1st Annual, Gathering of The Tribes, 2007
Relaxing and getting to know each other after an excellent 5hr patrol
A Monumental Event occurred the long weekend of June 8th, 9th and 10th, The First Annual "Gathering of The Tribes" of KISSATA. 14 or 15 men from 3 different States representing 4-5 KISSATA CIDG's descended upon Northeastern Washington to meet face to face and to try a little experiment. Can a bunch Folks get together for the first time, and operate a successful 5 hour silent patrol, STONE COLD!
Did Cmdr. Klicks Experiment work? Absolutely! Because we all follow similar SOP's based on the KISSATA manual, we virtually dovetailed in like we have been training together for years. Was it flawless? Of course not, but it was close enough that we could assume that if an emergency brought us all together, we could be an extremely effective team and that was the point!
Another thing that surfaced was the dedication to the cause shown by so many. Whether it was driving 10 hours, making financial sacrifices, and or flying thousands of miles to make it, we made it. I have been apart of planning inaugural events before. I have been involved in outings that 20+ swore on a stack of ammunition that they would make it and only have 2-3 show up, so to me, Klick having over 50% of those who said they would show, actually attend, is awesome!
First creek crossing during Saturdays patrol
Many of us had been conversing for years online but most had never met face to face, so putting the cyberhandles to an actual face was very entertaining. We had a little time Friday to meet each other over the campfire and swap stories. It was a good time had by all. We compared our situations in regards to building a team, and discussed some of our concerns for the future and what roles we may play during crisis.
Friday night was a bit cold for a few of us, it dipped into the low 40's and for me in a 50 deg lightweight bag and no extra warm clothes and Druid in a tarp shelter and a similar sleeping bag, good sleep was elusive. Saturday morning started early for me, still on Chicago time, I got out of the sack at 5AM to get a fire going to thaw out and get some coffee and chow in me. Mountain house freeze dried scrambled eggs with bacon and a Kellogs breakfast bar for me plus all the coffee I could liberate out of Deflexor's coffee pot (in addition to what I had rationed ). We then gathered round Klick and got our mission, a 5hr Silent Patrol in bear country . I jaw jacked a bit longer than I should have so it was a mad dash to change into my Flektarn and grab my guns and gear. It was a light 24hr loadout, and I carried my 1911 in a shoulder holster and carried a Mossy 500 that Klick loaned me.
A shot from the Slack #2 position. Ahead in Slack #1 is Trigger and before him , Team Leader Klick and Radioman El Gato, Sefus on Point
We were a well armed group of 10. Off the top of my head there was two 12ga pump shotguns, a couple SKS's, a few AK's and a scoped Mosin Nagant, not to mention sidearms. The game plan for a bear attack was simple, who ever was getting chewed on was to make themselves as small a target as possible and wait for the wall of lead . Druid's plan was a little more fast acting, instead of waiting for the bear to start chewing on you, make sure you were faster than atleast one of the others in the group, and he was more than willing to make someone "slower" than he was! There was definatly critters in the area, on Thursday Klick spooked up a moose, and Friday, on the way in to Base Camp I came across a small Grizzly 6 miles out, small is a relative term here because it was bigger than any black bear that I have ever seen, but he didn't care to mess with the flashy red Chevy Avio rental car I was driving and he booked off the road about 50yds ahead of me. Then of course there was the mountain lion sign on the trail we patrolled, the scat on the trail wasn't as intimidating as the claw marks on the tree a foot over my head (I'm 6'3"!).
Laying low and quite off the trail while enjoying a cold lunch on patrol
The Patrol went very well, a few of us, myself included, had some gear retention issues immediatley after the first stream crossing, but after that we were good to go. Our noise dicipline was great and with the exception of not useing all available cover, I think we did excellent. At our first break I was able to adjust my gear for some more comfort and security, and at lunch we took a nice quite rest while chowing on a cold lunch. What was great about the way Klick ran the Patrol was how he used all 10 of us in almost all of the positions. We all had a chance to take Tail End Charlie and all but one ran Point. Everyone got a taste of how each other worked and we all worked well together. Another thing that pointed to how well we worked was how long it took to do the patrol. Klick told us it would be a 5hr patrol when we got ready to go, we arrived back to the Betsy Ross 5hrs to the minute! Now imagine 8 or 9 different guys on Point pacing the pack throuhout the Patrol and yet we hit the ETA on the nut! MOST EXCELLENT!
Second stream crossing
When we got back to Base Camp we had three more attendees waiting for us and then a little later on a fourth showed up. We kicked back and relaxed chowing on some homemade stew ala Deflexor and some fine pasta salad ala Klick. We debreifed the mission over a couple of cold ones and had way too much fun talking about everything you can think of. We all slepted quite well Saturday night, temps were better and we were wore out! Sunday, again due to my time zone affliction, I was up a 5am, but this time well rested. We ate breakfast and discussed how we can make next years G.O.T. even better. Of course I got to jaw jacking again and ended up leaving later than I had planned. As I loaded the car up I tried to keep my ears on the Medical discussion started by Ranger (one of 3 medical professionals present!), but unfortunatley I had no choice, I had to leave (against my will, but there is nothing worse than having a wife that is a crack shot track your butt down).
The last leg of the Patrol, Klicks "Trail of Tears"
By the time I got to Spokane, I realized that there was no way I would catch my flight in Seattle (yes Seattle, by the time I booked the flight, there was nothing available to Spokane, so I had to fly to Seattle and then Drive across the State ), sooooo I had the mean ole' Wife call the airlines and see if they could push back my flight, luckly they could but it was not a direct flight to Chicago, I had to stop in San Diego for an hour then fly to Chicago. So I landed in San Diego at Sunset and landed in Chicago at Sunrise, got home at 6am and made it into work by 8am, boy that was a loooooong day.
Druids dog, Magnus das Baren Jaeger, fearlessly guarded the camp while we were on patrol
So where does this leave Concerned Citizens of DuPage Co? Well I have a renewed vigor in regards to getting folks trained. I have returned with some great ideas that I plan on implementing ASAP. The Keep It Simple part of KISSATA was reinforced and you will see more of that in our FTX's. I look forward to bringing back to Illinois what I experienced in Washington State.
Thanks Klick, and thanks to all the rest who made the sacrifices to attend. I am already planning next years trip
Our mission is an attempt to prevent America from becoming a nation of helpless cowards, and train ourselves and others to function during terrorist attack or disaster. Our focus is mainly training others, so they can go out and train others, and so on and so forth. We wish to bring skills to the average person, that could be crucial to survival should a disaster or terrorist attack cause a situation where the police and military could not come to our aid, and to deal with such situations until they arrive, in a lawful and sane manner.
Under Construction, more info to follow