CTRG flag

The Combat Technology Research Group (shortened to CTRG) is an elite NATO special operations force in ArmA 3.


Logo for CTRG Central, the unit's internal network.

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.

The three Groups that have made a physical appearance thus far (as of Apex Protocol) include 13, 14 and 15:

Group 13

Group 13 insignia.

Group 13 is commanded by an unknown officer.

It is known to consist of at least two "classes" who regularly participate in firing drills at the Kamino Firing Range on the island of Stratis, Republic of Altis and Stratis. They undergo specially designed Course of Fire (CoF) demonstrations which are often observed by senior NATO officials.

Group 14

Group 14 insignia.

Group 14 is led by Captain Scott Miller.

Group 14 was initially 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

Group 15 insignia.

Group 15 is commanded by Major A.J. Dutton.

Group 15 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.


At least six other groups are known to exist as of the events of Apex Protocol, with six more presumed to be located elsewhere in the world. Each of the groups are stationed at their respective area of operations:

Group No. AO Geolocation
1 Turkmenistan / Northern Afghanistan Arma3-ctrg-groups-g01.png
2 Unknown N/A
3 Lebanon / Western Syria Arma3-ctrg-groups-g03.png
4 Unknown N/A
5 Unknown N/A
6 Central Republic of Iran Arma3-ctrg-groups-g06.png
7 Unknown N/A
8 Southern Russia Arma3-ctrg-groups-g08.png
9 Unknown N/A
10 Central Philippines Arma3-ctrg-groups-g10.png
11 Unknown N/A
12 Western Indonesia Arma3-ctrg-groups-g12.png
13 Republic of Altis and Stratis N/A
14 Republic of Altis and Stratis Arma3-ctrg-groups-g14.png
15 Horizon Islands Arma3-ctrg-groups-g15.png


Group 14's members consist predominately of operatives with a British background, while both 13's and 15's members are made up of Americans.

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 have been deployed to.


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)

Events of The East Wind (2035)

Events of Apex Protocol (2035)

Post-Apex Protocol

« 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 world media, the organisation was now under severe international pressure and 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.

Events of Old Man (2038)


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 also features specialised variants designed with thermal masking technology which - when combined with a special balaclava, camouflages them from head-to-toe against infrared cameras.

Dazzle camouflage patterns employed by CTRG operators in order from left-to-right:
- Arid (Group 13/14, Altis)
- Urban (Unknown, Altis/Tanoa)
- Tropic (Group 14/15; Tanoa)

Headgear varies depending on the area of operations. 14's operatives for example, simply wear compact Light Combat Helmets that are painted in a variety of snakeskin and arid-themed camouflage patterns. 13's/15's members on the other hand, wear Arid or Tropic Dazzle-camouflaged Stealth Combat Helmets and balaclavas which not only mask them from thermal sensors/infrared optics, but provide full-face protection against small arms fire.

Operators often wear derivatives of conventional body armour vests modified with custom camouflage schemes. But 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 and 13 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 - depending on whether stealth or improvisation is required.



  • Initially, only Groups 14/15 were physically represented in ArmA 3. Group 13 would eventually be added in Game Update 2.00 to celebrate ArmA 3's seventh year of release.
  • In the final release of Apex, there are only three patches available for Groups 13, 14 and 15 which are all generically labelled under 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.
  • 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.
  • Prior to its significant development overhaul in early 2012, CTRG's date of formation was intended to have taken place in 2032. It was founded by a Czech-Canadian Colonel by the name of Martin Novak (a character who unfortunately does not exist in canon).
    • Naturally, this is no longer the case in the release iteration of the main campaign, as CTRG's establishment begins much earlier compared to the original storyline (before 2026 as depicted by the events of Tac-Ops' Beyond Hope mini-campaign).

External links

See also

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