Patriot groups across the country are preparing to launch a ‘Counter Jade Helm’ operation to keep tabs on a controversial U.S. military exercise that some fear is part of preparations to train troops for civil unrest and martial law.
Jade Helm, a “realistic” military training exercise involving nine states, which will involve the Green Berets, Navy Seals, and the 82nd Airborne Division and is set to take place from July 15-Sepember 15, has prompted concerns after Texas and Utah were labeled “hostile” territory in documents related to the exercise.
Although the U.S. Army insists the drill is designed to prepare troops for combat abroad, concerns have been raised that the exercise is part of a history of the military readying for domestic disorder.
During the drill, soldiers will operate”undetected amongst civilian populations,” to see if they can infiltrate without being noticed. Residents will be encouraged to report “suspicious activity” during the exercise.
In response, patriot groups led by Pete Lanteri, former president of Icon Tactical Industries, will monitor the exercises.
A Facebook page for the initiative promises to, “observe the attempted infiltration of our towns during Operation Jade Helm with self sufficient teams in the field conducting counter surveillance.”
“Our main focus right now is on gathering intel on when and where the military will be infiltrating SOF teams for Operation Jade Helm,” writes Lanteri. “We have the Texas locations. We need verified info on South Cali and Utah locations. Arizona looks like it will only be on 1 military installation. Once we gather that intel and the field teams are informed then we will start posting information on how to go about locating SOF teams in public. Looking for certain mannerisms, etc. But right now we are focused on locations and dates!!”
Over 2,000 people have followed the page so far, with many posting updates about Jade Helm, including speculation that Colorado has told the Army it will refuse to allow state or city property to be used for the drill.
Other similar initiatives, named ‘Operation Tyranny Response’ And ‘Operation Homeland Hawkeye’, have also been launched in response to Jade Helm.
A post attributed to Navy veteran Geoff Ross asserts that he has arranged for 25 retired Navy SEAL, DELTA and Rangers to travel to Washington DC to conduct exercises similar to those described in the Jade Helm documents.
“They will wander around and be tourists. They may pop in and visit a few Congressman or maybe they won’t. Or, maybe they will. The 1st Amendment is about to be exercised. Body cams in place. They practice we practice. We all practice. They visit us. We visit them,” writes Ross.
It is not yet known whether the Oathkeepers organization will take part in any of these campaigns. The Oathkeepers were present during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri last year and protected numerous businesses from being targeted by looters.
Mainstream media coverage of Jade Helm has poured scorn on concerns about the exercise and merely regurgitated Army talking points that the drill is purely designed to prepare troops for overseas combat.