice and are forced to accept CTRG's plans. Before they could get any further however, AAF jets suddenly overfly the boats and capsize both vessels with air-to-ground missiles, killing most of the survivors in the process.
Though the surprise ambush had resulted in the deaths of one of their members, Group 14 itself managed to arrive mostly intact on the mainland near the former capital of Kavala. They were posted on overwatch overlooking the city, observing a joint CSAT-AAF task force conduct counterinsurgency ops aimed at destroying the guerilla caches in the city.
Miraculously, one of the peacekeepers from TF Aegis, U.S. Army Corporal Ben Kerry, had managed to somehow survive the attack and also washed up ashore on the beaches near the city. James tells him of their location, and Kerry manages to sneak his way past the entrenched CSAT and AAF troops nearby to link up with the operatives.
It is soon revealed that CTRG has been working with the local guerillas from the very beginning of the conflict on Altis. On the way back however, their position is compromised by a CSAT patrol, and are forced to change plans. James sends Kerry alone to regroup with the FIA commander, Kostas Stavrou, where he is eventually told to drive back to the FIA's main camp in the northwestern section of the island.
On their way, it is also revealed that Miller survived the attack as well. Kerry makes his way towards Miller's position and rescues him from a CSAT patrol that had managed to surround the Captain. Afterwards, Kerry and Miller make their way towards the camp on foot.
In the coming weeks, the FIA conducted more raids on the AAF with occasional help from Group 14. But most of their time was spent (secretly) continuing their search for the mysterious CSAT experimental superweapon.
With CSAT and AAF troops trickling into the west, their search expanded towards the east while the former were preoccupied in dealing with the guerillas. The team noted that the north-east of the island was particularly well-fortified and was off-limits to even the AAF itself. Thus, they began to increase their efforts in combing the region for any sign of the device.
They planned an assassination attempt on a CSAT officer making his way towards Kavala, which they hoped would draw more forces to divert westward. During an operation to obtain more fuel for the guerillas, Miller informs the guerillas of full cistern that was under heavy guard by CSAT forces.
Kerry manages to retrieve the cistern, but Miller asks that he hand it over to the team instead to help in the assassination. To their surprise however, Kerry keeps the cistern and manages to destroy the CSAT officer's convoy without CTRG intervention. Needless to say, the officer's death prompts even more enemy troops to head westward.
But before they could continue their search, they first needed to assist the FIA in retrieving one of their own key members; the very same guerilla leader that was captured back on Stratis. With their aid, the FIA are finally able to rescue the prisoner after CTRG assault Camp Tempest.
Eventually, CTRG are able to finally narrow down their search to an unmarked facility located in the north-east near Molos/Sofia. But the facility was too well-guarded; a direct assault to seize the device now would be suicide. To make matters worse, an actual counterinvasion by NATO was planned to take place.
Miller informs the guerillas of the impending invasion by NATO, and advises them to attack the towns of Poliakko and Therisa while he would co-ordinate efforts with the invasion forces. Neither himself nor the rest of his team are present to assist with the assaults however, and to the shock of the FIA, NATO helicopters open fire on the AAF and the guerillas as well, killing Kostas Stavrou in the process and instantly crippling the entire operation.
Luckily for the FIA however, Kerry manages to prevent further bloodshed by communicating directly with the invasion force who immediately cease fire on the guerillas. It is later revealed that NATO forces were never contacted by Miller, and have absolutely no record of him or his team.
Through deliberate sabotage by CTRG, the 111th Infantry Division (111th ID) drive headlong into the entrenched CSAT-AAF force at the Altis International Airport, and are forced to retreat all the way back to Neochori in order to regroup.
Even so, time was beginning to run out for the team. As NATO began to slowly push eastward, so too were the bulk of CSAT troops who were now retreating in the same direction as well to avoid further fighting with the invaders.
Just as the primary NATO force began its main assault against the bulk of remaining AAF troops near Molos, CSAT were making preparations to extract the device from the facility at the same time. With no choice left, Miller decides to order an attack on the facility now. Though they manage to get close, the assault ends in complete failure with Group 14 suffering large numbers of casualties, and James himself being wounded in the process.
As a last resort, James tries to contact Kerry to take the device but Kerry, having been told to ignore and "...stay the hell away from those Brits and their black ops bullshit" by Armstrong, disregards the message and follows through with his orders.
The device is successfully extracted by CSAT special forces, and the entire operation on Altis ends in failure for CTRG. Likewise, Group 14 is presumed to have been annihilated in the process as well and "...go dark".
Events of Apex Protocol (2035)
NOTE: This section contains spoilers from ArmA 3 Apex's 'Apex Protocol' campaign.
