By Mark Anderson —
SEGUIN, Texas—This newspaper recently began an in-depth investigation into the widespread, nebulous United States military exercise named “Jade Helm 15.”
According to the most convincing indications, the massive operation will focus on the futuristic, high-tech concept of “mastering the human domain,” wherein social media, demographics, political beliefs and scores of other cultural “data” are mined to help the military do “human mapping” and better identify potential uprisings and pinpoint “adversaries.” At least that’s the viewpoint among military planners and highly paid contractors cashing in on the surveillance state that America’s global military footprint has spawned.
AMERICAN FREE PRESS writer John Friend reported on Jade Helm in California for the July 20 & 27 edition of this newspaper. Friend provided key details about the sheer scope of this massive military operation.
Here’s just a portion of what Friend revealed:
Jade Helm will involve roughly 200 Special Operations troops combined with an additional 300 support personnel for the duration of the exercise. For a period of five days in August, 700 members of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division will be involved as well, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
The Special Operations troops will conduct their exercises on both private and public land in a number of southern states, with the majority of the training scheduled to occur in Texas. Special Operations commanders will lead the military exercise, which is said to have been designed to prepare troops for overseas engagements, from Eglin Air Force Base in Okaloosa County, Florida, the home of the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group.
To learn more about what Jade Helm will entail locally in Texas, this writer paid an impromptu visit on July 28 to Bastrop County, Texas to speak with Sheriff Terry Pickering. The brief encounter would almost justify renaming him “Stonewall” Pickering, since he declined to meet with AFP’s Jade Helm team, and his spokeswoman was short with this writer—bordering on rude—while repeatedly sniping, “We have nothing to say,” and, “No comment at all,” on Jade Helm.
The nearby Bastrop County judge’s office was almost as blunt in emphasizing that they had absolutely nothing to say about Jade Helm, even as this writer pointed out to both the sheriff’s and judge’s offices that Jade Helm, far from being a mere weekend military excursion, lasts all the way through mid-September and many citizens are concerned about the exercise.
Just outside the county courthouse, Bastrop resident Tom Draper told AFP that the very reason he’s concerned about Jade Helm is that so little is known about it. The fact that local civil authorities are being so tight-lipped doesn’t help things, he added. Three Seguin, Texas residents on July 27, selected at random to comment on Jade Helm, all said they’ve heard of the exercise, with one commenting that some believe it’s a prelude to “martial law,” though she herself was undecided. The other two were more or less neutral.
AFP chose Texas to start its on-the-ground investigation since it’s the main focal point among the seven “official” states where Jade Helm is being conducted. The other official states, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command, are Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana.
However, in what many see as an unsettling state of affairs, significant parts of the exercise are being done off of military bases and instead are being carried out on public and private lands, reportedly with the full consent of landowners and local authorities. The military, as has been reported, admits Jade Helm’s large size and scope sets it apart from conventional exercises.
But is this list incomplete? Flint, Michigan residents were recently shocked by a loud explosion during military training—also off-base—in and around an abandoned school building near town. Was this part of the Jade Helm exercise?
So far, military authorities have been tight-lipped about that, too, refusing to comment on any specifics of the official operation.
Not all residents are worried, though. A waitress at Maxine’s Cafe in Bastrop feels Jade Helm doesn’t concern her. She told AFP that a soldier she knows assured her it’s just a fairly routine exercise and that maybe troops training at home make her hometown more, not less, secure.
In Texas, this writer was accompanied by AFP supporter and live stream video journalist Ron Avery.
SIMILAR UKRAINE EXERCISE
While Jade Helm revs up, soldiers from the U.S., Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria have been training in Ukraine as part of the huge multinational Exercise Rapid Trident 2015 at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center.
The exercise, which is being pitched as just another innocuous training session, is part of a U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization policy to antagonize Russia, with soldiers and equipment operating right next to the Russian border. It’s all part of a plan by Western nations to maintain a confrontational posture with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
“Rapid Trident. . . is a long-standing U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise focused on peacekeeping and stability operations. It is part of a U.S. European Command Joint Exercise Program, designed to enhance joint-combined interoperability with allied and partner nations,” a U.S. Army news release noted.
U.S. officials are clearly trying to make the eastward push of Western forces seem routine and relatively benign—although it’s something to keep in mind as Jade Helm plays out.
AFP Roving Editor Mark Anderson is a veteran reporter who covers the annual Bilderberg meetings and is chairman of AFP’s new America First Action Committee, designed to involve AFP readers in focusing intensely on Congress to enact key changes, including monetary reform and a pullback of the warfare state. He and his wife Angie often work together on news projects.