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Hieu Dinh standing in front of a burning M12B Warthog in a dream sequence.
An older Hieu Dinh reliving the operation in 2560.


Post-Covenant War conflicts


Early 2553[1][2]


Unidentified moon[2]


UNSC defeat[1]

  • UNSC failed to secure Forerunner artifacts and suffered numerous casualties.[1][2]



Three squads[1]



Operation: INTERIOR EXILE was an operation conducted in early 2553 by the Office of Naval Intelligence on an unknown moon to secure Forerunner artifacts and establish a research facility to examine a dormant Forerunner starship.[1][2]


The target of INTERIOR EXILE was a Lifeworker terraforming vessel embedded within a desert on a desolate moon, with the Office of Naval Intelligence's goal being the establishment of a research site to investigate the starship. At the time of the operation in early 2553,[2] the vessel was dormant, though had been occupied by an unknown force wielding plasma weaponry.[3] ONI proceeded to conduct reconnaissance of the area, deeming it a target of vital importance to capture. However, conflicting recon assessments of the area resulted in difficulties deploying the necessary force.[1] Prior to the execution of the operation, agent Hieu Dinh recommended the use of an aerial insertion at night.[3][1]

The operation[edit]

The lead drop into the operational area went fairly smoothly, but the conflict recon assessments resulted in three squads of ONI agents being deployed into the region surrounding the dormant vessel during the daytime,[1] utilizing at least one M12B Warthog for ingress.[3] Put into a compromised position, the ONI forces involved were repelled by the unknown defenders, with several agents dying and their Warthog being destroyed in the process.[2][3] The survivors were forced to retreat and failed to secure the operational area.[1]


Agents Hieu Dinh and Padraig were among the few survivors of the failed assault, and proceeded to write field reports on their view of the attack. In their views, the initial drop onto the moon went smoothly, but they felt that conflicting reconnaissance reports compromised the assault force—allowing them to easily repelled. The reports were later analyzed by ONI Section Three agents BAYLEAF and FLYBALL, with the former assessing that—based on the casualty reports—a much larger force would be needed to assault the site again. As such, BAYLEAF proceeded to requisition a larger assault force with the aim of retaking the site for good. Additionally, BAYLEAF believed that Dinh's plan of a nighttime aerial insertion would have been the correct course of action, leading to BAYLEAF recommending that Dinh be allowed to have a greater impact on future decisions of this sort.[1]

BAYLEAF's planned second attack was evidently successful as, by 2560, the Office of Naval Intelligence were able to construct a sizeable research site adjacent to the now-reactivated vessel.[4][5]

Around 2560, the Banished artificial intelligence Iratus forced Hieu Dinh to relive some memories of the operation. This included a simulation of his initial nighttime aerial insertion suggestion, which Iratus depicted as a D77-TC Pelican being shot down by plasma fire.[3]


List of appearances[edit]