Group 15 is deployed to the South Pacific island nation of the Horizon Islands after a local criminal organisation, known simply as the Syndikat, attacks and seizes vast regions of the central landmass of Tanoa.
Two teams from Group 15, callsigns Raider 1 and Raider 2, are sent under the guise of participating in a counterinsurgency operation alongside conventional Pacific NATO forces, who are working in-conjunction with the local authorities.
CTRG worked on the basis of actionable intelligence which determined that the tsunami was artificially caused, and was likely the result of a sub-sea earthquake triggered by "Eastwind"; the very same device that Group 14 were after on Altis. At the same time, they were working to find the location of Captain Miller, codename Keystone, who had been captured by the Syndikat while he was investigating the group.
In the process of rooting out Syndikat's caches, an informant known as "Blue Cap" provides the teams with critical information on Syndikat's leader, callsign Warlock. Group 15 tries to assassinate the leader but come up short after multiple failed attempts and dead ends.
Blue Cap eventually informs Group 15 on the elusive leader's main hideout, which they immediately proceed to strike under the cover of darkness. However instead of Warlock, they find a badly beaten and cold corpse of Blue Cap himself.
To make matters worse, Group 15 suddenly finds itself under fire from unknown assailants. Fortunately for Group 15, both teams are able to survive the attempt and annihilate the attackers.
Upon closer inspection, they realise them have been too well-equipped to be from Syndikat, and discover that the attackers were actually Chinese CSAT operatives. Unable to determine their motive, Group 15 put aside their investigation on the attackers for now and continue with trying to find Keystone.
Intel leftover by Blue Cap and additional evidence gathered by Group 15 finally point to the hideout where Keystone was being hidden. Both Raider teams move into position to clear the hideout, and finally free Captain Miller from captivity.
Miller provides Group 15 with important information regarding both the attackers, now known as Viper Team, and the CSAT superweapon device, which he confirms was responsible for causing the Pacific disaster.
With Syndikat and Viper hot on their heels, both teams and Miller needed to escape immediately if they were to have any chance of putting a halt to Viper's operation. However, their initial escape route is blocked off when the boat is sunk, and their extraction helicopter also comes under fire as well. The operatives are forced to escape on foot via the same boats that they inserted with.
Upon reaching safety, Miller is immediately debriefed and provides further information regarding Viper's intentions. Another raid is conducted by Group 15, this time on Sosovu Island to the west. Their goal is secure and retrieve the Eastwind device from Viper's black site that was hidden somewhere on the island.
Both teams manage to fight and clear their way through the bulk of the insurgents and eventually, reach the primary black site itself. Instead of Eastwind however, they only find the corpses of several Viper operatives, and a video recording of Warlock executing Viper Team's officer; vowing revenge for their betrayal and threatening to sell Eastwind to the highest bidder.
Despite the setback, Group 15 manages to secure more valuable intelligence; information detailing CSAT's so-called "Apex Protocol", a highly classified geopolitical strategy aimed at destabilising Western nations with a combination of Eastwind itself, Viper Team, and economic subterfuge.
Time was running short for Group 15 however, as they needed to find Maru as soon as possible before he could sell the device or worse, use it against them and Viper. Intelligence finally locates him at the Blue Pearl Harbour, where he and his remaining forces are spotted arranging a secret deal with Viper.
Moving into position near the harbour, Raider 1 attempts to secure Eastwind's secondary disarming key and the device itself, while Raider 2 attacks the site of the deal and attempts to retrieve the primary key. Along with the Viper operatives, Maru is finally killed in the attack by Group 15 but to their shock, discover that the former managed arm Eastwind as a last ditch move.
Fighting their way to the device against the remaining insurgents, Eastwind is finally found stashed away on the very edge of the harbour. With the disarm keys at hand, Miller attempts to input both into the device in the hopes of preventing Eastwind from being fully activated.
At that same moment however, Group 15 comes under heavy fire, this time from Viper, who are determined to retake the device before CTRG can retrieve it.
Viper throw everything that they have left at the teams, with even more operatives being ferried in via VTOLs. Raiders 1 and 2 are almost overrun, but at the last minute are saved by the rest of Group 14, who are revealed to have survived the failed attack back on Altis.
With Group 14's assistance, Viper are driven off entirely with the last of the attackers being completely annihilated. Another helicopter is soon flown in, and proceeds to slingload Eastwind with Groups 14 and 15 escorting it away.
|«|| Broadale: Hey, before we move on to the brief. I can't help but notice just one thing here, gents. There's been no mention of this 'Eastwind' device. Zero.|
Miller: Oh, that. Yes. No, we saw no reason to complicate matters further.
