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Old 05-31-2019, 10:24 PM   #21
Icelander
 
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

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I would say it is unlikely that they can be stopped from crossing the bridge, but also unlikely that they can get across the bridge without picking up a tail (probably Highway Patrol), and while people do sometimes succeed in escaping a police chase, it's quite uncommon, particularly if the police are motivated, which they would be.
The planned counter would be for either the sicarios or the Russian to engage any such vehicle. Granted, this has very high odds of leading to those who engage being drawn into a running gunfight with police, ultimately ending in a melancholy fashion for them, but from the perspective of the leader of the OpFor, only the vehicle(s) with him and the target absolutely have to escape.

To prevent the Russian from needing to stop in order to engage, it would be awesome if he could open the rear doors of his box truck and have a fairly stable firing platform for engaging anyone following him. Moving atound some boxes to make a sniper's hide inside the box truck is easy, but can someone with Machinist and Mechanic (Automobile) at 12-14 somehow fix rear doors so that once opened while at any speed, they fall away backwards, so that they wouldn't flap around and interfere with shooting?

If so, how long would it take and what tools would one need?
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:27 PM   #22
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

There are ways of making your own equipment.
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:41 PM   #23
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

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There are ways of making your own equipment.
In two hours?

Besides, who would?

The former Spetsnaz sniper is not a communications or electronics specialist. In any case, he will enough claims on his time.

The OpFor leader is a business executive with a shady past. He has actually had people use various such devices on his behalf, but would have no idea how to do it himself. Nor should he, as he is effectively an officer and has better things to do than technical tasks.

There are two men who are former soldiers, former military contractors and current security contractors, as well as both having Private Investigator licenses. Theoretically, they might know how to make a jammer, but only at default from competent, but not exceptional, Electronics Operation (Communication) or their expert Electronics Operation (Security) or (Surveillance).

Neither of them is a tech geek, they use electronics, they don't design or make them. At home, in Dallas, they work with people who put up security systems for a living, as well as a computer security consultant. But those co-workers are not criminals, are not there and do not, in fact, know what their fellow security contractors are doing.

The dozen sicarios range from gang members who happen to have a gift for violence to former cops or infanfrymen from Bolivia or Peru. Maybe three of them have been security for a PMC. None of them are educated or have much in the way of valuable skills aside from being urban guerillas.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:54 AM   #24
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

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Regrettably, the answer to that is probably yes.

None of the OpFor are naval people and they were certainly not recruited for their boating experience. I suppose there is a chance that one of the dozen sicarios has a hobby or used to work on a smuggling boat or something, but if so, the OpFor leader wouldn't know about it, as the dozen shooters are out-of-towners lent to him to do a single job. Events have overtaken him, so he won't do that job now, but as it turns out, the preparations for attacking the PCs will work for this ad hoc rescue operation. In fact, with only slight modifications, so will their extraction plan.

The OpFor already have four cars and two box trucks, but they have no boats. And obtaining boats in the two hours they have since they determined that they'd have to shoot cops seems difficult. I mean, aren't boat rental places closed after 22:00 at night?
Looking at the map of Galveston... I'd still think real hard about a boat. By your description, though, the only one likely to have any Boating skill is the Spetsnaz guy. Or maybe the OpFor guy, since boating could be a rich man's hobby. Also, it gives you an excuse to bring a narco sub into the picture.

Is it at all possible for the OpFor to have their getaway cars on Galveston already? Because if so, switching cars a few blocks from the attack seems a lot safer, as long as you can do it away from surveillance cameras.

So... if I were running this scenario, I'd have the OpFor look to ambush the ambulance a little further east, near the 61st St bridge south across Offatts Bayou. Assume the attack is successful. They take off southeast - maybe across the 61st Street bridge, maybe toward the downtown and hospital. Any witnesses see this. Police now have to consider two other exits in addition to I-45: by boat, as mentioned, and by the Bluewater Highway that heads southwest. That last is a toll bridge, though. If OpFor is being exceptionally cute, they "accidentally" leave a marina address in one of the attack cars. Transfer cars on the island (could leave them parked anywhere as long as they were careful about surveillance or home security cameras) and then try to leave via I-45. I'd guess about 15 minutes to do so.

