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Facility information


Babd Catha Ice Shelf, Eposz, Reach[1]


Office of Naval Intelligence base


M71 "Scythe" AA guns[1]

Historical information

In use:

2552: Fall of Reach


August 29, 2552[2]

Controlled by:

Office of Naval Intelligence

Known commander(s):

Ádám Virág


SWORD Base,[3] sometimes parsed as Sword Base,[2] was an Office of Naval Intelligence facility located near the Babd Catha Ice Shelf, Eposz on the colony of Reach.[1][4] An Avar saber was the emblem of SWORD Base.[5] In 2552, the base's head of security was Ádám Virág[3] and its air controller was known by the call sign Sword Control.[1]



A few smaller outposts, including Farragut Station and Airview Base, were located near the facility. The base also has several maintenance hallways for the facility's engineers. In addition, a Forerunner ship that had crashed in the area millennia earlier had become enveloped by the ice shelf deep below the facility.[6] The crashed vessel contained numerous research stations, including one of Dr. Catherine Halsey's labs.


The base's interior consisted of a long and tall main atrium, with smaller rooms, walkways and staircases on both of its sides. The atrium had a ceiling of glass running along its length, which also extended down the wall on the other end of the atrium. Two specimens of Covenant technology recovered during Operation: GUARDIAN LANCE were on display in the main atrium.[7] Outside the main complex lies a military airfield, and numerous M71 "Scythe" AA guns.[1]


SPARTAN-B312 returns to SWORD Base, reduced to flaming ruins by the Covenant glassing.

Human-Covenant war[edit]

During the Fall of Reach on July 26, 2552, Sword Base became the target of an attack by a single Ceudar-pattern heavy corvette. As the Covenant launched their assault on the base and the surrounding outposts, the base was defended by UNSC Army forces that were in the area. Soon, NOBLE Team was called in to assist the defensive forces, and ultimately managed to fend off the assault force. After the defensive, two Longswords were called in to push the corvette away from the base, and as the vessel began to depart, one of Reach's orbital defense platforms destroyed it from above.[1]

Shortly after, the Covenant launched a full invasion of Reach and Sword Base was invaded, resulting in the deaths of most its ONI personnel; the airfield was reduced to magma and Farragut Station was flooded by the melting ice floes nearby. The Covenant forces at the facility soon realized that the base was built on top of a Forerunner site. The Covenant reinforced the ruined facility with numerous ground forces and two anti-air cannons. NOBLE Team was dispatched to destroy the site and prevent any of the facility's secrets from falling into the Covenant's hands in accordance with Operation: WHITE GLOVE.[8] NOBLE Team was soon contacted by Dr. Halsey, who asked them to take a fragment of the AI Cortana to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. While Carter-A259 insisted that the base be destroyed, Halsey countered that others would perform the demolition. During the package's recovery, the Covenant discovered the Forerunner ship was reachable through the frozen lake near the Sword Base and began sending numerous Phantoms and Banshees to secure the site. Halsey destroyed the ship and the base with explosive charges to prevent them from falling into Covenant hands.[2]

Some time prior to Sword Base's demolition, a small team of Office of Naval Intelligence operatives covertly entered the facility with the mission to ensure the destruction of sensitive information as part of Operation: WHITE GLOVE. Discovering Dr. Halsey was still alive, they planned to kill her and destroy her remains to avoid having to evacuate her.[9] ONI also acquired Dr. Halsey's personal journal from her laboratory, cased in a 600 series ONI security container.[8]

Despite all the efforts of the UNSC, Covenant plasma bombardment made it difficult to successfully confirm whether both the ship and the base were properly demolished.[10]


By October 2559, the Banished occupied the Sword Base area. When Blue Team returned to Reach on Operation: WOLFE, the Banished launched an intercept flight from the coordinates of Sword Base.[10]


The Halo: Reach multiplayer map Sword Base takes place inside the facility. The Firefight map Courtyard takes place in the main courtyard outside the entrance to Sword Base.

Non-canon and dubious canon appearances[edit]

Silver Timeline[edit]

HTV-SilverTeam logo.png
This article contains information about the Silver Timeline, and is not a part of the established Halo canon.

The Covenant conducted a raid on on SWORD Base.[11]

Production notes[edit]

According to concept artist Isaac Hannaford, the designers of Sword Base were given considerable creative leeway due to time constraints. As a result, the design of the base drew on inspirations from a stealth fighter for the outside and a hospital for the inside to give it a very "cold and impersonal" feel.[12] Hannaford wanted the outside to look "top secret".[13] Additionally, due to the base's ONI setting, it was imagined that the base's defenses were not part of the base itself, and instead brought in by the UNSC Army during the base's defense.[12]


Concept art[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Halo: Reach, campaign level ONI: Sword Base
  2. ^ a b c Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 192
  3. ^ a b Halo: Reach, Dr. Halsey's personal journal
  4. ^ Bungie Weekly Update: 04.09.10
  5. ^ Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 5
  6. ^ Halo Waypoint: The Halo Bulletin: 4.16.14
  7. ^ Halo: Reach, multiplayer map Sword Base
  8. ^ a b Halo: Reach Legendary Edition container manifest
  9. ^ Halo: Reach, Glacier radio conversation
  10. ^ a b Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 1
  11. ^ Halo: The Television Series, episode Sword
  12. ^ a b Blog of Isaac Hannaford: ONI's Sword Base and Katherine Halsey's Reach hide out
  13. ^ Twitter, Isaac Hannaford (@Isaac_Hannaford): "Shape exploration for Sword Base. I wanted the outside to say top secret which is where the stealth fighter aesthetic developed." (Retrieved on Mar 27, 2021) [archive]