The NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia (code-name Operation Allied Force or, by the United States, Operation Noble Anvil) was NATO's military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. Third Echelon sent in Sam Fisher to stop the use of SAM missiles and destroy a launcher on February 15 through February 16, 1999.


1999: Third Echelon involvementEdit

Note: Essentials has many inconsistencies with other games in the series. (see Notes).

In February 1999, during NATO bombing campaign in Yugoslavia,[1] Sam Fisher was sent on a mission for the National Security Agency and Third Echelon to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. With help from Irving Lambert and Anna Grímsdóttir, he was sent to destroy SAM missiles being supplied to the Serbs. His first objective was infiltrate a cargo ship, and plant explosives on cargo crates containing several missiles on board. After destroying the missiles he infiltrated the hideout where the launcher was being kept to find evidence that the Russians were supplying the weapons.


  • The NATO bombings of Yugoslavia was a real historical event which occurred between March 24, 1999 to June 11, 1999.
    • Essentials anachronistically places the event as early as February 15, 1999 (with mission completion on the 16th).
  • The mission is a Third Echelon mission set during 1999. Previous games state that Third Echelon was not founded until 2003. This is a retcon/anachronism that was first made by the novels (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Operation Barracuda and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Checkmate) which place the founding of Third Echelon before 2003.
  • Essentials retconned details from the first level, "Training", of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, originally set during 2004 (August on the Xbox/PC and October on PlayStation2/GameCube). In the initial cutscene for the game, Sam Fisher has recently met Irving Lambert and states that he hasn't worked in intelligence for years. It also shows Anna Grímsdóttir meeting Sam Fisher for the first time and introduced herself (either within the training camp on Xbox/PC, or on board the Osprey PS2/GC). Essentials retcons Sam Fisher's Splinter Cell training and first meeting with Grímsdóttir back to the 1990s.
    • The novels also place Anna's meeting several years before 2003, so this may be a reference to the novels.
  • During the level set in Belgrade in 1999, Sam uses both the SC Pistol and SC-20K M.A.W.S. (according to ingame menu and Grímsdóttir's after-action report). The FN F2000, the gun which the SC-20K was based on, was not produced until 2001. This is either an anachronism or the Third Echelon has access to prototype weapon that yet to see service or enter production.
  • The SAM missiles Sam needs to knock out is the Isayev S-125 Neva (NATO reporting name "SA-3 Goa"), the same type that shot down the F-117A Nighthawk stealth attack jet in Yugoslavia in 1999. More missiles are found in the cargo ship in the early part of the mission. They are only visible via Thermal vision, according to Lambert, they are destoryed shortly after Sam leave the cargo ship.
    • Despite this, the in-game description is "SA-15", the real life "SA-15 Gauntlet" or 9K330 Tor is usually vehicle based, and used to shoot down low-flying targets.


  1. "Get prepared to discover the disasters of war in Ex-Yugoslavia, spring 1999, during NATO strikes and bombings."

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