- "Deep down in my veins, I knew I had to travel. Now that I have, I’m certain I haven’t traveled enough."
Brought up in a wealthy Moroccan family, Sanaa El Maktoub travelled considerably at a young age, visiting Europe and North Africa, and dreaming about braving remote regions. She enlisted in the military at 19 and later joined the Groupe d'Intérvention de La Gendarmerie Royale (GIGR) after graduating from the legendary Fortress under extensive training from Jalal "Kaid" El Fassi. She served 4 tours with the Mountain Infantry Battalion and took part in Flintlock exercises and joint missions with Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative partners. She became her unit’s expert on environmental operations.
Between tours, she undertakes solo expeditions. El Maktoub is among the few explorers who can cross the Sahara Desert, climb up the Alps, trek through Asia’s rainforests, march along the Arctic Circle… and still return to her unit in operational shape. Rain or shine, desert or polar climates, she can walk through it all. Perceptive and resourceful, she’s an expert survivalist who sketches out her trips in her notebook.
In 2015, El Maktoub was injured during an expedition in the Canadian wilderness and dislocated her arm. Luckily, she was found by Mina "Thunderbird" Sky who gave her medical attention and popped her arm back into place. While Thunderbird was repairing her helicopter, El Maktoub witnessed her rescuer successfully fend off a bear attack. Afterwards, Thunderbird flew them to safety.
El Maktoub's survivalist expertise and experience with the GIGR led to her recruitment into Rainbow in 2018. In 2021, she recommended Thunderbird's recruitment to Rainbow and recounted the story of how they met to Tina Lin "Frost" Tsang.
Specialist Sanaa El Maktoub is constantly on the move, thus her codename, "Nomad." The only time she stands still is when she's sketching in her notebook, and following the recovery of her fingers no less.
I think her privileged upbringing instilled her with a private need to succeed, pushing her to conquer mountains and terrains her parents never faced. She likely got accused of being soft in her childhood, and she’s set out ever since to disprove it. In her it's created a world-class extreme environment expert whose reputation precedes her.
Specialist El Maktoub possesses unmatched resilience to survive the elements, and her endurance is famous within military circles. In fact, the first time I encountered Specialist El Maktoub’s name was through a research paper about military fitness assessments.
I can see why she’s invaluable to GIGR. She claims that anyone can develop her survivalist and planning skills with experience, but she's being genuinely modest. Bragging seems antithetical to her and I think that it somehow diminishes her own sense of accomplishment when she has to talk about it. She certainly doesn't do things the easy way… her drawings are her photographs. Truth be told, I’m envious of her spirit.
First deployed to the Fortress at the start of her military career, she did extensive training under the leadership of Specialist Jalal El Fassi. It would be interesting to see them working together again under different circumstances.
During her expeditions, she encountered a number of secluded cultures, like the Maasai in Kenya and the Nenets of Siberia. It’s resulted in self-taught skills in cultural diplomacy. While Rainbow Six recruits specialists from around the world, I'd guess no one else has seen as much of the world on their own as she has. And still, she wants to become the first woman to cross Antarctica, alone on foot. I have no doubt she can accomplish that, but I hope it doesn’t cost her more appendages. I privately worry that she considers such injuries a badge of honor and proof that she isn’t some spoiled rich girl.
A Medium Armored Operator, Nomad is equipped with an Airjab launcher which can shoot out up to three "Airjab" repulsion grenades that will stick to any surface she shoots at and knock down all in its effective radius when triggered.
- Nomad has three "Airjab" repulsion grenades that shoot from a grenade launcher attached to her primary weapon. When she switches to the launcher, a yellow laser sight turns on and becomes visible in the air (unlike the standard Laser Sight, which only creates a red dot at its aimed surface). This laser sight can be traced back to its source.
- Switching between her Airjab launcher and primary fire is quick, like Buck's Underbarrel Shotgun.
- When deployed, the Airjab will stick to the surface it is on and become a small device with a bright yellow light. Nomad can see its range indicated as a circle 3 meters in radius immediately after deployment.
- The Airjab has a small delay of 1 second between when it sticks to a surface as a mine and when it can trigger.
- The Airjab is exclusively proximity triggered (and requires line-of-sight of the torso/head) on non-downed Defenders. It will not trigger midair, neither will it trigger on Operators who are midair (such as when they are falling).
