Operation: The Future - Gigafield After Action Report (AAR)
Operation: The Future
Old Faithful ("Act II: The Thorofare Gigafield")
Thorofare Ranger Station is the most geographically remote portal in the continental U.S. located >30 miles from the nearest road, deep within Yellowstone National Park at 7900’ elevation. Thorofare has rarely been captured. It has anchored a gigafield only twice; first in 2016 when "Operation: Transcend" flew green skies over the southwestern US and Baja, via Hawaii's Big Island. Several months ago, when word reached me that fellow frogs were preparing to embark on the 3-day hike-in to recapture Thorofare, I decided to come out of Ingress retirement to help with the effort of hanging an epic field off of it once more.
Tacoma Rocks ("Act I")
After a few days of planning, we noticed a problem, namely that the field was geographically too dispersed for us to invite all of our Pacific Northwest ENL friends to the party and give them a role. So, we planned an inner triangle on the same day, a tricksy pair of mega-layers anchored in remote and rocky Washington wilderness. We centered it over the city of Tacoma, in honor of the upcoming XM anomaly.
In recognition of the agents who came together to coordinate the success of both fields, and in honor of the wins we'll achieve in the months and years to come, I named this operation The Future.
The Crunch and the Gamble
The primary challenge of flying a field this size is the sheer surface area where random chance can strike (the "Gamble"). Sometimes the planning (the “Crunch”) can go like clockwork, or even raise the bar on organizational excellence, and you can still get skunked by factors beyond human control (a perfect example of this is Machina **** in active wildfire areas, which by the way we need to have A Serious Talk with Niantic about, but that's a subject for another post).
The Gamble on this day played out with us running out of time to close the smaller field (Act I) before the larger one flew (Act II), covering it. When RES, heroically, took down the Thorofare field a few days later, we had a perfect opportunity to finish what we'd started: The incomplete Act I became The Finale.
Act II-Old Faithful - (The Second Time ENL Fielded Off Thorofare)
- Longevity: 10 checkpoints, 46 hours (tied the PNW ENL longevity record for gigafield-class triangles)
- Takedown: RES agents katcogo at Haida Gwaii; Fragger, Tiiv, and Blyth at Thorofare for the double tap. Our congratulations and respect for the best outcome one can hope for from worthy opposition: a clean takedown (except their shoes, which were undoubtedly wet and muddy).
- Magnitude: 7.866 MMU/layer; 3 layers
- Resolved blockers: 39 blue/green, 55 red (see notes re: A Serious Talk above).
Act I and Finale-Tacoma Rocks - (The Hiking Will Continue Until Morale Improves)
- Longevity: 12 checkpoints (new PNW ENL longevity record for megafield-class triangles)
- Takedown: TheNaFun23
- Magnitude: 1 layer x 1.98 MMU. Increased to 2 layers after 5 checkpoints
Ingress is an activity that is inextricably tied to the land. As Enlightened Agents, we become very familiar with our favorite places - locations that have shaped our lives and outlooks forever.
It is with that spirit that we give thanks to the original stewards of this land which has been the centerpiece of this field operation.
We, as PNW ENL, would like to acknowledge the Puyallup Tribe, who have lived here in Tacoma since time immemorial and who continue to live here today. We would also like to acknowledge the special significance of this land to the Coastal Salish and the other First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest.
We recognize the indigenous people of the āina located on the Mokupuni of Moloka’i, in the pae‘āina of Hawai‘i. We acknowledge that her majesty Queen Lili‘uokalani yielded the Hawaiian Kingdom and these territories under duress and protest to the United States.
We recognize the Haida people, whose efforts to preserve their heritage and culture are ongoing. The northern anchor portals included gyáaʼaang carvings located at the Haida Museum, as a tribute to the people of the islands.
We recognize the Shoshone, Apsáalooke/Crow, Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute Nations, as well as the Bannock, Gros Ventre, Kootenai, Lakota, Lemhi, Little Shell, Nakoda, Nez Perce, Niitsitapi/Blackfeet, and Pend d’Oreille; and all other tribes with connections to Yellowstone Park.
As we Enlightened Agents celebrate our Ingress victories in this space and time, let us remember to also acknowledge and uplift the voices of the original guardians of this land.
We would also like to acknowledge the grizzly bear, yielding the hikers just enough space to pass on the trail to complete their mission. We salute the pack of Yellowstone wolves that howled, with the sound reverberating through the valley, on the nights before and after the field flew.
Finally, our deepest heartfelt gratitude to all of our teammates, family, friends, and all of those who believed in us.
See you in Tacoma!