Border update 6-8FEB09
If any person on the line with me disputes my account of any events posted below or if I omitted any action or mention of any patriot, please call it to my attention and I will correct it or I will post your AAR on this site. All times mentioned in my reports are approximate.
Thank you for your support.
1530- Departed the C1 compound.
1750-Arrived in Jacumba, topped off my tank and proceeded toward the Horsepuckies spread and arrived there about 1830. The first miscommunication takes place.
In the days prior to this operation I had been in touch with Miramar though the Mountain Minuteman forums private message feature. Our rendezvous time had been moved up from 1600 to 1800 Friday as I was unsure how early I could slip away from work. Finally I had sent him the message that 1900 was a more realistic time for my arrival. I had thought I made it clear I would be heading to Horsepuckies place first, but apparently either I had not, or Miramar, being ever Gung Ho, he just assumed we would meet at Patriot Point as we had on the previous Op. Either way, I arrived at Horsepuckies place at 1830 to find Horsepuckies and Shorty in the house and I joined them for about an hour and a half of friendly bullshitting. By 2030 it dawned on me that I had left my cell phone in the truck and went out to check and see if Miramar had called. But before I got to my truck Miramar pulled up. Indeed he had been on the border since 1800, making a solo vigil of our porous southern frontier while waiting for my arrival. He had called twice. I apologized for the misunderstanding, and please allow me to do so again here.
Both of us had been up since 0500 and had both had a long hard day at work so we agreed a power nap was in order before redeploying to the border.
We both agreed that whoever awakened first would wake the other one up in order to head for the border in the wee hours. Patriot 5 and his crew of hardcore border observers were due on the line sometime in the night. Miramar retired to the Mountain Minuteman mobile command unit, and I to the 5th wheel.
The night was cold, windy and rainy. I woke up about once every hour through the night and each time it seemed the rain was coming down harder. And each time I scrounged further into my warm sleeping back and went back to sleep. Apparently Miramar had opted to do the same. We both finally got up and had coffee at about 0730.
Miscommunication #2: Patriot 5 had called Horsepuckies sometime after I retired, Going on the last piece of info I had given him, Horsepuckies told Patriot 5 that Miramar and I were going to rest briefly and them join them on the line in the wee hours. Well, we rested all right! But not briefly, and Patriot 5 and crew held the rainy cold line all by them selves all night. Again, my apologies. I guess I’m getting’ old.
0830- Having ingested copious amounts of caffeine I set off for the line at 0830.
When I reached the end of Forest Gate I opted for a solo roll to the east. I sat for awhile at the 141.
0920- A BP agent stopped to visit and told me of increased activity in the area. He said the invaders had been cutting holes in the old fence of late. I decided to roll west.
0940- On the other side of Forest Gate, on the border road by the grassy knoll, I encountered the Patriot 5 crew, on their way out for breakfast and some well deserved rest. In the second car was Beast, a patriot I had come to know from the Mountain Minutemen forums but had never met in person. It was great to meet this stalwart patriot. And with him was Infidel! Infidel and I had stormed the 241 months before to reclaim it from some would be invaders who had been taunting us from the summit. On that day Infidel invited the invaders to wrestle at the monument on 241. They declined. Then he got down on the ground and invited them to arm wrestle. Again they declined. That hilarious footage can be viewed in the video section of this blog. Infidel got in the truck with me and after a brief cruise of the border we headed off the line.
1030- We went back to the Horsepuckies spread to meet my old friend 36. He had the Thermal unit and accessories, which U.S. Evolutions graciously offered and entrusted into my care for the weekend. Horsepuckies, Miramar, Infidel and myself all shot the bull with 36 as we transferred the thermal unit and accessories into the Uno mobile.
Then it started to rain again. 36 headed for home and Miramar, Infidel and I headed back to the border.
1200- met up with Bravo2, Shorty, Patriot 5, Patriot 2 and Beast at the Donut Hole. With sufficient daytime coverage on that side, Infidel hopped in the vehicle with Miramar and they struck off to the east, with me following in the rear. We went back to the 141 where I stayed while Miramar and Infidel cruised the new border road down into La Gloria and beyond. Then they radioed and said they had decided to take a trip into Smith canyon.
