The rumors began on March 13, 2015 when U.S. citizens first learned about the shadowy military operation known as Jade Helm (or Jade Helm 15). The size and scope of Jade Helm (the operation will be conducted over seven different states throughout the Southwest) sets the exercise apart from any other military exercise in history – never before has a drill of this scope and magnitude taken place on US sovereign soil. The official Special Operations Command stance is that the civilian operation locations were chosen because the terrain is “similar to conditions special operations forces operate in overseas”. Detractors however, find federal military personnel operating covertly in American cities throughout the southwest USA alarming and cite plenty of reasons to suspect there is more to the Jade Helm operation than meets the eye.
What is Jade Helm 15?
Spanning eight weeks, from July 15, 2015 through September 15, 2015, at locations in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, California, and Nevada, elite service members from four branches of the U.S. military will launch an operation in which they will operate covertly among the U.S. public and travel from state to state in ground vehicles and military aircraft. Federal explanations for the massive military exercise vary. Special Operations Command says the locations on U.S. soil were chosen because the geography mimics that of foreign adversaries. However, their stance appeared to change when they declared that the operation is an exercise to test tactics to protect the U.S. from an invasion.
Participants in Jade Helm include the Green Berets, Navy Seals, US Air Force Special Operations Command, USMC Special Operations Command, USMC Marine Expeditionary Units, the 82nd Airborne Division, and “interagency partners” (believed to be FBI, NSA, and DEA). The Jade Helm exercise will be conducted on private and public land. A “simulated event” will occur in central Texas requiring Special Forces joint operations (Navy/Marines) entering the country from the Gulf of Mexico. Another simulated event will occur in Utah while an “insurgency group” will take hold in southern California near the Mexico border. The true intent behind Jade Helm is unknown but leaked documents disclose some alarming facts about the massive covert military operation.
Texas, Utah, and California labelled “hostile”
When official maps of the operation areas were discovered, many were angered to see Texas, Utah, and the southern tip of California labelled “hostile”. Even more ominous, the motto of the operation was found to be “Master the Human Domain”. Thousands of military personnel moving covertly throughout their home states angered many citizens of the states involved in the operation.
While news of the Jade Helm operation leaked to the public, a series of unusual Walmart closures occurred in the operational area. Five Walmart stores were closed – one in California (Pico Rivera) and two in Texas (Livingston and Midland) due to “plumbing issues”. Oddly, customers and employees were reportedly only given a few hours’ notice before the stores were shuttered. When news networks conducted their own independent investigations, they found that no building permits had been sought in any of the areas that the stores were located in. What type of plumbing problem requires six months to repair, is so severe it necessitates the closure of the entire store, and requires no permit? Conspiracy theorists wait their entire lives for an alignment of events such as this. Obviously something was amiss.
Questions about Jade Helm prompt concern
To no surprise, the announcement of the massive Jade Helm operation, some states being labelled “hostile”, and the closure of a half-dozen Walmart stores in the operational area raised many questions. Were the Walmart stores to be used as guerrilla-warfare staging areas or FEMA processing camps? Or are the vacated stores, as some suspect, to be used as entry points to a new series of underground tunnels that would allow the military to move easily around the southwest without detection? With the Walmart stores closed, windows boarded up, and parking lots roped off – what (or who) will be held inside these mammoth buildings during the Jade Helm operation?
Even if the vacated Walmart stores were not used in the Jade Helm operation, why would the United States government conduct a massive military operation in populated civilian areas during a time when distrust of the United States government was at a historic high? Even Texas Senator Ted Cruz agreed that the timing was ominous. Cruz contacted the Pentagon to question them about the exercise and later told reporters, “When the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”
Many wondered if martial law was on the horizon. Would this be the day the Federal government tries to take away the guns of U.S. citizens? Is this a dry run, practice for a suspected collapse, uprising, or civil war that would require the implementation of martial law? Was this a “Red List” extraction drill to test (or conduct) extraction of U.S. civilians deemed dangerous to the United States?
And it wasn’t just conspiracy theorists who brought up these questions. All News Pipeline wondered,
“With September of 2015 consistently being warned of as a potential timeframe for the global collapse and World War 3, are these exercises more proof that something huge will happen near that date or just more ongoing drills as the Posse Comitatus Act [AD Note: this Act prohibits military operation against its own civilians] no longer applies upon American soil and America turns into a ‘no longer’ invisible dictatorship?”
