The story begins in late 2001 during the opening days of the invasion of Afghanistan. Tier 1 operatives of a Navy SEAL squad from DEVGRU, call sign Neptune, composed of operatives code-named Mother, Voodoo, Preacher and Rabbit are sent to meet with an Afghan informant named Tariq, who has intelligence on the Taliban. Neptune is ambushed by Chechen forces, and fights their way through the village to recover Tariq. Shortly after extraction, Tariq informs them that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda have a significant force composed of 500 to 1,000 combatants in the Shah-i-Kot Valley. Neptune is tasked to secure Bagram Airfield with a contingent from the ANA. By March 2002, the airfield is re-purposed as a forward operating base by NATO forces. U.S. Army Colonel R. Drucker commands all local assets, is shown as a cautious and competent officer, in contrast to his commanding officer, General Flagg, who works in an office in the United States and is ignorant of the AFO teams' role in the operation. While Drucker plans to use Tier 1 operatives to reconnoiter insurgent positions in the valley and Northern Alliance soldiers to eliminate them, Flagg is mistrusting of the locals and gives the Colonel a 24-hour deadline to deploy the 10th Mountain Division, the 101st Airborne Division, and U.S. Army Rangers.