1445 Again I brought up the rear as support. (not that these two young Marines needed my support, obviously they don’t) But there is safety in numbers so at 1500, while they walked up into Smith canyon, I stayed back and guarded the area by their vehicle.
Not wanting to blow their cover with periodic radio checks, but growing a bit concerned as the time went by with no contact, after about 25 minutes I drove up the east side of the canyon in hopes I could see the men at the bottom. Almost at the exact point where I turned around the two marines radioed me to ask if that was me driving up the road.
1525- I replied in the affirmative and then immediately saw three POIs running at full speed BTM across the west side of Smith canyon, just below the fence line.
They ran up to where the fence ends and played peek-a-boo with me, and a BP agent who happened on the scene beside me. He radioed his men who drove a unit to the west side and I radioed Miramar and Infidel who, in true Marine Corps fashion, stormed the steep west face. The overwhelmed POIs disappeared and the BP agents on the east side gave Miramar and Infidel a ride back down to the bottom of the canyon to where they walked the rest of the way to their vehicle. They left the canyon to the west, while I departed the area to the east via Shockey Truck trail. I headed back to Horsepuckies in the ever present cold drizzle to put on more layers of clothes and replenish my two thermoses with strong cajun coffee.
1900- Infidel and I rendezvous at the upper couch trail platform. The rain had subsided for a bit and I broke out the Thermal Eye on loan from U.S. Evolutions.
Due to the bad weather I decided to use it as a hand held, not wanting to set up the tripod and monitor and risk it all getting rained on. As I panned to the east I spotted one hot body glowing on the scope on the ridge southeast of where the fence is caved in. I gave the unit to Infidel who confirmed at least three men in that area and others to the west on the south side of the fence by the 5 Star. I walked to the hill behind us to view the valley below the point with my NVG in case the man I spotted had tried to send through a group. He had not.
1930- The drizzle began again in earnest so I packed up the Thermal Eye, not wanting to risk someone else’s $10,000 unit to the elements.
I met with Red Army, Golf 1 and Turtle at the PCT. We discussed the piss poor state of the nation and then buoyed each other’s spirits with talk of our love for delicious split–tailed sashimi.
Then they took up position on the grassy knoll while I rolled west on the G road. Infidel was still at the couch, now armed with a more compact Thermal imaging unit belonging to Patriot 5. We had units hidden in the rocks and parked in various locations up and down the line from the grassy knoll to Zuellner’s. At one point in the evening no fewer than 13 patriots manned the line. Patriot 5, Patriot 2, Beast, Miramar, Infidel, Bravo 2, Shorty, Wildcard, Horsepuckies, Red Army, Golf 1, Turtle and myself (if I forgot anyone please forgive me) all being directed efficiently by Infidel at the couch, who continued to monitor groups forming to the east and west.
2050- I parked my truck in a hidden position just off the G road and walked in the drizzle to a spot where I could view the tank trap and the line west to the Donut Hole with my NVG, an ATN Gen2+.
Infidel radioed that at least 14 bodies were in his thermal scope marching north in a line across the hill across form the 5 Star. They appeared to be heading toward the other groups, huddled next to the fence behind the 5 Star.
2300- Cold and wet I marched back to my truck to warm up. I monitored the radio from the heated cab and drank coffee. Then I donned my rain gear and grabbed a backpack so I could take coffee with me as well an extra radio in addition to my NVG. Some time shortly before midnight, (my details and times get sketchy here due to the weather and the amount of action and radio traffic) I saw movement through my NVG on the ridgeline north of the Donut Hole. I radioed as I counted bodies out loud running across the ridge in the wet, cold darkness. One, two, three then four, I counted out over the radio. Then someone, I can’t remember who, radioed that they thought about ten individuals had just crossed over from the south at the little tank trap below the donut hole. Some one else confirmed that BP had been called.
It is a tendency for some of us to rush to the seen of an illegal border incursion. I know I have been guilty of this in the past. I also know the illegals know this and have banked on this tendency from time to time. They have, in the past, used one incursion as a decoy to divert our attention from another illegal penetration elsewhere.
