Thunder Island is the home and base of operations for Thunderbolt Black. Located in the Bahamas, the island is a small volcanic island that was originally uninhabited, and has been developed into a modern airbase, and a thriving community.
Thunder Island was originally simply a small, unnamed island in the Bahamas. The island was mostly rocky, with extensive beaches, and a deep-water lagoon in the site of what was once a volcanic caldera. The only man-made alterations to the island was the construction of a small, automated light beacon to ward any ships at anchor in the shelter of the bay away from the rocky islands in the mouth of the bay, and of a small packed-earth airstrip on the longer southern promonotory of the Island, used as an occasional landing site for the Bahamian coastguard and defence forces for the monitoring of wildlife, and for fisheries protection. It was originally constructed in anticipation of the island being home to an airbase during the Second World War, but this never came to pass.
After the Third World War, when General Thomas was looking to found Thunderbolt Black and find a location for their home base, he chose the island as the site of the base, leasing the island from the government of the Bahamas under the condition that should the facility no longer be needed, it would be returned to the control of the Bahamian government, and left in an operational state for use by their authorities. Additionally, the facility is leased with the understanding that search and rescue operations, disaster relief, and security operations are conducted from the facility as requested or needed by the government and circumstances.
The facility itself is constructed to rigid specifications, with a runway of sufficient length to accomodate even th heaviest loaded transport aircraft or bombers. All hard-standings were built from locally acquired materials, and built with an eye to conserving the environment and the ecology of the island, and to be aesthetically pleasing in concert with the landscape.
Buildings themselves, such as the hangars, maintenance facilities, barracks, administration blocks and other such facilities were built in a design that minimises impact on the landscape, as well as minimising energy consumption and loss, in order to fit in with the ecological policies of the Bahamian government. The buildings are all designed and constructed with modern facilities and ideals, such as integration with information technology systems, energy-saving lighting, heat, and electrical systems; all of which make the base and its' subsidiary buildings extremely cost-efficient and minimise its' environmental impact while maximising it's efficiency.
In addition to the military facilities, the base also contains housing for families and dependents, as well as a small number of personnel who do not work for the Mercenary Company in any capacity, but instead provide the various services that keep the base running and provide its' personnel with various luxuries and services that are needed from time to time, such as personal goods and items, gifts, hobby materials and items, consumer electronics and entertainments; as well as service industries such as restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, pubs, bars and nightclubs, what few of them there are. The housing and homing for these personnel are also built by Thunderbolt Black personnel, and are managed by the Merc Company. The company manages the number of personnel on island carefully, in order to make sure that the numbers do not exceed the amount of housing, or that the civilian facilities do not overtake the importance of the Mercenary Companies' facilities. Not to mention the dependence of the personnel on the company for protection, resupply, travel and transport, and their simple patronage to keep them solvent and their families safe and stable.
The island also has an extensive port facility to provide service, supply and basic maintenance facilities for the Stormcloud aircraft carrier, and the small flotilla of vessels that are also operated by Thunderbolt Black, as well as for visiting vessels depositing cargo or personnel from other islands. Extensive maintenance on the Stormcloud or other vessels is carried out elsewhere by contract with other ship-building companies. Much of the necessary fuel for aircraft or vehicles is also shipped via water vessel. Some of the dock-side personnel are civilian contractors, as it is more efficient to employ people as contractors than as Company staff.
The Island features a quite a large road network to allow internal transportation of personnel, goods, and equipment, and to link the various areas together efficiently. All roads are paved and tarmaced, with markings to US standards. The roads are carefully maintained, as they are key to the islands livelihood and continued operation. The many vehicles on the islands are split quite evenly between the vehicles operated by the company of all various types and functions, and those owned and operated by the few private companies, and citizens - although again their numbers are carefully regulated in order to allow priorirty for the companies' operations and needs.
Power generation on the island is through high-efficiency wind turbines, and through some geothermal generation due to the former volcanic activity that formed the island. The wind turbines are carefully located away from the side of the island where air operations take place, and approach and landings are carefully arranged to avoid any accidents as much as possible. Some of the smaller and less usable islets surrounding the 'main body' of Thunder Island are also used as wind farms, as well as for other purposes.
As an operating paramilitary facility, and one that is used by a large and powerful organization, Thunder Island is heavily defended against attacks.
The first line of this defence is the Early-warning radar system on the island, which is tied into the air traffic control systems on the island. Primarily, it consists of several static radar antennae, strategically located at the various compass points of the island, or on the subsidiary islets around it
As well as this, more active defences consist of mobile surface-to-air missile systems, such as the Pantsir-S1, which has medium-range missiles, and a close range gun system for defence of key assets on the island.In addition, AN-TWQ-1 Avenger air-defence systems complement the Pantsirs in close-range, using their Stinger missiles and chainguns to provide localized air defence. Obviously though, these systems would only be used in addition to the aircraft that are a vital part of Thunderbolt Black, a considerable portion of which are on the island at any one time, undergoing maintenance or between contracts.
Security-trained forces and personnel also provide a defence against any potential invaders or aggressors, or even the threat of terrorism and civil unrest, and train in concert with the detachment of Royal Bahamian Police personnel who maintain law and order in the civilian area of the island. These personnel are trained to use aggressive counter-terrorist and military tactics and weapons to repel invading forces, and buy time for help to arrive from external allies.
As well as the active defences, static and passive defences consist of numerous subterreanean constructions on the island, such as tunnels connecting key facilities and locations, and shelters for personnel. Additionally, the 'Citadel', the HQ building for the organization, has underground counterparts to its' main control rooms. However, due to the possibility of attack being relatively remote, most of these facilities are quite bare, and maintained only on a 'caretaker' basis, and intended only to be used in the short term.
Out of Character InformationEdit
Thunder Island was inspired by many things, not least Tracey Island in Thunderbirds, and Sand Island in Ace Combat 5.
To the knowledge of the GM, there is no island in the Bahamas that has a similar shape, or anything approaching the layout and idea of Thunder Island. The closest real-world parallel would be the island of Guam in the North Pacific, where the USAF and US Navy have facilities.