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Shock and Awe

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Shock and Awe
Shock and Awe
Previous level War Pig
Next level Aftermath
Game Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (indirectly mentioned in "Endgame")
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (in a flashback in "Blood Brothers")
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
Character Paul Jackson (Call of Duty 4)
Yuri (Modern Warfare 3)
Team USMC (Call of Duty 4)
Ultranationalists (Modern Warfare 3)
Place Basrah, Basrah Governorate, Iraq
Date Day 3, 2011 - 18:00:04
Objective Soften resistance for the ground assault.
Assist and extract the advance reconnaissance team.
Proceed to the LZ.
Get back on the Mark 19 grenade launcher.
Rescue the downed Cobra pilot.
Carry the pilot back to the helicopter.
Enemies OpFor
Console codename airlift
Multiplayer map Backlot, Crash, District, Invasion, Karachi, Strike, Winter Crash
"Surround the last of Al-Asad's forces in the capital"
— Level Description
"It looks like we're rolling in with everything we got. We get Al-Asad, we end this war right here, right now. Lock and load, Marines!"
— Lt. Vasquez

"Shock and Awe" is the tenth campaign mission of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It is the penultimate mission of Act I in which the player controls Sgt. Paul Jackson and sees the player attempting to capture Khaled Al-Asad in his capital city.

The event is mentioned in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 by General Shepherd. It also appears in a flashback scene during Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, when player character Yuri witnesses Vladimir Makarov's order to detonate the nuke. 



Sgt. Paul Jackson and the rest of Lt. Vasquez's squad attack what they believe to be Khaled Al-Asad's position. Jackson provides firing support with the Mk 19 grenade launcher on a CH-46 Sea Knight whilst 1st Force Recon attacks Al-Asad's capital city. Vasquez and his team relieve a squad that is being attacked. After clearing the area, the U.S. Marines start extracting from the city due to a nuclear threat (discovered by SEAL Team 6) in the city. As they are leaving, the Cobra helicopter "Deadly" is shot down and Vasquez's squad stops to rescue the pilot. Whilst they are leaving the city, the nuclear bomb is detonated (on orders from Vladimir Makarov, as revealed in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3); the blast wave causes the helicopters to crash, eventually killing the player, about 30,000 other U.S. troops, and the remaining OpFor soldiers.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Edit

Shock and Awe nuke

Nuclear explosion.

"Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye, and the world just fuckin' watched. Tomorrow there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots. I know you understand."
— Lieutenant General Shepherd.

It was the killing of these men and women that prompted General Shepherd to start the Russo-American War. Contrary to popular belief, General Shepherd was in command of the U.S. Marines, SEALs, and Air Force operators involved in the fight against Al-Asad. The Callsign "Overlord" can be heard before the nuclear explosion from which Shepherd uses frequently in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3Edit


Makarov during the events of "Shock and Awe".

"Thousands of souls... extinguished... by the push of a button. This wasn't war... it was madness."
— Yuri

During the flashback of "Shock and Awe" seen in the mission "Blood Brothers", the explosion that kills the 30,000 Marines is viewed from Yuri's perspective at a distant safehouse, out of harm's way. It is also revealed that Vladimir Makarov was the one who ordered the detonation of the nuclear bomb.

Video WalkthroughEdit

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare - Campaign - Shock and Awe09:20

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare - Campaign - Shock and Awe

CoD4 Shock And Awe Arcade Mode Veteran (HD)09:37

CoD4 Shock And Awe Arcade Mode Veteran (HD)

Arcade Mode Walkthrough

Weapon loadoutEdit

Starting loadout
Found in level

Intel ItemsEdit

  • Laptop 15 is on the second story of the building with green smoke lying on the ground to the right of the pinned squad.
  • Laptop 16 is in a closet on the second floor in the building to the southeast of where the friendly squad is pinned down, a machine gunner is firing at the player from this room.


  • When unloading the chalk after the initial attack, Marines unloading from other helicopters will have their names display, but those running directly in front will not.
  • The first time the player gets off the helicopter, there is a wooden fence in front of them; if they look through they will see some OpFor soldiers running. Shooting them will result in an odd death animation for them, and in Arcade Mode they don't provide the player with any points.
  • It is possible to obtain an AT4 by using the "give all" command (only on PC).
  • If the player activates the slow motion cheat when the helicopter is crashing, they can see the helicopter crash next to a tanker (nearby a destroyed BMP and a ZPU), yet the player is in a different location in the mission "Aftermath".
  • The nuclear explosion in this level was voted #2 on IGN's "The Wednesday 10: Best Nuclear Explosions in Games" and was also #2 on ScrewAttack's Top 10 OMGWTF Moments.[1]
    • It was also rated #1 by WatchMojo's "Top 10 Call of Duty Moments".
  • When rescuing the advance team, a Marine asks Vasquez if they're "the ride out of here". Vasquez responds "We're it, Captain!" although, if the player looks around, none of the Marines around are a rank higher than Sergeant.
  • The combined strike team and Vasquez's team will board the helicopter, but when Pelayo and Keating crash, only two rescue soldiers (Vasquez and Jackson) will be the same as those that boarded.
  • While the Sea Knight is landing for the Marines to rescue Pelayo, there is a mistake in the subtitles - while the pilot says "I sure could use some help down here", the subtitles read "I could sure use some help down here."
  • When the player uses the slow mo cheat, the player will see that Lt. Volker will actually fall from the Sea Knight before the explosion even reaches the helicopter.


  • Look Sharp (20 Gamerscore) - obtained from collecting the 15th laptop, requiring the player to already have the earlier ones.
  • The First Horseman (40 Gamerscore) is obtained by completing "Shock and Awe" on Veteran difficulty.


Main article: Shock and Awe/Transcript


  1. The Wednesday 10: Best Nuclear Explosions in Games, retrieved 27th January 2010

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