With Jade Helm 15 is less than a week away, hundreds of citizens are prepared to conduct “Counter Jade Helm,” a surveillance operation of military activity during the secretive government exercise spanning the Southwest.

Now that the military has announced it will not allow the media to cover the massive exercise, Counter Jade Helm and citizen reports will be the only information available.

Eric Johnston, a 51-year-old retired firefighter and sheriff’s deputy who lives in Kerrville, is a surveillance team leader in Texas, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Beginning on July 15 when Jade Helm begins, Johnston will coordinate three groups of volunteers to monitor the SEALs, Green Berets and Air Force Special Ops in Bastrop, Big Spring and Junction.

“If a team member sees two Humvees full of soldiers driving through town, they’re going to follow them,” Johnston said. “And they’re going to radio back their ultimate location.”

Pete Lanteri, a former Marine living in Arizona, founded the Counter Jade Helm Facebook page. The group has six thousand members and has set-up a web page where reports will be posted.

“Counter Jade Helm, aka CJH, is a training exercise for the people. In response to the military’s multi-state training, called Jade Helm 2015, citizens will participate in an unofficial fashion to practice counter-insurgency, organizational and intelligence gathering and reporting skills,” the page explains.

“The objective is not to stop or countermand the military’s training, but to practice our own skills. Anyone can participate. Groups within each state that will play host to the military are being established to streamline the process. Individuals not wishing to be affiliated with a group can also submit information to this website for analysis and publishing.”

Lanteri said a number of the volunteers are former Army intelligence officers.

On June 9 Lanteri posted on Facebook stating Counter Jade Helm will “record and fill out detailed reports from our field teams of what we encounter, they will be posted on the counterjadehelm.info website… Our intel team will review and post the verified info. Remember, be as detailed as you can with clear pics and vids too. Go on the website and click the tools and resources link to help you.”

Citizens are using social media to file reports and photos of military activity and the movement of hardware around the Southwest.

This photo of tanks in Brenham, Texas was posted to Twitter.
This photo of tanks in Brenham, Texas was posted to Twitter.

The citizen effort will operate in tandem with activity of the Texas State Guard. On April 28, Texas Governor Greg Abbott wrote a letter to the commander of the Guard stating he expects to receive regular updates on the operation.

Abbott said during “the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed. By monitoring the Operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communications between my office and the commanders of the Operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans.”

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