|«|| Sierra Base, this is Eagle 42, looks like Icarus flew a little too close to the sun! Requesting new orders, over.|
A naval aviator from the USMC's 27th Marine Expeditionary Unit (27th MEU), Winters is the pilot of a specialised AH-64D helicopter alongside fellow gunner and co-pilot, Tim.
He was assigned to raid a Russian airbase to the north of Chernarus following the commencement of the U.S. military's Eagle Wing preemptive strike plan as part of a larger-scale operation to liberate the South Zagoria region.
Eagle Wing (2009)
Assigned to the callsign of Eagle 42, Winter is dispatched to attack the airfield near Vybor, designated as Point Sparta, which was being used as a staging ground for Russian CAS jets to repel the American fleet.
In preparation for the main ground invasion to take place, Winter was tasked with destroying all of the planes before they could take off with his specially modified AH-64D.
After successfully shooting down all of the jets, Winter is then re-tasked with destroying a helicopter that was spotted carrying the Russian commander aboard, General Shagarov. Winter successfully interdicts Shagarov's transport and swiftly eliminates the General in a surgical strike.
Before he could return to the main ship to resupply however, an emergency broadcast - Code Foxtrot, is relayed to all American forces in the region to abort their taskings immediately and to brace for impact. Without warning, a massive explosion strikes the fleet, with a nuclear mushroom emerging from the blast.
Caught in the shockwave of the blast's EMP effect, Winter's helicopter is forced to crash land in the middle of hostile territory, and gets knocked out from the impact. Upon regaining consciousness, he is immediately greeted with the unpleasant sight of another nuclear explosion in the distance, and finds Tim dead in the seat of the cockpit.
Resolving to find out what exactly went on, Winter made his way towards a nearby village and runs into CDF troops and ChDKZ insurgents fighting against each other. To his shock, the CDF soldiers open fire on Winter as well despite identifying himself as a friendly, and is forced to retaliate.
Making his way through more scattered CDF and ChDKZ forces, Winter eventually reaches a small building at the end of a mountain trail south-east of his crash site. There, he is caught in a trap by Russian Spetsnaz operatives, who promptly order the American to lay down his weapon and surrender.
|«|| Ed Winter, Lieutenant, United States Navy. The shockwave from the nuke disabled my chopper. Why the hell did you do that?|
Winter's first meeting with Russian Spetsnaz operative Lev Zotkin
After a tense standoff, Winter relents and the Russians - led by their officer Lev Zotkin, surprisingly offer to join forces with him. Just like Winter, the Spetsnaz operatives also have no idea of what caused the nuclear attacks except for one thing that was now clear; both of their home countries were now engaged in a full-scale thermonuclear war.
One of the Chernarussian villagers accompanying named Lucin, knew of a nuclear shelter on the nearby island of Utes just off the coast of South Zagoria. Their plans were to make their way towards the harbour at Balota in the hopes of retrieving a functional boat, and sailing there in time before the wind could change.
|«|| Winter: Why are you taking me with you?|
Zotkin: If you don't like it, I can get rid of you. It's not a problem.
Winters questions Zotkin's offer
Fighting their way through more CDF and ChDKZ forces, the unlikely squad of Russians and Winters finally reach the harbour and find one last boat which was already in the process of being started by another American survivor. The Marine tells Winter to quickly board the boat, but he hesitates as Zotkin advises him against it, warning that the Marine had no idea of where to go and would only be a hindrance.
Reluctantly, Winter shoots the Marine and manages to hold the boat until the others arrive. Unfortunately however, the Russians discover that the boat was leaking fuel and only had enough room to take all except one of the squad.
The Russian pilot, Mikhail Istcov, immediately "volunteers" Winter as the one staying. But Zotkin remains adamant that all of them were "equals" in terms of being picked. Zotkin draws a set of matches, and states that whoever drew the shortest one would be the one to remain behind.
|«|| Istcov: Looks like you're staying, American. Shit happens.|
Winter: Hey, I'm with with you, but anyway...
Winters dry reaction to Mikhail's immediate suggestion that he be the one left behind
Winter's fate is randomly decided by the player at the end of the campaign. He is either killed by Istcov (if the latter draws the shortest match), or escapes alongside the other four members of Zotkin's team (and Lucin).
Should he draw the shortest match however, Winters is forced to stay behind as the others depart for the remote island. What happens afterwards is left unknown, as the screen fades to black with the ChDKZ insurgents closing in onto his position.
Regardless of whether he draws the shortest match or not, Winter's fate is ultimately left uncertain as Utes is shown being hit by a nuclear strike at the end of the credits.
Personality and Appearance
Winters is a white Caucasian male with short, light brown hair. He sports the standard attire of a U.S. Marine pilot that consists of olive overalls, an SPH-5 pilot helmet, and an olive drab-coloured aviator survival vest.
Not much is known about Winters himself, but he does display a somewhat dry and sardonic personality; especially given that he was caught directly in the middle of a full-scale nuclear war and is still recovering from the shock of being brought down.
- In-game scripts and text strings refer to Winters as "Brown" (classname: EW_Brown) instead, which suggests that Winter's initial design would've most likely been different to his final version.
- In Karel Mořický's original (and intended) iteration of the Eagle Wing campaign, Winter was meant to be the pilot of a "RAH-66 Comanche" instead of the Apache.
- The official release version was eventually changed so that he flew an AH-64D helicopter instead, as the base game did not include the Comanche by default outside of custom addons.