Taking these facts into consideration as well as the fact that BP was on the way and the rain was getting heavier, I opted to head back to the warmth of the Uno mobile and roll east out of the immediate area and toward the PCT. As usual there were no minutemen east of there and I was concerned that while all of our attention was focused west of Patriot Point, some would be invaders might be taking advantage of the situation in the unguarded Campo side. As I was rolling up Forest Gate to the border road I was passed by a BP canine unit.
I made a pass down to the Oaks and back but saw no sign. I made a show of it with tracking, rear side and Golight glaring,
as if to tell any would be intruder that we monitoring the east side of PCT as well.
0048- Elements of our task force at the Donut Hole, I can’t remember who it was, I think it was Patriot 2, radioed that the BP canine had flushed 12 illegals out of the brush a scant 50 yards from where our men were parked. We also learned that BP had captured another 8 or so down by Hwy 94.
Our mass vigilance was paying off.
About that time I was heading west on the G-road, but diverted at the tank trap to the border road to avoid clogging the area with was already crowded with BP and minutemen. Horsepuckies had headed for home and my concern was that the 127 area was left unguarded. I went there and parked where I could view the 241 summit and the valley below with NVG and the Thermal Eye. I am not sure how long I sat there, getting out of the truck from time to time to scout the trails below 241 when it wasn’t raining too hard, but I saw nothing much of interest. I was getting ready to relocate after being there close to a couple of hours, when Infidel radioed that there were multiple bodies ascending the 241 from the south. He said at first it looked as if they would descend into America where the fence ends at the border road on the east side of the hill. Then he radioed that it looked like they were going over to the north side. Infidel was watching them with Patriot 5’s Thermal and, since the rain had abated for a short, broke out the U.S. Evolution Thermal Eye and scanned the summit. I detected no heat sources and remained on post, alternating between using the Thermal Eye and my NVG. Some time later Infidel radioed everyone that 5 bodies had TBS’ed from the 241 and were heading BTM.
A BP agent happened by my position a few minutes later and confirmed this. I told him I was thinking of re-positioning to the Zuellner’s area and had a thermal scope and he agreed this was a good idea. Unfortunately Mother Nature was at odds with this plan as it began to rain again. As I slowly patrolled west down the border road toward 126 my truck began to slide sideways off the road. The mud was like ice. Slicker than owl shit on a tree limb. I opted not to risk venturing up to ZHP and turned around.
Infidel was still monitoring multiple heat sources on the south side of the fence in the general area of the 5 Star. Wanting to avoid the border road so as not to spook any would-be crossers that Infidel was monitoring I took the road east from the 241 to the Donut Hole. Several times I nearly slid off the road, it was so wet and sloppy. And, as I turned east to head down the road from the Donut Hole I almost slid into a BP scope truck, who was coming the other way. It was slicker than snot on a doorknob so I decided to park in the location I had been earlier in the evening. By about 0230 I was ducking back through the bushes on foot in the freezing drizzle to my previous position in the rocks across from the tank trap. I was there less than thirty minutes when Infidel notified us by radio that multiple bodies were getting up from their position by the fence and TBSing. Apparently our constant presence, no doubt helped by the miserable weather, had paid off and they had given up.
0300- Patriot 5 called for a break to get a little rest. He urged all units not with a partner to park close to someone and take turns getting an hour or so of sleep. Though I was alone, I opted not to re-position due to the fact that BP was parked all around me. In fact, when the call was made to stand down, two BP agents in separate trucks and on agent in a scope truck descended into my general vicinity. Apparently they have some sensors on some trails north of where I was parked and they were going off. I showed them the soles of my boots and also directed them to the trails I had been traversing, hoping that I had not caused their alert. They assured me I had not, that the sensors were well north of where I had been walking and that they suspected that the sensor trip was somehow related to the weather.
0400- It quit raining and the full moon actually made an appearance.
The scope truck and one other BP vehicle left my vicinity. I snoozed lightly off and on.