Broadale questions the lack of Eastwind's existence in the media
With the exposition of CSAT's "Apex Protocol" to the worldwide media, the organisation was now under severe international pressure and was in danger of total collapse.
Meanwhile, CTRG managed to escape with the Eastwind device intact, where it is eventually brought to an undisclosed location. Its existence has yet to be revealed to the public.
|«|| It's in safe hands now.|
Like their CSAT counterpart, CTRG have access to the latest in experimental and prototype NATO equipment. Their standard issue uniform is a modified version of the combat fatigues worn by conventional NATO forces, but is designed with thermal masking technology that when combined with a special balaclava, camouflages them from head to toe completely against infrared sensors.
Headgear varies depending on the area of operations. 14's operatives for example, simply wear compact Light Combat Helmets (LCH) that are painted in a variety of snakeskin and arid-themed camouflage patterns. 15's members on the other hand, wear Tropic Dazzle-camouflaged special combat helmets that not only mask them from thermal sensors, but provide full-face protection against small arms fire as well.
Except for certain cases when cover is required (i.e. Group 14 posing as British special forces), their helmets and plate carriers are usually left unmarked and lack the national flag found on standard NATO gear.
Due to the nature of their operations, CTRG operatives use equipment based on personal preferences and are not forced to choose from a specific set of firearms like their CSAT counterpart. For instance, operatives from Group 15 often utilise the SPAR-16 family of 5.56 mm assault rifles, but 14's members prefer to employ the 6.5 mm-chambered MX instead.
In the case of optoelectronics, CTRG tend to avoid the older binocular-style night vision goggles used by conventional forces and usually carry the ENVG-II panoramic goggles instead, which provide access to both night and black/white-hot thermal vision modes.
CTRG mainly utilises Prowler LSVs and the UH-80 Ghost Hawk for ground/air transportation. In the case of missions that span distances too great for the Ghost Hawk, they rely on V-44X Blackfish VTOLs instead and "requisition" transportation sourced from the local population; if stealth or improvisation is required.
- Miller's Group 14 appears to possess the highest authority and secrecy even within CTRG itself, as the members of Group 15 were completely unaware that most of its members survived the events of The East Wind after they had apparently "gone dark".
- It is heavily implied that Miller's team were responsible for calling in the cluster airstrike that devastated the village of Oreokastro in the Remnants of War campaign for the Laws of War DLC.
- Hints include the discovery of NATO mil-spec 5.56 mm casings at the castle where the supposed "CSAT special forces" directed the airstrike, as well as the usage of SPAR-16 rifles by the CTRG members that are briefly shown in the ending cutscene for The Redacted memory.
- Likewise, the non-canon ending of The East Wind (Game Over) essentially confirms that CTRG were largely responsible for the loss of TF Aegis, as well as the destruction of vital NATO facilities such as Air Station Mike-26, and the failure of NATO's initial counterinvasion attempt on Altis during the events of Win.
- Apex Protocol provides further evidence of CTRG's deliberate acts of sabotage in The East Wind, as Miller states that Group 14's goal was the retrieval of the Eastwind device on Altis all along.
- In the final release of Apex, there are only two patches available for both Groups 14 and 15 which are all generically labelled as NATO.
- Interestingly however, there are several unused text strings located within the game files which include separate country-specific codes. These unused entries include:
- CTRG 15 - GE (string name: str_a3_cfgunitinsignia_ctrg15_ge0)
- CTRG 15 - IE (string name: str_a3_cfgunitinsignia_ctrg15_ie0)
- CTRG 15 - PT (string name: str_a3_cfgunitinsignia_ctrg15_pt0)
- CTRG 15 - UK (string name: str_a3_cfgunitinsignia_ctrg15_uk0)
- CTRG 15 - US (string name: str_a3_cfgunitinsignia_ctrg15_us0)
- CTRG 15 - CA (string name: str_a3_cfgunitinsignia_ctrg15_ca0)
- The latter three unused names are self-explanatory, but the first three are country codes for the Republic of Georgia (GE), the Republic of Ireland (IE) and Portugal (PT). Of the three, only Portugal is officially an established member of NATO in real-life.
- This would suggest that at some point during Apex's development, Group 15 was supposed to consist of a wider variety of nationalities - rather than just being exclusively American as depicted in the final version.
- Interestingly however, there are several unused text strings located within the game files which include separate country-specific codes. These unused entries include:
|Factions - BLUFOR (ArmA 3)|
|NATO • CTRG • FIA • Gendarmerie|