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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered

"Al-Asad's forces remain a serious threat, and he's still out there. Let's find him, and end this."
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered 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 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. 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 joins in an attack on 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. After unloading half their chalk, Vasquez and his team relieve a squad, which is the advanced team, that is being attacked. Cobra helicopter "Deadly" came by after refueling and rearming,. After clearing the area, the Marines start extracting from the city due to a nuclear threat (discovered by SEAL Team 6) in the city. As they are leaving, "Deadly" is shot down and Vasquez's squad stops to rescue the pilot, with Command warning them that they are not in a safe distance in the event the nuke goes off. After the pilot is rescued, 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 back onto the ground, eventually killing the player, about 30,000 other U.S. troops, and the remaining OpFor soldiers.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Nuclear explosion (Remastered version)

"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 regarding the nuclear detonation

It was the killing of these men and women that prompted General Shepherd to start the Russo-American War. Shepherd had sent PFC Joseph Allen on an undercover mission with Vladimir Makarov, where Makarov shot Allen and killed him. This was to make the Russians believe that the Zakhaev Airport attack was perpetrated by Americans, thus sparking war between the two countries. 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" could be heard before the nuclear explosion which Shepherd used frequently in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

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 killed the 30,000 Marines was viewed from Yuri's perspective at a distant safehouse out of harm's way. It was also revealed that Vladimir Makarov was the one who ordered the detonation of the nuclear bomb.


Weapon Loadout

Starting loadout
Found in level

Intel Items

  • 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.


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


Main article: Shock and Awe/Transcript


  • 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]
  • 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. This is later fixed in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, where one of the NPCs will have the rank of Captain.
  • 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." This was fixed in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.
  • In the original version of the mission, when Jackson places Pelayo in a seat near the helicopter's exit, she screams in pain due to her broken leg. In the remastered version, there is no such reaction, as Pelayo looks at Jackson in a assuring manner and starts firing at the OpFor soldiers with her MP5.
  • 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.
  • Far outside of the map of the Remastered version, there is a gas station with a sign that says NOVA.
  • The part of the mission where Jackson rescues Pelayo from the downed Cobra is similar to, if not inspired by, the scene in Black Hawk Down when Durant is rescued by Shughart and Gordon. In the movie, Durant is firing an MP5 at converging Somalis from the cockpit of his downed Black Hawk helicopter. When Shughart and Gordon pull him from the helicopter, he is carried out bridal style, much like Jackson does with Pelayo in the original version of the game. In the remastered version, he holds her in a fireman's carry. 
  • The crash site is very different to its multiplayer counterpart, Crash.
  • The term "Shock and Awe" is a tactic used to display overwhelming and spectacular power in order to destroy the enemy's will to fight.
  • Despite the previous OpFor levels being fought in a location called the capital city with references to a presidential palace, the city in this level is also referred to as such despite the location difference.
  • In the early part of the mission when inside the helicopter, the statue on a open area of the city can be destroyed with the grenades from the helicopter.
  • While the country this mission takes place in is not specified, or is fictional, the tracking system in this mission's cutscene shows Jackson near the real-life city of Susangerd, Iran.