Tuesday, July 31, 2012
After Action Report: Cable Television Channel Documentary... National Socialist Movement Border Operations
On July 29 & 30, 2012, a film crew from a cable television channel arrived in Arizona to make a documentary about the National Socialist Movement's anti drug and human smuggling operations in the desert. On the afternoon prior to the scheduled film shoot, ST Thora A. Jaeger and myself established an obscure base camp in the infamous Vekol Valley, south on Interstate 8 in the Sonoran Desert National Monument.
Within a couple of hours, it began to rain. It's monsoon season and thunderstorms, accompanied by strong winds and dust, are quite common. After a bombardment of rain and wind, our tent was "flattened" and beyond use. That makes the second tent that has succumbed to the elements during our desert operations this year. Despite this situation, we waited out the weather and met the film crew at the crack of dawn.
As we were about to commence filming, a Bureau of Land Management ranger pulled up and visited with us. The ranger was familiar to me (from previous operations and contact) and we talked for a few minutes before he resumed his patrol. This ranger's "beat" covers approximately 450,000 acres of hostile territory. At that point, we proceeded to investigate the drainage culverts that run under the highway a couple of hundred yards to our west.
I went through some of our normal operating procedures and conducted a "tour" of the Vekol Valley drug corridor. I was made aware that the film crew brought body armor for protection when they posed for pictures at the illegal immigration warning sign at the entrance to the Sonoran Desert National Monument. That was a first. It's certainly better to be safe, than sorry.
Prior to the rain that fell the night before, I discovered fresh foot prints in the wash approximately 200 yards to the west of our camp. We explored the wash in search of evidence of drug and human smuggling. Audio recording became difficult due to the buzzing of thousands of cicadas that were living in the mesquite and ironwood trees that lined the wash's banks.
We pushed forward and checked washes for the remainder of our patrol. As usual, we found water bottles, clothing, burlap sacks and shoes that illegal aliens discarded without any regard to our nation's environment. I have always had serious issues with litterbugs. One of the last things we came across was a pair of worn out shoes and several hundred spent 7.62 x 39mm and 9mm shell casings. The casings were probably left behind by target shooters, who didn't take the time to recover their brass. Currently, the B.L. M. has a smoking ,open fire and target shooting ban in force due to seasonal fire dangers. The restriction notices are posted in English and I'm sure illegal aliens would disregard them, even if they were in Spanish.
Being as busy as we were, Sunday went by rather fast. One of the things about documentary production is having to repeat shots and deal with the camera angles. Although this operation didn't run like one of our regular patrols, it provided invaluable experience in creating media productions that we will be able to use ourselves, in the future. Our first day ended without us finding any bad guys or drugs. Needless to say, desert operations are tiring no matter what the circumstances. We ate light and sacrificed sleep to make this operation happen.
It rained again on Sunday night. It rained enough to cause some minor flooding and lots of mud. On Monday morning, we woke up before 4:00 AM and started production before the sun was up. We decided to climb a hill to our west overlooking the Vekol Valley and establish an observation post (O.P.), The humidity was very high and after only a few minutes of walking, we all were soaked with sweat. My nylon armor carrier and added weight of 275 rounds of ammunition significantly added to my perspiration.
With all of the recent monsoon rain, the desert has come alive. The ground was covered with thousands of brown centipedes measuring 4 - 6 inches in length. Upon reaching the summit of the hill we intended to use as an O.P., we discovered we would be sharing it with swarms of black flying ants. They were more than a bit annoying. Fortunately, they were not biting ants. Always wear a hat and bring a shemagh or bandana.
I used binoculars to scan several square miles of the valley below. I also had a great view of Interstate 8. The climb up was steep and canine Bailey was ready for a break, too. After collecting our wind, we resumed filming. I described how drug and human smugglers use the same O.P.'s to direct and oversee their illegal traffic.
Using these hills, drug smugglers can signal their crews of "mules" on the ground as to when it is safe to pass, undetected by law enforcement officers. Sometimes, these positions are fortified with rock walls and are stocked with car batteries, cell phone chargers, food, cigarettes and dirty magazines. These are some of the things we've found on past patrols. Like in the days of the "Old West", the hills are still filled with bandits and criminals.
We descended the hill and returned to our vehicles to hydrate and plan our next objective. We decided to patrol an old road that runs parallel to Interstate 8. This area is a common place for load vehicles to pick up bales of marijuana from the human mules that walk it here from Mexico.
After traveling a couple of miles, I noticed that one of the cattle ponds (often called "tanks") to my south was full of water. Normally, these features are dry for much of the year. It became apparent, that illegal aliens won't be dying of thirst for a while as water was more than plentiful. Upon closer investigation, we discovered lots of water bottles and a couple of backpacks on the banks of the pond that covered several acres. People had been there.
After shooting a few more scenes of me driving up to the pond, the film crew determined that they had enough material to work with and we mutually decided that it was time to conclude the patrol and return home. Just before leaving the area of operation (A.O.), a U.S. Border Patrol agent drove up and was curious about our activity. After speaking for a few minutes, the agent went on about his business and we departed. Report & Photos
SS S.Sgt. Harry L. Hughes III
Director, N.S.M. Region 11/N.S.M.-AZ Media Spokesman
N.S.M.-MEDIA Associate Producer
“I'm a 9th generation American and patriot (1737). My forefathers served in the Pennsylvania Militia. On June 27, 1781, they were called to perform a tour of duty. I'm still protecting freedom and securing the border, 275 years later.” --Harry L Hughes III