0500- Patriot 5 gave the wake up call. I sipped some lukewarm coffee and then, at 0600 I headed east down the G road. I met with Patriot 5, Patriot 2, Beast, Infidel and Miramar for a brief after action debriefing. We had assisted in the capture of approximately 20 individuals and made at least that many TBS. The Patriot 5 crew headed to the casino for breakfast and I made one last patrol to the west. BP’s morning crew had every high point covered with a vehicle.
0800- I left the border area and headed to the Horsepuckies ranch for some shut-eye in the 5th wheel. I slept like a baby from 0900 to 1330. Then I set off to my old friend 36’s house to return the borrowed thermal imaging unit. 36 and his wife fed me hot homemade chicken soup and, after 36 and I played a little guitar together, I headed for home. I arrived back at the C1 compound around 2115
The next morning I received the following e-mail from Wildcard:
“This morning on the Ham Radio I heard Roger Chalberg discussing "OPERATION STONEGARDEN", an operation currently underway by the Campo Sheriffs out near the border. Apparently, they are beefing up their forces out there, anyone who has ANYTHING out of order will be questioned. Just looking out for our guys.”
This reminds me of one detail I left out. On Saturday as Infidel and I were rolling east just past the PCT a San Diego county sheriff pulled up behind me on the border road. I continued slowly while he got on the radio and undoubtedly ran my plate. Then I pulled off to the side as if to let him pass. He rolled up beside me and questioned me. “What’s your name? Why are you here? How often do you come here? Where are you going? When are you leaving? When will you be coming back? etc etc.” I answered all his queries honestly and respectfully, albeit a bit nervously. Then he told me to be careful and turned around and left. Earlier in the day 36 had warned that there had seemed to be an increased sheriff’s dept presence in the area. I am only there to assist ALL law enforcement agencies and hope I made that clear to the deputy. But this encounter, as well as Wildcard’s revelation reminds us that we must keep our gear and actions legal. I know the patriots I work with do this, but if anyone who is new to the area of operations reads this please take heed.
I also believe it behooves us, as “minutemen”, “independent observers”, or whatever the good Americans who spend their own time and money to patrol the border choose to call themselves, to take it upon themselves to get extra training, permits and certifications. I personally got certified as a Search and Rescue Tech III (SAR Tech III) and am CPR/AED and First Aid certified. I also took the necessary training and received a California Security Guard card and then got the extra instruction to hold a BSIS Exposed Firearms permit. While these two permits hold no validity outside of working for a licensed PPO, they would demonstrate to a questioning law enforcement officer a level of understanding of the law as well as a level of proficiency. I also hold a baton card and am Taser certified.
Anytime an individual is out in the country with firearms as we are, I believe a hunting license is a good idea. Again, we are not hunting, at least not in the classical sense, but having the license means you took a hunter safety course. This proves to any questioning authority that you have at least a rudimentary concept of weapons safety and proficiency.
If the state or county you live in is a “will issue” or “may issue” area, with regard to a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit, (CCW) then by all means get one. Please note that being a Minuteman is not sufficient “good cause.” in any area that I know of, and none in California. Also be advised that no out of state CCW is honored by the Democratic Peoples Republic of California. There is no reciprocity. I have a New Hampshire and a Florida CCW which covers me in about 40 states but these permits are useless in California.
There are many good local training facilities and some of the certifications, including the SAR Tech III, and even CPR can now be done online. Please click on the links for more info about online courses. The better trained we become the more credible we are. The liberal mainstream media wants to portray us as nothing more than ignorant, gun toting rednecks. Let’s prove ‘em wrong.
I hope to be back on the line within the next few weeks. In March I will be taking a weekend that I would normally be at the border and using it for training myself. I will be taking a weekend class in shotgun gunfighting tactics, as my Mossberg 590 in my long gun of choice on the border.
I am grateful to have worked with and to have learned from the highly trained and dedicated patriots I was fortunate to serve with this past weekend and for all of their support as well as yours
Your country needs you now more than ever. Please be vigilant.
"Equipment is at the low end of the equation.
Well-trained and motivated people will do better with mediocre equipment then mediocre people will do with the best gear in the world. Keep this in mind when you read these pages." -Patrick A. Rogers