The Fulton surface-to-air recovery system (STARS) is a system used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy for retrieving persons on the ground from a MC-130E Combat Talon I aircraft. This system was developed by inventor Robert Edison Fulton, Jr. for the CIA in the early 1950s and was first utilized by the Joint Advisory Commission, Korea ("JACK" for short).
The Fulton system involves using an overall-type harness and a self-inflating balloon which carries an attached lift line. An MC-130E engages the line with its V-shaped yoke and the individual is reeled on board. Red flags on the lift line guide the pilot during daylight recoveries; lights on the lift line are used for night recoveries. Recovery kits were designed for one and two-man recoveries. Helium is activated upon the kits being delivered, with the process taking 20 minutes. In addition, the shock of activating a Fulton balloon is less than that of a parachute opening, and the arm equipped on aircraft for Fulton recoveries is also capable of lifting as heavy an object as 500 lbs.
Use by the CIA Edit
During the CIA's Virtuous Mission in September 1964, Naked Snake was set to use the Fulton system (and so he wears the STABO extraction harness throughout the mission) to escape from Tselinoyarsk with Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov. Snake's nickname, Jack, was also the acronym for the Joint Advisory Commission, Korea, the organization which first used the system during the Korean War, and was remarked upon by his C.O., Major Zero. However, due to the mission's failure, Snake was the only one to escape with it.
Use by the Militaires Sans Frontières Edit
The Fulton recovery system was employed extensively by Big Boss's Militaires Sans Frontières in the 1970s. During the Peace Walker Incident, it was used to capture downed enemy soldiers, rescue prisoners of war, and to extract personnel from combat zones, using UH-1D/H Iroquois helicopters modified to carry a Fulton recovery hook. One of the reasons why MSF subcommander Kazuhira Miller implemented a voluntary recruitment program for the MSF during the mission was to lessen the amount of Fulton recoveries, feeling that they were "heavy handed."
A special sleep gas landmine, an improvised Carl Gustav recoilless rifle, and an electromagnetic net marker were also developed to work in conjunction with the system. The landmine and Carl Gustav provided easier methods of capturing personnel while the electromagnetic net markers could be used to capture enemy land vehicles with four Fulton balloons. Supply drops were also deployed by Fulton balloon. The Fulton balloons also were utilized offensively with Aerial Mines. Miller, while fighting with Big Boss around the sauna area, revealed he had a fulton recovery balloon and jokingly suggested he use it to escape.
During the MSF's deployment to Costa Rica, an unknown group also attempted to use the Fulton system, in order to extract enemy personnel. The MSF thwarted these attempts by shooting down the balloons in various so-called "Pooyan Missions."
A modified version of the Fulton recovery balloon was utilized by the MSF to send supplies to any members out in the field, with it popping once it reaches the destination of the tracer requesting supplies.
Use by the Diamond Dogs Edit
Like the MSF before them, Diamond Dogs also used the Fulton recovery system in the 1980s to recruit soldiers and rescue hostages and scientists. In addition, they also used it to procure various crates, implanted weapons, land vehicles, supplies, and animals such as sheep and goats. With regards to the crates, the Diamond Dogs can also use its ability to airlift crates to get out of a mission by hitching a ride with the crate. Unlike MSF, however, it does not use Fultons to deliver airdropped supplies, which is instead delivered via parachute.
Behind the scenes Edit
In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, there was originally to have been more illustrations demonstrating how the Fulton system was to be used, but they were cut from the final version.
The player's squad in the online mode for Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, as well as the expansion pack, Portable Ops Plus can use the Fulton system to escape their current mission, provided that one is procured during "Infinity Mission." The recovery balloon itself resembled a blimp or missile in terms of shape, while the equipment icon in the latter game displayed a radio, presumably used to call in the recovery. Unlike in Peace Walker, it won't work in areas with ceilings. When first procuring the Fulton, Roy Campbell will give an auxiliary call to the player to explain its functions.
- "A set of equipment for making a Fulton recovery. Allows you to return safely from a mission."
