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XOF was Cipher's military division in the 1970s, acting as the main antagonist of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
XOF were originally formed by Major Zero to act as a support team for his FOX Unit, commanded by his Executive Officer Skull Face, whose existence was a secret even for the CIA and The Boss. Its overall purpose was to ensure the survival and success of FOX operatives during missions in order for the unit to become a success by any means necessary. XOF members would secretly provide tactical support and field Intel to FOX Operatives during missions as well as cleaning up after them, making sure that the operatives left no traces that they were ever there.
The unit was first deployed in secret during the events of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, where they supported and cleaned up after FOX operative Naked Snake during the Virtuous Mission and Operation Snake Eater. While FOX was disbanded in 1970, Zero invited XOF to become part of Cipher, acting as it's covert strike force, which officially were falsely seen as a CIA anti-terror unit.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
XOF was involved with the capture of Chico as well as the imprisonment, torture, and likely rape Paz Ortega Andrade, a former Cipher agent. Skull Face, XOF's commander, planned it so Big Boss would stray from Motherbase, his military's headquarters, to save his aforementioned friends. After doing so, Big Boss was informed that during his rescue, XOF infantry attacked and destroyed Motherbase, killing several MSF members in the progress.
XOF also implanted two bombs in Paz, one in her chest and the other seemingly in her uterus, ultimately leading to her death and the wounding of several MSF operatives, including Big Boss, Chico (eventually succumbs to his wounds), and Kaz Miller.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
XOF continued to operate as Skull Face's personal strike force, furthering his grand scheme of "ethnic liberation" through various covert operations. It was during this time that Skull Face deployed the Parasite Unit for various missions of high priority. Eventually, XOF was tasked with taking over and guarding the secret Soviet research station OKB Zero, while Skull Face began his final preparations for unleashing the English strain of the vocal cord parasite. However, Venom Snake managed to evade the extensive XOF presence at the facility and make contact with Skull Face. XOF's mission was almost complete until Tretij Rebenok, acting under a new affinity, activated Metal Gear Sahelanthropus against Skull Face and his forces.
In the ensuing chaos, with two XOF troops having to drag Skull Face to safety due to his being too shocked at the existence of someone with a higher lust for revenge against Snake than even himself or the Man on Fire to even attempt to evacuate the premises by himself, XOF received heavy casualties and lost their commander Skull Face.
Despite the death of Skull Face, XOF continued to operate, possibly taking orders from the AIs, with orders coming from the same channels. At some point later, XOF hired a PF to steal parasite research from the Diamond Dogs, with their eventually placing them in two storage containers for XOF to retrieve them. However, Diamond Dogs ultimately retrieved the research materials before XOF could successfully extract them by chopper.
- XOF is FOX spelled backwards which also fits its inverted image of a fox.