If you want to get extremely cute, there's also a railroad bridge next to I-45. If that's down, they can try to sneak across there, but it seems more cute than good.

Maybe he splits up, has one of the sicario cars head down the Bluewater, then phones in another anonymous tip, betraying them to buy more time. Seems unlikely to work, though...
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:59 AM   #25
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
To prevent the Russian from needing to stop in order to engage, it would be awesome if he could open the rear doors of his box truck and have a fairly stable firing platform for engaging anyone following him. Moving atound some boxes to make a sniper's hide inside the box truck is easy, but can someone with Machinist and Mechanic (Automobile) at 12-14 somehow fix rear doors so that once opened while at any speed, they fall away backwards, so that they wouldn't flap around and interfere with shooting?

If so, how long would it take and what tools would one need?
Presumably he has someone to drive the truck while he's shooting out the back? Don't forget the limitations on Aiming in "Weapon Fire from a Moving Vehicle" on p. B469.

As for the rear doors, I can see several ways of doing it within half an hour's work:

Remove the pins from the hinges and replace them with something much weaker, so that a good blow will break them and make the doors fall off. This leaves the vehicle looking distinctive, and is bad for any friendly cars following you, although the Russian may not care much about that. It's also tricky to get right: too strong a material, and you may be fighting to get the doors off; too weak and they may fall off by themselves.

Remove the doors beforehand, and make the truck look like the kind of beat-up vehicle that might be driving around with a load of junk in the back.

Make an arrangement with bungee cords and/or wooden or metal props that will keep the doors open and not flapping. Probably the best idea. Lets you close the doors again with a minute or so of works wile stopped.

Anyone got Explosives (Demolition), and willing to risk a famous quotation?
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Old 06-01-2019, 07:59 AM   #26
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

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Looking at the map of Galveston... I'd still think real hard about a boat. By your description, though, the only one likely to have any Boating skill is the Spetsnaz guy. Or maybe the OpFor guy, since boating could be a rich man's hobby. Also, it gives you an excuse to bring a narco sub into the picture.
There is clearly not a submarine available, just in case. In any event, the Consortium for which the OpFor work are unlikely to have any submarines. Their smuggling is usually through container ships in California, though actually, the leader of the OpFor does import things through the ports of Corpus Christi, Galveston, Houston, Texas City and other Gulf Coast ports. Not drugs, though, precious metals and they are legally imported (if not, perhaps, mined with all the required licenses).

We shall henceforth refer to the leader of the OpFor as Raul, for that's how he introduced himself to the PCs when he made them an offer he really wishes they hadn't refused. Raul is unlikely to do much boating, at least as an adult, as he has spent most of his life in the Andes mountains, before settling in Dallas seven years ago. Raul owns horses, not a boat. I guess he might have spent some time on a yacht or two on vacation, but that's Dabbler, at best.

To further simplify, we shall call Spetsnaz guy 'Igor'. Not because that's his name, but because that's what one of the two cultists in police custody called him, because he is heavily muscled, Eastern European, taciturn, scarred, ugly and served as a driver, bodyguard, handyman and general dogsbody to a warlock.

Igor's age is uncertain, but as it happens, he is over fifty and fought in Afghanistan. There are suggestions that after Igor's initial service in Soviet Ground Forces Spetsnaz, he was transferred to GRU Spetsnaz service. He was stationed in Irkutsk at some point, as well as other Siberian locations, and seems to have attended arctic operations training, mechanic school and extensive sniper training during his service. He also fought in Chechnya, before apparently retiring around 2010, as part of Russian military reform. So while it is not impossible that Igor has taken a training course involving boats at some point in his life (perhaps on Lake Baikal), his military service has been in very landlocked areas. At moving into position to take down a guerilla leader with a sniper shot in urban areas or getting a truck through difficult arctic or mountain terrain, Igor is a genuine expert, but in water, he is out of his element.

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Is it at all possible for the OpFor to have their getaway cars on Galveston already? Because if so, switching cars a few blocks from the attack seems a lot safer, as long as you can do it away from surveillance cameras.
They have time to place the getaway cars where they like, assuming it's within an hour's drive. The problem with switching cars on Galveston Island is that if they give law enforcement enough time, odds are that every way off the island will be blocked with numerous patrol cars. And every vehicle leaving would most likely be searched.