Freedom Outpost was equally suspicious and noted,
“For years now, our veterans, Christians, patriots, gun owners, constitutionalists, pro-life advocates, small government supporters, small businesses, real journalists in the press, anti-corruption activists, anti-UN Agenda 21 advocates, anti-global warming supporters, anti-war patriots, anti-criminal immigration supporters, have all been targeted by this administration as enemies of the United States, even within government documents. Are we supposed to trust that they have pure intentions now?”
Texas governor orders monitoring of Jade Helm exercise
Admittedly, the conspiracy theories seem over-the-top but then again, the facts about Jade Helm as we know them are bizarre too. In response to the many questions, the Army sent out a press release in an attempt to appease public concern. They explained that “the public can expect nothing much different from their day-to-day activities since much of exercise will be conducted in remote areas.” Among those “remote areas” were seventeen cities in Texas including Bastrop/Smithville, Big Spring, Caddo Lake, Caldwell, Christoval, College Station, Dell City, Eldorado, Goliad, Junction, Leakey, Menard, Mountain Home, San Angelo, San Antonio and Victoria. Texans did not take kindly to this perceived “invasion” of their state and on April 28, 2015, Texas governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor the Jade Helm 15 operation declaring,
“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property right and civil liberties will not be infringed.”
Actor Chuck Norris sided with Texans when he said,
“What’s under question are those who are pulling the strings at the top of Jade Helm 15 back in Washington. The U.S. government says, ‘It’s just a training exercise.’ But I’m not sure the term “just” has any reference to reality when the government uses it.”
In response, the Army sent Lieutenant Colonel Mark Lastoria to brief residents of Bastrop (located 30 miles east of Austin) where he told concerned citizens (who feared the military exercise was a preface to a martial law program) specifically that the exercise was “not a preparation for martial law”. Regardless, obviously something highly unusual was taking place in the southwest United States. To conduct a military operation this massive inside civilian areas is unheard of especially considering the U.S. military has extensive training facilities at its disposal including the Asymmetric Warfare Group Training Complex (ASG), a nearly 1,000 acre training complex which contains miles of roadway (constructed using a variety of surface substances), several bridges, fifty different buildings including a mock power plant, a subway tunnel, and many more civilian-like structures.
So what is the purpose of Jade Helm 15?
Martial law takeover of unruly states
Is Jade Helm a martial law takeover of unruly states? Not likely. Admittedly, USASOC blew it with their frightening and thoughtless “Master the Human Domain” operation motto. Dumb move for sure. And labeling Texas as “hostile”, even for fictional purposes, well, we know how Texans are (I’m a Texan myself). A better label should have been presented to the public – “simulated hostile” would have been more appropriate and would have likely resulted in Texas welcoming the military into their state with open arms.
Are the closed Walmart stores part of the operation? Possibly, but not likely. It’s difficult to imagine Walmart freely giving up a large amount of revenue for a military training exercise. And at this point, it appears as if the closures are not permanent. A more likely scenario is that there is a public safety issue at the stores which for liability reasons, Walmart does not want to disclose to the public (and intends to fix before the public finds out). On the other hand, if the federal government required large man-made structures for Jade Helm, it’s hard to beat a mammoth Walmart store.
Practice run for implementation of US martial law
Is Jade Helm a practice run in case the U.S. government must resort to martial law if citizens become too unhappy with their government and revolt? Possibly. A practice run conducted in civilian areas serves two important purposes. The military gains real-life experience and are conditioned to operate in a manner that is against their nature and true purpose – to restrain and contain their fellow citizens. Equally important, a military operation conducted in civilian areas conditions the public to accept federal military incursion into their neighborhoods. As radio host Alex Jones explained to his listeners on March 27, 2015, “It’s part of acclimating and conditioning.” Exercises to mentally condition soldiers to “hostile” US civilians are not unheard of either. In a recent dirty bomb drill in Richmond, California, soldiers practiced crowd control while role players taunted the soldiers.
Training exercise for potential terrorist invasion
Is Jade Helm a training exercise to prepare for terrorist invasion? Although this is a scary scenario, it is the most likely scenario. Just one month after Jade Helm 15 was announced, the director of the FBI confessed that the presence of ISIS could be felt in all 50 states. Just this month, a purported ISIS-backed attack occurred in Garland, Texas when two armed gunman attempted to attack a public meeting. Despite the Canadian border being much more porous, southwest U.S. states lay along a large border with a foreign country which we deem much less friendly than our northern neighbors – and one that is much less able to secure their own borders. If terrorists were to penetrate the United States in mass, the Mexican border is a prime entry point to the country.
