The US military has quietly added more states to its eight-week Jade Helm joint training drill, originally designated to take place in seven southwestern states.
Speaking of the exercise at the Brazos County Commissioners Court in Texas last month, Jade Helm Operations Planner and retired Green Beret Thomas Mead told an audience that the drill, which will run from July 15 to September 15, will now include the states Mississippi and Florida.
“The exercise is actually an eight-week exercise taking place across seven states,” Mead explains. “As you can see right there, it spans the whole southwest of the United States. We’ve also added Mississippi and we have a group also working out of Florida.”
“We’ll have Navy Seals that’ll be conducting targets and training down in the Mississippi area,” Mead also says.
The interagency, unconventional warfare exercise, lasting eight weeks, will utilize 1,200 special forces personnel from multiple branches of the US military, including Army Green Berets, Navy Seals, Marine Special Operations Command and the 82nd Airborne Division, according to a Powerpoint presentation regarding the exercise.
Operations Planner Francisco Oquendo Jr. also says “specific apparatuses” in the Brazos County area will be targeted for “surgical strikes” during a special extraction mission involving helicopters flying in from Louisiana.
A local Standard-Times report also lists “Louisiana” as one of the participating states.
The exercise serves to hone troops’ advanced skills in “large areas of undeveloped land with low population densities,” and will allow them to work alongside “civilians to gain their trust and an understanding of the issues.”
“This allows our soldiers to get a better training environment,” Mead said in an interview with news outlet MySouTex.com last year.
“We’re getting these guys back into the woods,” said Mead. “We’re getting them back into the field to make it hard for them.”
Additionally, two states – Texas and Utah – appear highlighted as “hostile” territory, according to the slideshow, leading to fears that traditionally conservative areas may be a simulated target for future domestic operations.
U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria has attempted to tamp down concerns over the drills, claiming they are “Just a regular training exercise,” and adding that more information on the drills would be released later today.
Although similar drills have been carried out domestically in the past, such exercises are increasingly being conducted among civilian populations, suggesting an attempt to acclimate and condition the public to a persistent military presence.
In the past few years alone, the US Army has carried out numerous drills in American cities, with low flying “black helicopters” disturbing residents of Minnesota, buzzing residents of Dallas and frightening Miami residents with simulated gunfire.
As domestic drills intensify in frequency, military scholars have begun publicly laying out scenarios in which troops would be used to target political groups such as the Tea Party.
A 2012 report from the Small Wars Journal entitled, “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A ‘Vision’ of the Future,” even conceptualizes “How the U.S. Military would crush a Tea Party rebellion.”
The increasing shift towards targeting domestic political movements should be troublesome not only to the American public, but to military personnel who have been labeled a major terror threat by the Department of Homeland Security as well.
Although the vast majority of U.S. military members would undoubtedly reject orders to target their fellow Americans, incidents such as Hurricane Katrina – which saw law abiding citizens disarmed at gunpoint under a military gun confiscation directive – point to the growing need for vigilance against a domestic mission creep.
Watch: Alex Jones explains the bigger picture in regards to domestic training operations and why this isn’t just another standard drill.
H/T: All News Pipeline