A paramilitary attack on cops and EMTs is a huge deal. Enough for a massive law enforcement response, once they get organized.

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So... if I were running this scenario, I'd have the OpFor look to ambush the ambulance a little further east, near the 61st St bridge south across Offatts Bayou. Assume the attack is successful.
The problem with ambushing the ambulance later in its trip is that when the OpFor planned their rescue, they could not be sure whether Galveston PD would transport the target by patrol car to the County Jail or by ambulance to the UTMB Texas Department Criminal Justice Hospital. They had to prepare for either. And they also couldn't know if the vehicle with the target would prefer the freeway, merging with the I-45 at some point after the 71st Street, regardless of whether they were headed to the jail or hospital.

Also, even once they knew for certain that the target would be taken in for an MRI and an examination at the UTMB TDCJ Hospital (because an officer told dispatch so over the open radio and the OpFor have a police scanner), there is still a 50/50 chance that the ambulance might turn left on the 71st Street intersection, take Broadway Avenue 'backward' a spell and get onto Harborside Drive much sooner than by driving Broadway Street. After all, Google Maps rates it as a faster route.

All in all, the only way to be certain that the target will be moved past a given ambush point is to choose the one that is set at the first choice between multiple routes.

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They take off southeast - maybe across the 61st Street bridge, maybe toward the downtown and hospital. Any witnesses see this. Police now have to consider two other exits in addition to I-45: by boat, as mentioned, and by the Bluewater Highway that heads southwest. That last is a toll bridge, though. If OpFor is being exceptionally cute, they "accidentally" leave a marina address in one of the attack cars. Transfer cars on the island (could leave them parked anywhere as long as they were careful about surveillance or home security cameras) and then try to leave via I-45. I'd guess about 15 minutes to do so.
The police have to consider a boat, yes, because they don't know that the OpFor don't have access to one. On the other hand, considering how far you'd have to drive along Bluewater Highway to reach any place where there is a realistic choice of routes, it is probably obvious that it is not a practical escape route. Long before anyone could escape that way, there will be law enforcement road blocks on around that road, anywhere you can leave it.

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
If you want to get extremely cute, there's also a railroad bridge next to I-45. If that's down, they can try to sneak across there, but it seems more cute than good.

Maybe he splits up, has one of the sicario cars head down the Bluewater, then phones in another anonymous tip, betraying them to buy more time. Seems unlikely to work, though...
From what I can tell, neither is preferable to racing the 5.6 miles over the freeway and then starting the extraction once they are on the mainland, with multiple possible routes. Galveston Island is just too easy to close off to spend any time there once the reaponse starts.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:03 AM   #27
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

Late to the party, but:

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
... the Interstate highway system... Where the money starts out from decides where the legal authority ends up with.
That's not the case, at least as far as the law enforcement topic of the early part of the thread is true. Interstate highways don't have special Federal police. They're part of the state in which they're in, and the state police (and local police) have jurisdiction and responsibility for them. Galveston police or Texas Highway Patrol will respond to problems on Interstates within Galveston, not the FBI.

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I believe I-16 goes only from Savannah to Macon, all within Georgia.
True. (Savannah is the third largest port on the East Coast, so there's a good reason to connect it to the rest of the Interstate system. Macon is on I-75, which gets you to the Midwest and Chicago.) Or there's Interstate H1, in Hawaii, which clearly isn't going to go to any other states. Actually crossing a state line isn't a requirement.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:46 AM   #28
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

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Presumably he has someone to drive the truck while he's shooting out the back? Don't forget the limitations on Aiming in "Weapon Fire from a Moving Vehicle" on p. B469.
Igor, our Russian Spetsnaz sniper, would have to let a sicario drive. Happily, Alberto is a former truck driver from Bolivia, working in the illegal mining industry, and still drives valuable shipments for his employees when he is not part of paramilitary death squads. Alberto has actually rammed his way through blockades by militants, as well as driving stolen trucks away from pursuit during what amounts to gold heists from rivals in the illegal mining sector. This won't be his first stint as a getaway driver while someone else fires at pursuing vehicles, though, granted, it will be the first time those vehicles are police, as opposed to rival Andean criminals or militants.