It is also worthy to note that the document presented to Texas officials reportedly contains several unusual statements including a description of the operations movements: “operating in and around communities where anything out of the ordinary will be spotted and reported (locals are the first to notice something out of place)” while noting that some participants “may conduct suspicious activities”.
This theory is further supported by statements in leaked documents. Despite the claim that the event is an exercise intended to provide our military with training in areas similar to foreign lands they may be required to operate in, USASOC specifically stated that the Jade Helm operation is intended to improve the Special Operations Forces “urban warfare capability as part of the National Security Strategy”. That pretty much sums it up.
The map below shows the areas where operations will be taking place. The following acronyms are used on the map.
- AOB – Advanced Operations Base
- CRF – Contingency Response Force or Contingency Reaction Force
- JOAX – Joint Operation Access Exercise
- MSOT – Marine Special Operations Team
- NSWTU – Navy Special Warfare Task Unit
- ODA – Operational Detachment-Alpha (standard 12-man special forces team)
- ODG – Ordnance Disposal Group
- ODH MC – Operation Desert Hammer Mission Control?
- SOTF – Special Operations Task Force
Note to fellow Texans
The individuals participating in the exercise won’t be traveling incognito. They’ll be wearing armbands. Fellow Texans: Relax, sit back and enjoy the show and for Pete’s sake, check for an armband before you shoot! [Note to NSA: this is humor]
PRESS RELEASE: Exercise readies SOF for threats abroad
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, March 24, 2015) – Members of U.S. Army Special Operations Command will train with other U.S Armed Forces units July 15 through Sept. 15 in a multi-state exercise called Jade Helm 15.
USASOC periodically conducts training exercises such as these to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies. It is imperative that Special Operations Soldiers receive the best training, equipment and resources possible.
While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, 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. However, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) will only train in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.
The training exercise will be conducted on private and public land with the permission of the private landowners, and from state and local authorities. In essence, all exercise activity will be taking place on pre-coordinated public and private lands.
The public can expect nothing much different from their day-to-day activities since much of exercise will be conducted in remote areas. The most noticeable effect the exercise may have on the local communities is an increase in vehicle and military air traffic and its associated noise. There will also be economic gain: an increase in the local economy, in fuel and food purchases and hotel lodging.
This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for ARSOF since they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.
During this eight-week period, ARSOF soldiers will use this opportunity to further develop tactics, techniques and procedures for emerging concepts in Special Operations warfare.
USASOC intends to conduct the exercise safely and courteously while providing the best possible training available for the nation’s Army Special Operations Forces. State and local officials are being informed of the scope of Jade Helm and will continue to be updated as the exercise progresses.
Military exercises to be held in county
GOLIAD – The Goliad County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a request by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command to conduct military exercises in the county for month-long period in 2015.
Thomas Mead, operations planner for the U.S. Army’s Jade Helm realistic military training, spoke to the court during its Dec. 8 meeting and told the commissioners that 60 to 65 military personnel will be involved in the exercises, which will be conducted between July 15 and Sept. 15, 2015, at privately owned land.
“This allows our soldiers to get a better training environment,” Mead said. “You can only do so much in a military environment. You don’t really get a true interaction with the public.”
Jade Helm is an eight-week joint military and interagency unconventional warfare exercise that will be conducted in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. The exercises will also be conducted in 15 other Texas locations, including Victoria County.
“We have Army Green Berets, Navy Seals, Marine Special Operations Command, the 82nd Airborne Division and we also have some of our interagency partners such as the DEA, FBI and the joint personnel recovery agency that will be working with us.”
Mead said the operations will held on property owned by T. Michael O’Connor.
“We’re getting these guys back into the woods,” Mead said. “We’re getting them back into the field to make it hard for them.”
Mead said county residents will see increased aircraft in the area at night and warned county officials that there may be an increase in noise complaints.
Some participants will be carrying weapons with blank ammunition and some may be wearing civilian attire while driving civilian vehicles.
According to Mead, the economic impact to Goliad County is estimated to be $150,000.
