What Used to Be

It may feel like a lifetime ago at this point, but once upon a time the place we now call the Krasnostav Airstrip was known as the “Northeast Airfield,” or NEAF for short. Today, that place is a quaint civilian airfield with a hangar and terminal appropriate for that role, but it used to be something far different.

The image above is one of the clearest remaining that shows us what it was like to descend upon this location early in the timeline of DayZ Standalone. It may have been a legacy site from the days of the Mod, but it served as an important hub of (mostly hostile) activity that veteran players remember fondly.

Let’s take a journey through time, back to the beginning of the Standalone when the North was empty and every new life on the eastern coast was a mad scramble for the airfield.

Simple Times, Simple Layout

Compared to the “triangle” format of the current airstrip, the old NEAF was more straightforward: two simple lanes for taxiing and takeoff. It featured two military prison buildings, two hangars, and an ATC tower along the southern edge. Just southwest of those buildings were a warehouse and a few other civilian-grade structures that are no longer present as well.

The abundance of military gear in this location meant that you could go from fresh spawn to “geared” — full TTsKO outfit, ballistic helmet, M4A1 — in a matter of minutes, so long as nobody had already taken it all since the last server restart. The ease at which players were able to achieve the early definition of “end game” is precisely what led to the major changes here later on.

Except for the runways and everything in their immediate vicinity though, the area around the Northeast Airfield would be recognizable to anybody playing the game today.

Full Array

With at least five major buildings in the area spawning highly-valued military equipment, this place became a hotbed for PvP activity almost immediately after the initial release of the Standalone. If you weren’t there to acquire your own gear, you were probably waiting around to kill others who were.

The arrangement of all the military buildings into a single neat line in a huge open area made for perilous travel. You never knew when you might walk around the corner and be face-to-face with an M4 assault rifle. On the other hand, this lack of cover and constant traffic made it difficult for players to fall into a trap as well — except, of course, naive newcomers to the game.

Quickly in Sight

It may not have been as large and lucrative as its big brother in the west, but the Northeast Airfield was far more accessible. Certain spawn points put you within viewing distance of the airfield itself, so it’s no wonder that people bee-lined straight for the hangars rather than trying their odds at heading further inland.

Approaching from the south, the hill on which the airfield sits made it tough to know whether or not you were being watched from afar. With so little cover, you essentially had to make a run for it and pray that you wouldn’t get gunned down making your way across the fields.

Classic Combo

Given how open the area around the airfield was, many honed their long range shooting abilities here, utilizing tree cover at the fringes and taking shots in the 400 to 600 meter range. The best tool for the job at that time was the Mosin, equipped with a long range scope and a bipod for maximum accuracy.

In the picture above, we see a skilled marksman from the RRF taking aim towards the ATC tower in a downpour of rain. Conditions like these would have likely made the job more difficult, but that combination did quite well in this sort of situation.

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Picture via Reddit Rescue Rangers (Submitted by /u/AiykHXK)
RedditRescueRangers.org

Krasnostav Local

This view of the airfield from the southwest shows us what it would have been like to approach from the town of Krasnostav. Behind us are some houses that still stand to this day, and to our right is the warehouse area that is no longer present.

Going through town and hopping between groups of buildings was perhaps the safest way to get to the airfield. If you were brave, there was even a water pump located at the warehouse, though it likely put you in more danger than what it was worth.

Rare Pause

Without any context for this picture, I can only guess that I must have been foolish enough to think that stopping to snap a screenshot in this location was a good idea. Nonetheless, it is a very good example of the equipment that was common around the period of time that the airfield existed.

To get a feel for what it was like to test your luck at the old NEAF, I recommend this video by YouTube user VETERAN-NINJA called “Survivors Episode 1 — Dead Singer”

Shadowfax

It may seem like an eternity ago that this airfield went away, but it lasted just long enough to overlap with the introduction of animals to the game. For one solitary Stable release, it was possible to go to the NEAF and hunt both people and animals.

This picture is by /u/A_Jewish_Banker, and comes from the highly entertaining album “My Adventure With Shadowfax, the Disobedient Horse.”

My Time with Shadowfax

From Afar

If you squint a little, you can see the whole airfield from here. This perspective is from atop the radio tower on the mountain of Olsha (not to be confused with the nearby town of the same name). Though it may seem like it would make an ideal sniper nest, you were quite obvious on top of the tower and didn’t actually have that great a view of players.

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Picture by /u/MajorPacifist.

Demilitarization

With the release of 0.46 to the Stable branch, the NEAF as we had known it was gone forever. It was a sad day, but it was only the first of several changes to the airfield that would eventually result in it becoming entirely civilian.

Compare this view to the one a few pictures up, and the differences are immediately noticeable. We were left with a tease: an ATC tower, the lone military leftover, but it was merely an artifact of something we had already lost. In other words, this was a death sentence.

ATC Stands Alone

Here we have a closer look at what would serve as a placeholder until the civilian airport terminal was finished. This combination of warehouse and ATC tower would last from 0.46 until the release of 0.50, at which point it would finally be replaced by a proper all-in-one hangar and terminal befitting the airfield’s new purpose.

Farewell, Old Friend

Before 0.50 hit the Stable branch, I went back and took one last look at the final remaining military building here. It was only fitting that I give it a proper salute, and it is equally fitting that we are now taking the time to remember it. Thanks for having a look!

R.I.P. Northeast Airfield
Dec. 16th, 2013 — Jul. 2nd, 2014*

(* = ATC tower removed on Nov. 5th, 2014)

Shared by Tatanko on January 14, 2016

A look at the old military facility known as the Northeast Airfield that once stood where the civilian Krasnostav Airstrip now resides.

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