Tradewinds II Postpond; Something Amiss in the PNW

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Creation date August 08, 2013
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John Lu, most either love’em or hate’em. The Pacific Northwest might not be a fan however. While 2012 Operation TradeWinds provide to be a successful entry into the PNW for the Operation Lion Claws Military Simulation Series president, it might have provide to be harder then he thought.

Operation Tradewinds II’s AO was set to be held at Fort Worden, a Washington State Park and local landmark. Fort Worden was tasked in guarding the entrance into Pudget Sound during the late 1800s and through the mid 1900s. Closed in 1953, it was purchased and reopened in 1955 as a State Park. The park is named after Rear Admiral John L. Worden.

Things with the AO and the event seemed to moving along as planned, but things changed almost over night for the staff of OLCMSS. Here is the thoughts of Chief of Staff, Erik Hickly:

So now it begins…..

TWII has been officially postponed as John and I either re-engage the Parks Service to use Fort Worden at a later date or start from scratch and search for a new AO. In the meantime we are getting unconfirmed reports that members of the PNW airsoft community may have been purposefully undermining this event with the intention of ensuring it doesn’t happen. I don’t know who these people are or what, if anything, was done to undermine the event. Right now they are rumors.

What I do know is that I met with the Head Park Ranger last Friday and everything was good to go, including the permit. Then on Monday I received a call from him stating the event was off. The explanation given was out of character and did not seem in line with everything I heard and experienced the week prior. I think someone above him pulled the plug based on these rumors we are now hearing.

My intent here is to treat the PNW airsoft community as family with all of its great relationships and great dysfunctions (and I own part of those dysfunctions). Whether we agree with one player or team’s style of play, version of MILSIM or choice of gear does not matter in the end. We are all in the same family. Many members of this family are excited to experience LC events that can be financially out of reach for them due to the additional costs of travel. Many wanted another level of play. Most of us are looking for the next thing. It was my plan to deliver.

If the rumors are true and there are players, teams or groups of people out there who set out to undermine this, then I am calling you to the mat. It is one thing to voice your opinion publicly or in private about John Lu and his events. It is a whole new level to go out of your way to undermine an entire event and ruin a great experience for the rest of the family. One person, team or group does not speak for the community as a whole. The community speaks for the community as a whole by either attending or not attending these events.

If you are the person or one of these people who has done this then I am calling you to own that and reveal yourself to me. You don’t need to publicly shout out your name, but I would ask that you contact me directly and privately. I will not reveal your identity to anyone, but I would like to talk with you and discuss your specific issue and find a better way to deal with this than to shut down an entire event. If you are brave enough to undermine the event then you should be brave enough to have a one on one conversation with me to work through this. Don’t let your personal opinion or feelings speak for the community as a whole.

I can be reached confidentially at analoglife@comcast.net.

Erik Hickly
Chief of Staff

Now, much of this is speculation to the OLCMSS staff, but I’m sure it is not without evidence. Like I said before, you can say what you like about the OLCMSS events, but to undermine an event is raising things to another level.

It would be one thing if OLCMSS had a history of poor business practice and shady customer service. Neither would appear to be the case, as OLCMSS events routinely sell-out to veteran crowds who have found a home at these events. A company who steals from, or provides a sub-par product would not see such return in customer base, and would eventually fade away.

What people do not understand is how much this has the potential to hurt the Airsoft/Milsim communities. Fort Worden is a State Park, and to be allowed to host an event at such a location is no small feat. If the park administration gets wind of squabbles within the community, this could potential close the park to ANY future MilSim events. MOUT facilities in other states have shut their doors to civilians due to squabbles between promoters, between airsofters and paintballers, and national promoters and fearful locals.

The biggest thing holding the Milsim community back at this point is ourselves, and we have no one else to blame.

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