- ―Fulton description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the Fulton recovery system is used to capture enemy soldiers or rescue POWs. To capture soldiers, they must be tranquilized, unconscious, held up, or near death before they can be placed attached to a recovery balloon. Note that capturing soldiers at near death status will have them placed in Sickbay with [Wounds]. The limit of Fulton recoveries per mission is 100. Each time an additional recovery is performed after reaching the 100 mark, Kazuhira Miller will call in, stating that there are far too many people onboard Mother Base, with sounds of commotion in the background, eventually also remarking irritably that a potential recruit fell overboard.
There are three ways to use Fulton recovery in Peace Walker:
- Fulton Recovery System: This equipment straps a recovery balloon to the target. R&D can increase it up to Rank 5, increasing capacity per mission. At higher ranks, items will drop from recovered soldiers.
- Fulton Sleep Gas Mine: Upon triggering, the mine releases a sleeping gas and automatically straps a recovery balloon on any in range. Be advised that getting too close can knock Snake/MSF soldiers out.
- Carl Gustav M2 (Fulton Recovery): This Carl Gustav rocket launcher is outfitted with Fulton recovery rounds, allowing it to capture enemies at range. Ammunition is limited though and may alert others to your presence.
The Fulton Recovery System also allows the recovery of personnel from building interiors and underground areas, although support markers do not work in these same environments.
The Extra Ops "Pooyan Missions" are based on the 1982 arcade game Pooyan, manufactured by Stern Electronics under license from Konami. Sound effects and music from the game are used throughout the missions.
- "Personnel recovery and evacuation system.
(Rank 1) Equip and move near desired target, then press to execute recovery. (A maximum of 100 people can be recovered per mission)
(Ranks 2-3) Modified so that more can be carried. (A maximum of 100 people can be recovered per mission)
(Rank 4) Modified so that more can be carried and so that you can acquire 1 item when performing a recovery. (A maximum of 100 people can be recovered per mission)
(Rank 5) Modified so that more can be carried and so that you acquire 2 items when performing a recovery. (A maximum of 100 people can be recovered per mission)"
- ―Fulton Recovery System description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
The Fulton was absent from Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, although it will return in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Hideo Kojima stated that the reason he didn't include it in Ground Zeroes is because he felt it wouldn't have made sense to use a fly-by recovery in a heavily fortified base. The Fulton will no longer be a equipped item in The Phantom Pain. Instead, the player can simply press the triangle button when prompted. In addition to Fultoning soldiers, the player can also use it to Fulton animals such as sheep, as well as containers and vehicles. In addition, unlike in Peace Walker, it now costs GMP to use the Fulton, with a single soldier amounting to 300 GMP. Also, the player can no longer Fulton soldiers or POWs indoors. There will also be a turret that launches Fultons at enemy soldiers in Metal Gear Online 3.
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
See also Edit
- Fulton surface-to-air recovery system at Wikipedia.
Notes and references Edit
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
Kazuhira Miller: Boss, I’m starting to wonder if recruiting soldiers with the Fulton isn’t a little… heavy-handed? // Naked Snake: I already don’t like where this is going… // Miller: I think the voluntary approach could be more pragmatic. Technically we’re not a corporate entity, but at our size that’s not too far from the truth. We can’t keep using guerilla tactics to find new blood. To search for volunteers, select “RECRUIT” from the menu. Or, select “Trade” to exchange soldiers with other mercenary units. // Snake: Yeah, Provided we got the friends for that.
- ^ MGS PEACE WALKER "TACTICAL ESPIONAGE OPERATIONS" on YouTube
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus, Kojima Productions (2007).
Roy Campbell: That’s a Fulton recovery system. Normally, you’d need to go all the way back to the Withdraw Point if you wanted to abort the mission and withdraw. But using the Fulton system lets you pull out safely without having to go all that way. And it works the instant you use it. Keep it handy in case you need it in a pinch. Just don’t try it anywhere that has a ceiling! But don’t forget – you don’t get a Clear Bonus if you use the Fulton.