According to the Oregonian, the vehicles were filled with members of the Pacific Patriot Network, a consortium of armed men from around the Pacific Northwest whose declared goal is to educate individuals on how to prepare for political and natural disasters.
The armed men arrived to help provide a buffer around the militiamen holed up at the refuge, prevent the protest from escalating to a violent standoff with authorities and help the community find a resolution. The Oregon militiamen – led by Ammon Bundy– however asked the new group of armed men to go away.
"Within minutes of their arrival, a man who said he was speaking on Bundy's behalf emerged from the occupied refuge headquarters and announced that the visitors had been asked to leave. Bundy didn't talk directly to reporters or appear at the daily morning briefing," the Oregonian reported.
The Pacific Patriots Network – a collection of western militias– considers itself the "communities first responders," and its website declares its mission is to organize "a comprehensive and integrated response that coordinates community resources to protect life, liberty, property and the environment of our communities through mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from all natural and man-made hazards."
But the patriot group does not appear to be an ally of the Oregon militiamen. Instead, a spokesman for the group had told Reuters previously that the group disagreed with the Oregon takeover. Todd Macfarlane, a mediator between the militia and the community, told the Guardian, “Ammon felt blindsided" by the group's arrival, which he said was "not a welcome development."
So if Bundy didn't ask for the patriot group to arrive, who did?
According to the Guardian, right-wing radio host Pete Santilli asked the patriot group to help guard the perimeter of the standoff.