In 2004, after Major General George S. Hammond refuses to hand Colonel Jack O'Neill and Major Samantha Carter over to the Kinahhi, Senator Robert Kinsey removes him from command and replaces Hammond with General Woodburn. When Teal'c tries to resist the extradition, Woodburn has him arrested and Dr. Daniel Jackson confined to his apartment.
Following Daniel and Teal'c's escape through the Stargate, Kinsey demands that Woodburn launch a full investigation and to start with Hammond. Called back to the base where Woodburn has taken over O'Neill's office, Hammond quickly deduces that Woodburn is a man of action and not a politician which gives Hammond hope of reasoning with him. Woodburn reveals the escape and a report from the guard that Hammond had zatted to free Daniel, but Hammond points out that if he were actually involved, he wouldn't admit it. Woodburn accuses Hammond of losing all respect for principles, causing Hammond to explode on the other general about Kinsey using alien technology at the SGC for nefarious purposes before realizing from Woodburn's surprise that he didn't know about it. Though Woodburn reveals that his job is to clean out the base and return it to the proper level of discipline and accountability, Hammond presses Woodburn to learn what Kinsey is doing with the sheh-fet and the prisoners on Level 17, reminding him of his oath and the danger that they all face.
Concerned, Woodburn requests Hammond to remain on the base while he conducts his investigation and eventually gets back to Hammond at 0300 hours. Woodburn reveals that he has learned that over thirty prisoners have been brought into the SGC under no authority that Woodburn recognizes and Kinsey has sealed off Level 17. Hammond explains that Level 17 is where the sheh-fet is being set up and compares it to thought police. Disturbed the implication, Woodburn admits that he doesn't like the idea of it but doesn't know who on the base that he can trust. Recognizing that Woodburn is a good man, Hammond promises that he can trust him and the two generals decide to investigate the matter in secret themselves, joking around and formally introducing themselves by first name to the other.
Making their way to Level 17, Woodburn and Hammond find over a dozen men hooked up to an alien device and the Kinahhi Ambassador demanding that Kinsey extradite the other prisoners as promised. When Kinsey protests, the Ambassador displays the ability to shut down the power at will and Woodburn realizes that Hammond was right that they were dealing with a foothold situation. Retreating, the two generals discuss their options and Hammond proposes sending their own men disguised as the prisoners being extradited to hold the Kinahhi gateroom for as long as possible to buy Woodburn time to go over Kinsey's head to the President and clear out the mess at the SGC without interference from the Kinahhi. Woodburn points out that they will need volunteers willing to go against Kinsey's orders and Hammond announces his intention to lead the mission personally to rescue his friends which Woodburn accepts.
Accompanied by nearly two dozen men, Hammond travels to Kinahhi and holds the gateroom. While he is gone, Woodburn succeeds in getting the President to shut down the sheh-fet on Earth. After the threat on Earth is neutralized, Woodburn sends reinforcements led by Colonel Albert Reynolds to back up Hammond.