Conspiracy theories are running wild over the Army’s planned multi-state training exercise this summer.
Green Berets, Navy SEALs and Special Operations forces will conduct realistic training exercises from July to September across the southwest – including in 17 Texas cities.
The exercise, called Jade Helm 15, has critics worried that the Army is preparing for modern-day martial law. Some are even calling it “the Texas takeover.”
Officials say the goal is to see if groups of Special Forces can move around a civilian population without being noticed and can handle different threat scenarios. The military says that these are vital skills when it comes to the ever-changing threats that military members face.
But a slideshow about the training exercise shows Texas labeled as simulated "hostile" territory, which prompted concern from some Americans.
Pentagon and local law enforcement are trying to knock down the rumors and let everyone know that the feds have no plans to take over Texas.
Watch Trace Gallager’s report above. Read the Army’s press release below:
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.