Special forces set to swarm Southwest and operate undetected among civilians in massive military exercise.
- Operation Jade Helm will see 1,200 service members including Green Berets and SEALs and special forces from the Air Force and Marines in July,
- Soldiers armed with blank rounds will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado for 8 week,
- The so-called Realistic Military Training has some residents fearful the drill is a preparation for martial law
Seven Southwestern states will soon be infiltrated by 1,200 military special ops personnel as part of a controversial domestic military training in which some of the elite soldiers will operate undetected among civilians.
Operation Jade Helm begins in July and will last for eight weeks. Soldiers will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado where some of them wil drop from planes while carrying weapons loaded with blanks in what military officials have dubbed Realistic Military Training.
But with residents of the entire states of Texas and Utah dubbed ‘hostile’ for the purposes of the exercises, Jade Helm has some concerned the drills are too realistic.
Headlines like Freedom Outpost‘s ‘Operation Jade Helm—military trains for martial law in American South-west’ abound across the Right-leaning blogosphere and Info Wars warns that Jade Helm is simply ‘an effort to test the effectiveness of infiltration techniques’ on the American public.
‘They’re having Delta Force, Navy SEALS with the Army trained to basically take over,’ Info Wars’ Alex Jones said Sunday. ‘Texas is listed as a hostile sector, and of course, we are…We’re here defending the republic.’
The Houston Chronicle reports that, among the planned exercises, soldiers will attempt to operate undetected among civilian populations.
Residents, in turn, will be asked to report suspicious activity in order to gauge the effectiveness of the soldiers.
Military officials say they’ve gotten the go ahead for the operations from local authorities such as mayors and county commissions.
And sheriff’s deputies told the Houston Chronicle they would ensure residents living near where aircraft were slated to create disturbances and drop soldiers, civilian and military vehicles will barrel through and where blank rounds would be fired.
Jim Stewart with the Brazos County, Texas Sheriff’s Office told the Chronicle that such exercises are far from anything new.
‘Special ops for years have trained off-post for years, where they go out and have folks that are role players out on the economy,’ said the Army intelligence veteran. ‘They’ll have a scenario they’ll be following and they’ll interact with these role players as if they’re in another country.’
However, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command themselves say Jade Helm is different.
‘The size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states,’ the USASOC wrote in a March 24 release.
‘The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.’
The military has also reacted to widespread fear of the operation by calling some ultra-conservative coverage of the ‘martial law’ drills alarmist and inaccurate.
‘That notion was proposed by a few individuals who are unfamiliar with how and why USASOC conducts training exercises,’ USASOC spokesman Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria told Stripes.
‘This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for Army Special Operations Forces because they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.’