Commissioners Endorse Plan for Green Beret Training
February 27, 2015
After more than a decade of wars in which U.S. special-operations forces have played a lead role, military planners are seeking to retrain those forces in skills they haven’t used in the decade’s overseas missions. This summer, Hudspeth County will be the site of part of that training effort.
At a meeting of Hudspeth County commissioners Tuesday (Feb. 24), Francisco Oquendo, a contractor working with U.S. Army Special Operations Command, described plans for a Green Beret training exercise planned for August. Commissioners voted to grant their support for the operation, which will be conducted in cooperation with private landowners in the county and in adjacent areas of New Mexico.
Oquendo said the exercise will not involve live fire, and that most county residents will be unaware of the troops’ presence. Participants in the exercise will be veteran soldiers. The purpose the exercise is to retrain participants in unconventional warfare, an effort Oquendo compared to rebluing, or renewing the protective finish, on a gun.
“For the last 12 to 15 years, we’ve been heavily involved in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other places not in the media,” Oquendo said, “in direct action missions – not conducting unconventional warfare. These are perishable skills, and commanders have asked us to come up with ways to reblue them.”
The training exercise in Hudspeth County will be limited in scale – lasting four to seven days and involving fewer than 20 soldiers on the ground. But the local exercise is part of a much larger operation, unfolding across seven states in the Southwest and in 10 other Texas counties, called “Jade Helm.”
Over an eight-week period, 1,500 to 1,800 people will participate in the Jade Helm training, Oquendo said. The training will run from July 15 through Sept. 15, and the Hudspeth County portion is planned for August. Jade Helm is planned as an annual occurrence, and future exercises in Hudspeth County could involve a larger number of military personnel, Oquendo said.
In Jade Helm, special operations are simulating entering a foreign country to assist an insurgency. Oquendo said the exercise is focused as much on the skills of decision makers in various agencies as it is on soldiers on the ground. In Hudspeth County, participating soldiers will by Army Special Forces, or Green Berets, but special-operations soldiers from the other branches of the military will participate in other locations.
In the Hudspeth County exercise, a group of Green Berets will parachute into the airfield near Ranch Road 1111, north of Sierra Blanca. The soldiers will be moved to a location north of the drop site – and will then move on foot into New Mexico.
“There will be an airborne infiltration, and they’re going to hide,” Oquendo said. “You’re not going to see them. At 1 a.m., there will be an airplane that flies at about 1,000 feet for about 15 seconds, and that’s the last you’ll hear or see of them.”
The Hudspeth County training will recreate a situation in which soldiers have to get out of hostile terrain. Oquendo said the military will recruit several local residents to serve as role players – to assist in transporting soldiers, in the guise of locals sympathetic to the insurgency.
Though the military has vast installation across the Southwest, Oquendo said that conducting training outside of an installation is designed to create a more “realistic” training experience. He said that for participants, encountering unfamiliar terrain outside of an installation, and interacting with residents who have real knowledge and experience of that terrain, is a central point of the training.
Oquendo is a retired sergeant major from the Green Berets, with 23 year of active duty experience. He works know with Intelligence, Communications, and Engineering, Inc., or ICE Inc., a Sierra Vista, Ariz.-based company that contracts with the military to facilitate training exercises. On his visit to Hudspeth County, Oquendo was joined by Paul Crownover, a retired master sergeant from the Green Berets, with 27 years of active duty, who now works for contractor Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting, Inc., or VATC.
Special operations trainings were conducted in Hudspeth County in 2011 and 2012, and those trainings included exercises in rural locations and “urban resourcefulness” operations in Dell City, Sierra Blanca and Fort Hancock.
Before the court voted to endorse the plan, Hudspeth County Judge Mike Doyal noted that, in those earlier exercises, some local residents had been caught off guard by the use of live ammunition and explosives in rural areas. Oquendo said that, in the Jade Helm training, “[the soldiers’] job is to maneuver through the terrain without being compromised – so there will be no live ammunition, unless they’re authorized for force protection ammo” against snakes or other wildlife.
West Texas brief mentioned in Standard-Times – November 2, 2014
Military exercise expected in area
Schleicher County commissioners received word of a military exercise JADE HELM 15 scheduled for July through Sept. 15 of next year, according to a report from the Eldorado Success.
The exercise will take part in seven western states, including Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California.
Part of the Texas operation will take place in and around Schleicher County, with home base at the Steve Blaylock Ranch.