- Airjabs only affect enemies who are on the ground. They will not affect Operators who are falling or rappelling.
- As an added feature in Y4S1.3 patch to allow Defenders to be alerted of nearby Airjabs, Airjabs now emit a soft beeping noise when deployed and can be heard when in close proximity.
- The Airjab pushes all Operators in range back a small distance (2 meters) and knocks them down for a few seconds. Destructible objects, including destructible walls, in the way of the flying Operator are broken, making falling damage a possibility. Breaking through a wall deals 5 damage to both opponents and allies caught within the Airjab's range.
- The Airjab explosion does not create any vertical lift, and the pushed Operators are still moving on the ground in terms of game coding. As a result, thrown Operators will not pass over short walls, objects or raised ledges.
- Barricades, Castle Armor Panels, and Deployable Shields will also be destroyed by a flying Operator.
- Thrown Operators will regain their ability to shoot after they go through the first part of the thrown animation. This means that thrown Operators are only vulnerable for the couple seconds of being thrown, and while regaining their footing, they are able to to retaliate.
- The Airjab, just like Ash's Breaching Rounds, has travel time and can be shot out of the air.
- Jäger's Magpies, Wamai's Mag-NETs and Mute's Jammer can take out Nomad's grenades.
- Like Ash's Breach Rounds, Airjabs are vulnerable to objects electrified by Bandit or Kaid.
Airjab Launcher x 3
- "Rifle attachment shooting an adhesive repulsion device that detonates by proximity."
— In-game description
Nomad's custom rifle attachment allows her to launch Airjab repulsion grenades. They can stick to a surface and detonate when an enemy is within range. Nomad enters the field with three Airjab grenades. These pushback devices are non-lethal but they disorient those affected.
Several Operators have grown accustomed to calling Nomad's grenades "Airjabs." Zofia coined that term. Nomad doesn't seem to mind, saying "Ca m'est egal."
Once it's launched from the custom rifle attachment, the repulsion grenade can stick to a wall, effectively becoming a trap. No matter it's location, there's a short delay to allow for chemical adhesion before the Airjab is considered active. The push back grenade is then ready and can explode when an enemy is within range.
The proprietary adhesive compound or "goo" allows the grenade's body to stick to any surface. These Airjabs are non-lethal but they still pack a punch, pushing back and disorienting enemies who get caught in the blast radius.
Nomad had the idea for the modified launcher and the repulsion grenades following one of her expeditions. She prototyped the attachment herself until Mr. El Maktoub, Nomad's father and former governor, was able to pull some strings and get some of the country's researchers and engineers to work on the adhesive compound and repulsion technology. The non-lethal aspect of this gadget allows for a wide range of applications, even outside the military, but Nomad remains the sole user of these Airjabs as the grenades themselves are too expensive to mass-produce.
I didn't think a launcher this compact could shoot grenades that release that much pressure. However, I wouldn't compare them to my M120 CREM or my breaching rounds; each of our gadgets serve a different purpose.
- - Specialist Eliza "Ash" Cohen
- Nomad's last name, El Maktoub (Arabic: مكتوب) translates to "note, letter" in Arabic, a reference to her habit of taking notes.
- It can also be read as "destined" or "fated."
- Nomad's right-hand model lacks the middle and ring fingers. The loss of these fingers were referenced in her Bio's Psychological Report section and her interactive journal, where they were frostbitten during an expedition and had to be cut off.
- Nomad's operator card depicts her AK-74M attached with Scope 3.0x, despite the fact that the AK-74M can't equip the Scope 3.0x, exclusive only to attacker DMRs.
- Moreover, the Scope 3.0x model has not been introduced until Operation Burnt Horizon.
- Although Nomad's journal depicts her as writing with her left hand, she wrote with her right hand during the Operation Wind Bastion menu screen. This implies she is ambidextrous and can write with both hands.
- The push back effect of the Airjab grenades is recycled from the Smashers' knockback attack in Outbreak.
- Nomad is the only operator thus far to have unique voice lines upon rappelling.
- Nomad and Thatcher share a new friendship and respect for each other.
- She is named "El Maktoub Nomad" in Tom Clancy's Elite Squad to differentiate her from Ghost Recon's Anthony "Nomad" Perryman.