UT3 - The 2019 version of BLUTAH.
For the third time in Ingress history, the entire state of Utah is completely covered in blue.
In honor of the upcoming Pioneer Day holiday, Utah Resistance agents (a.k.a. Pony Riders) rode to each of the six corners of the state, to link them all to a durable central anchor and create "Blutah."
In 2014, the Pony Riders came up with the idea to create fields outlining Utah's borders. When the idea was first proposed, only two of the corners of Utah were portals. Portals were submitted at the other corners, and after they went live, the Utah Resistance threw the first Utah field, the day before the Darsana Anomaly in Salt Lake City.
Due to the large number of agents traveling to Utah to participate in the anomaly, this field was somewhat short lived as ENL agents passing the corners took down the fields only an hour or two after they went up.
In 2017, the Pony RIders rode the entire state a second time, but on this op we threw links to a portal at the very heart of the state, appropriately called "Center of Utah."
Unfortunately, this field was also somewhat short-lived as a southern Utah ENL agent traveling home that weekend took a detour to kill the Center of Utah portal and for a second time, the Utah fields came down just a few hours after being put up.
For the 2019 version of the fields, a more durable anchor, one requiring a lengthy hike and signal boosting gear, was chosen in the hope that the fields would last longer, perhaps even making the four days from our scheduled throw time to Pioneer Day on July 24.
Keys to our durable anchor, Jubilee Guard Station, were distributed, and corner teams and clearing teams assigned.
For the most part, our lanes stayed clear and very little beyond letting strategic portals decay needed to be done in preparation for the op.
However, one hiccup we had not anticipated, Niantic's 24+ hour window of REDACTED downtime, could have killed the op in its cradle. Several of the corners and our chosen anchor are all signal challenged, nearly universally requiring signal boosters of some type. Having to run this op with only Prime available would have been impossible.
Fortunately, REDACTED returned in plenty of time and on our scheduled op day, everything went about as smoothly as could be expected for such a large undertaking.
Our clearing teams (the unsung heroes of these types of operations) did a remarkable job of taking out both the green and the blue links around the state that were left blocking in the hours leading up to throw time.
We had teams assigned to all six anchors and a seventh team hiking in to Jubilee Guard Station. Every corner team had keys to both neighboring anchors and Jubilee so even if one or two teams didn't make it into place, we could still throw.
And it was a good thing we did. Signal difficulty at one anchor and agents taking a wrong turn at another left us with a few changes that needed to be made to our throw order. Luckily, we still had the keys and the people in the right places to throw.
In addition, it must be noted, that our intel operators, who were busy sacrificing their livers to a six-drink-minimum while herding cats during this operation, acted decisively to save the day when it came time to improvise.
As I write this sitrep, the UT3 fields are still up, nearly 24 hours after they were thrown, making this the longest lived version of the Utah Fields, by far.
We hope this will not be the last time we throw fields to cover our state and look forward to a time when Prime works as well in signal challenged situations as does REDACTED.
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