CLASSIFICATION: For Public Interest (FPI)

Operation Order:  Zanskar, "Mission to the Mines"
References: GT Sheet No. 25 D/8

I.  Situation
       A.  Enemy Forces
                   Hostilities between two rival countries of India and Pakistan have heightened to the point of imminent war. The dispute is over the territory of Kashmir to include the legendary sapphire mines in the Great Himalayas. It appears greater than 1 million soldiers face each other in a stand-off along what is the de-factor border or Line of Control (LOC). Several dozen Muslim radical groups and al-Queda fugitives then contribute to the chaos by inflaming the situation with intermittent terrorist attacks.


 B.  Friendly Forces
                   A team of civilian clothed special operations soldiers will assist KashmirBlue and the entourage of local miners and geologist to the mine location in the Zanskar mountains.

C.  Weather and Terrain
                   Sometimes referred to as the "Switzerland of Asia," the terrain consists of towering mountain peaks, glacier valleys, deep gorges, and gushing rivers. The mountains surrounding the mines surpass 6000m (19800ft) thus causing extreme weather patterns. Unpredictable snow storms and other severe climatic conditions are possible.

II.  Mission
           KashmirBlue will conduct a reconnaissance mission of the "Old" and "New" mines located in the Padar region, Kashmir, to survey, document, and photograph current mining operations.

III.  Execution
       A.  Concept of Operation
                  The purpose of this operation is to bring international recognition to a country and its people which have suffered in oppression for nearly 55 years. This mission will allow international laboratories and gemstone enthusiasts the opportunity to study the origins and obtain samples of the most rare and beautiful gemstones on earth. But, ultimately this mission will put an end to the skepticism about current mining in the legendary mines of Kashmir.
                    1.  Maneuver:   Once reaching the town of Atholi, the most treacherous portion will begin. We will continue by foot through dangerous mule tracks along precipitous defiles, for another 60 kilometers, finally reaching our base camp at Sumcham. This village, Sumcham, is the last location humans inhabit before reaching the first mine at an altitude of 4342 meters. The ascent should take no more than 6 days. Time on location is yet to be determined, but we are prepared to spend the season which is limited to less than 70 days. Upon completing the reconnaissance, we will clear the objective and descend back toward civilization.

IV.  Service and Support
         A.  General: All supplies and equipment will be mule packed or hand carried into the mines. Modern mechanized equipment will not be carried to the objective due to the severe terrain.
         B.  Materials and Services:  N/A

V.  Command:  God is in Command.