The Acc cap rule is pretty unrealistic, in that it produces the result of having a pistol, a carbine and a door-mounted machine gun all having the same effective engagement range. Also, reflex sights on vehicle-mounted arms would be worthless, which is demonstratably not true. I'll look up the suggestions from David Pulver and Hans Christian-Vortisch of using a penalty based on low Stability, instead of an Acc cap.

I'm debating whether Igor will be prepared to fire a Barrett M82A1 CQ from inside the box truck. .50 BMG and only a 20" barrel means that the noise will feel like a grenade in there. On the other hand, he'll have $200 electronic ear muffs and a prepared spot with a shooting blanket to dampen it.

If it's too loud, he'll use a LWRCI IC-SPR rifle in 5.56x45mm with a ATN X-SIGHT 4K INT 3-14X night vision scope. Less Night Vision in GURPS terms than the AN/PVS-22 UNS clip-on NV device mounted with the Vortex Razor HD GEN II 3-18X50 FFP on the Light Fifty, but any shots he makes from a moving vehicle wil be at relatively close range. Either rifle will be far more than ordinary patrolmen, who may or may not have longarms, do not have NVDs and do not have rifle vests, can deal with.

Approaching too closely with anything less than armored SWAT vehicles, filled with trained officers wearing tactical vests with rifle inserts, armed with NVD-equipped weapons, is probably going to result in more officers down without necessarily stopping the OpFor. The high percentage tactic for law enforcement is to follow outside of engagement range until sufficient tactical resources can be mobilized, but the problem is that Igor might be able to shoot at any vehicle within visual range of his truck.

Raul, the leader of the OpFor, is betting their lives or freedom on being able to reach the extraction point and scatter in clean vehicles before helicopters or SWAT are mobilized. Unless he's very unlucky as regards a random DPS helicopter flying by, assuming he manages to carry off the ambush at all, he's probably right about being gone before a helicopter has eyes on anything (or is airborne at all).

On the other hand, it's impossible for Raul to predict exactly how many patrol vehicles will reach I-45 and the Galveston Causeway before he can cross it. If he's lucky, they might blow through without any more shooting. More likely, they'll have to discourage pursuit by taking out one or more patrol vehicles. And it's not all that unlikely that by the time the OpFor reaches the Galveston Causeway, they'll be followed by several Galveston PD and GCSO vehicles and in front of them will be an emerging improvised roadblock made of LE vehicles, probably 1-2 GCSO patrol cars, one or more Highway Patrol cars and possibly a response from either Bayou Vista PD or Texas City PD.

In that last case, the OpFor odds look bad, but it's also by no means an ideal situation for the deputies, officers and patrolmen. Those would be men on routine patrol when they heard the news, wearing NIJ Level IIIA vests at best, armed with handguns and possibly having a shotgun or patrol rifle in the car, with only minutes to prepare, probably while driving at top speed toward the scene. Better hope that some of them are combat veterans and/or part-time SWAT, because the training they received in small town departments to be patrol officers or deputies does not prepare them for a situation like this.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
As for the rear doors, I can see several ways of doing it within half an hour's work:

Remove the pins from the hinges and replace them with something much weaker, so that a good blow will break them and make the doors fall off. This leaves the vehicle looking distinctive, and is bad for any friendly cars following you, although the Russian may not care much about that. It's also tricky to get right: too strong a material, and you may be fighting to get the doors off; too weak and they may fall off by themselves.

Remove the doors beforehand, and make the truck look like the kind of beat-up vehicle that might be driving around with a load of junk in the back.

Make an arrangement with bungee cords and/or wooden or metal props that will keep the doors open and not flapping. Probably the best idea. Lets you close the doors again with a minute or so of works wile stopped.
Well, once the OpFor get confirmation that the local police plan to move their target by ambulance, to the hospital, the truck takes up position next to Broadway Street. It will be partially blocking a private access road, but it's after midnight and the nearest house is 200' away. The OpFor just has to hope that no one in there comes out to ask questions. In any case, even parked in cover behind trees on the access road, with a clear route to intercept on Broadway Street, the truck actually doesn't block traffic and shouldn't be obvious. It would just look like a truck waiting to turn into Broadway Street.

