“No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.” That is a quote from German military strategist, Helmuth von Moltke, in its unabridged form, as he uttered it during his tenure as chief of staff of the Prussian General Staff from 1857 to 1871. Words to live by, I say, and I have always conducted my own mission planning with that very doctrine in mind.

Me, I like a good, concise, pithy, aphoristic one-liner to sum up a wealth of knowledge and to guide me through troublesome situations. Here’s another one that I hold of great value: “A plan is nothing more than a common point of deviation.”

The originator of that little jewel is none other that the man himself–Nic McKinley, the founder of the counter-human traffic task force, DeliverFund. Yes, that is him in the feature image of this article. I took that photo of Nic in the tactical operations center (TOC) preparing for operations in Houston, Texas during the Super Bowl. And no, it was not staged, though hard to believe, given the timely DeliverFund coffee mug turned just right.

Nic may give the appearance of being some sort of comic book superhero. In fact, in my mind, he is the very embodiment of a modern-day superhero in a country that grows increasingly poor in the essence that superheroes are made of. We need more heroes to come along—that we do.

The hunt for human traffic, in the model as I have helped create and define, can be loosely partitioned as: ~50% network Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) hunting, ~45% sitting idly watching a target subject for long periods of time hoping you can collect a key element of information, and ~5% cool-guy adventuresome exploits. Staring at a subject for a (sometimes) really long time, is known to us as the Persistent Stare (PS).

I find that my hours of persistent staring (PSing??) are spiced by a dash of creative thinking, and the more impatient I get, the more creative my thinking becomes. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” You see what I did there?

Here is an original not-so-aphoristic explanation of the key aspect of the PS: I define persistence as: “a percentage of probability that you will find a desired object, if you look for it enough times at a specific time and place.” Indeed, I have put in the work engaged in persistent stares in specific times and places, and eventually found my desired objects.

The Operations Game Changer Tactical Operations Center in Houston

The Houston Super Bowl operation was titled Operation Game Changer (OPGC). At the time of execution we had two, 12-hour work shifts: one for the day hours, and another for night. I worked operations with Nic during the day shift. My replacement for the night hours was none other than the venerable Delta brother of mine, A. Greg “Ironhead” Birch—there can be only one!