|Location||Idaho, United States|
|Date||September 10, 2000|
|Objective||Kill all terrorists|
Prevent leader escape
|Next mission||Operation: Red Wolf|
|Previous mission||Operation: Fire Walk|
Winter Hawk is the eighth mission in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six.
Several members of The Phoenix Group's Idaho operation have managed to escape to a nearby airstrip with samples of the Ebola Brahma biological agent and will flee the airstrip by plane upon detection of RAINBOW operatives. Phoenix Group members are already aware of RAINBOW's presence in Idaho, as they are aware of what occurred in their previous mission, Fire Walk. Due to this, RAINBOW members from the previous mission are the only ones that are able to go on this one.
John Clark - There's been a security breach. Someone must have tipped them off. They knew we were coming. There's no time to redeploy - you're going to have to make do with what you've got. Good luck.
Anne Lang - I knew this would happen. We've got a potential bloodbath on our hands. I'll manage the spin with the White House, but please, please, try not to make matters worse. Good Lord. If this gets out the press will eat us alive.
Catherine Winston - My God. I was watching the video feed. They were experimenting on people. It looks like they've taken all the samples with them. You have to stop them.
The airstrip is one of the largest maps in the game (Another being the dam in Blue Sky). The airstrip itself is a wide open area that is easy for human players to kill enemies before they are seen. In the middle of the airstrip is a plane, the first getaway vehicle (And the only one if played on recruit). There are 3 buildings, 2 which are large and used to house planes, and 1 which seems to be a control tower. The control tower will have 1 leader (2 if on veteran or elite) that will try to flee via the large plane on the strip. The farthest large building has a smaller plane which will be an alternate getaway vehicle for leaders within that area (Veteran or elite only).
As with Fire Walk, there will be terrorists present, but the leaders are the main target. Leaders are much more notable this time, as they are skinned as doctors with lab coats, making them stand out. On recruit, there is one, on veteran, there are two, and on elite, there are four. On elite, two planes must be guarded (A large hawker in the center of the strip and a smaller plane near the farthest structure from insertion.). On other difficulties, only the hawker needs to be watched. This mission area is wide open, the only close quarters area being the control tower. All terrorists must be eliminated, and the mission will fail if any leaders escape or if RAINBOW is killed. Upon the mission's completion, an image of two RAINBOW operatives appears by the hawker, surrounded by dead terrorists. Upon it's failure, an image of a Phoenix group member fleeing with a dead RAINBOW operative and another Phoenix terrorist alongside him will appear.
Leaders will be aware of your presence regardless on if you are seen or heard, as someone had tipped them off. The leader(s) will begin to flee after about one minute. The number of enemies increases as the difficulty increases, meaning more areas need to be guarded. The map is extremely open, and most enemies have rifles, except the leaders. It is very easy to kill them before they can see you, but the same goes for the other way around. The radio tower harbors several terrorists, including a sniper on the 2nd floor. It will hold 1 leader on recruit and 2 on veteran. Two terrorists will be outside the tower, keeping watch. Another terrorist will be nearby the hawker. Two terrorists are also in the closest building to the insertion zone with an unusable plane. In the farthest building, there will be three terrorists (plus two leaders if on Elite). Outside this building is another getaway plane for elite mode. Despite heavy resistance, the wide open range makes this mission one of the easiest in the game.
- This mission is considered to be the easiest in the game, since there are no bombs or hostages and enemies can be killed before the shooter is even spotted.
- This is the only mission where the leaders use a unique skin. It is also the only mission where leaders are only equipped with pistols.
- Oddly enough, when in the mission planning screen before the game, almost all of the landmarks (Including the insertion zone) will not be named. The only named landmark in the hawker on the airstrip.
- Despite the mission's easiness for a human player, computer controlled squads will most likely be killed, since they cannot attack enemies until they are both within each other's range.
- Fire Walk and Winter Hawk are the first pair of missions that have squad restrictions, in which those who went on the former must go to the latter. The other pair of missions have the opposite penalty, in which the members that go on Lone Fox cannot be used in Black Star.
- In the Urban Operations add-on for Rogue Spear, Fire Walk is a mission, but Winter Hawk is not, despite the fact they happened practically at the same time. This is most likely because in Rogue Spear, enemies in vehicles can be killed, but there never was a new engine considering terrorists in planes.
- Although the biosuit is able to be equipped before the mission, there is no need for it, making it useless. However, if one uses the suggested plan, it will be equipped anyway. It is suggested that the player switches it out for any variant of the woodland camouflage outfits.
- Rifles are the best option for this mission. The MP5 is far to inaccurate from long range and the shotgun is only useful in the control tower.
- If grenades or flash bangs are thrown, terrorists all over the map will most likely scatter. Humorous as this is, it is also dangerous, for it may cause leaders to flee prematurely.
- The leaders are carrying briefcases in the hand that isn't holding a pistol. This feature is only for these specific leader skins, and the briefcases are purely cosmetic.
- The leader's player model for this mission is also a model for one of the hostages in Eagle Watch's first mission: Little Wing.