In any case, the hope is that no one sees the truck all that clearly until it is used for the ambush. If anyone got close enough to see (it's dark, so pretty close), they'd panic because of all the men with guns, anyway, and ruin the ambush. So, that's already one point of failure for Raul to worry about, but it's not actually made any worse by having the truck be without rear doors.

After the ambush, the truck will obviously be the attacking vehicle and it may be damaged and/or with bullet holes. If possible, Raul would prefer the target to be transported in the car his own driver operates, as the truck is less likely to make it, but while he believes the target can be safely helped a few steps, he needs to account for the possibility that they'll have to carry her on stretchers, in which case she might need to be put in the back of the truck (this would also mean that Igor could not use the M82A1 from the truck).

In any case, after the ambush, the truck is supposed to drive 5.6 miles along the freeway before taking an exit that leads to an extraction point in a parking lot in Bayou Vista. From there, the OpFor will scatter in new getaway cars (and truck), leaving the truck and the vehicles used in the ambush.

So, I think removing the doors beforehand would work fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Anyone got Explosives (Demolition), and willing to risk a famous quotation?
The skill, yes. Actual explosives, not unless Dallas gun stores sell them or there was some way to obtain the materials in Galveston and make explosives quickly.

There was a time during the afternoon when the OpFor believed they'd have to ambush the PCs once it got dark. It's not implausible that someone went to the store and bought something to use to blow up or burn a PC-mobile full of guns, if it was easy to obtain. Igor has the skills to make IEDs, as do two of the sicarios and both Tomás and Eduardo, the security contractors.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:47 AM   #29
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

Icelander

How wedded to the idea of this shoot out are you? I can't help but think that the bad guy, if he has any intelligence, will go about the task entirely differently, and have a very high probability of success as well as doing it quietly enough that he can escape from under the noses of the police by moving at a sedate speed.

Questions that need to be answered: Is Gwen, as a target, willing to cooperate or is she a hostile? If the former, life just got easier. If the latter, well, then it gets a wee bit harder, but since it is night time, it won't be impossible.

Is the knowledge of the path that Gwen's transport team having to travel known with certainty, or is there the potential that the transport team might miss the ambush point? If there is a certainty to where the ambush occurs, then the Bad guy who is leading all of this can do it quietly, use the EMT's habits against them, and overcome the Police escort with little in the way of a blaze of gunfire.

Can the bad guy get his hands on tasers? Can he get his hands on at least Five vehicles? If you answer yes to the questions above, the new revised plan might go like this:

Three vehicles are made to plow into each other MOMENTS before the ambush. This creates an accident scene where the EMT's will happen to pass - more importantly, it will induce them to STOP. Gwen is not in a life threatening situation, while the so called staged accident will have real life people in need of help. That means the ambulance stops. The escorting police stop (assuming they were behind the ambulance in the first place). The "onlookers" start telling the cops "We saw the accident - the truck driver entered the intersection without stopping". That's when the Tasers come out...

Now - take out Gwen, move her to a vehicle, and leave the accident site.

Nice sedate pace, no cops killed, no gun fire, and a nicely extracted Gwen on her way to her fated destination.

If you need real blood, knock an innocent out, maybe leave them in the seat unbuckled as you ram into a car yourself, and presto, one instant victim in need of medical attention.

In the meantime? On the expressway, you have a car driver with his flashers on, pulled over on the side of the road as if disabled. The Bad guys get up to where he is, move the car they used initially for the extraction, leave it by the roadside and leave in the second car. Heck, they might even pour gasoline on the car behind, and torch it. Emergency vehicles like fire engines and such will race to the scene. That spetnaz guy? He could simply open fire on the firemen and their engine, their hoses, etc - and draw ALL attention to the burning car, withdraw on his own and leave quietly.

Or - as I suggested earlier - simply torch the car and move on.

The second car gets off nearby, goes to a parking lot, and a third car becomes the final get away vehicle.

That is probably what I'd want to do in such a way as to keep it low key and successful.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:32 AM   #30
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

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So, I think removing the doors beforehand would work fine.
I think you're right. A question on Raul's priorities if the mission is a failure: Is he to let Gwen be recaptured, or kill her? Or doesn't he have orders on that?
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