Jade Helm 15: What you need to know about 7-state Pentagon super-drill
The US Army calls Jade Helm 15, which begins on Wednesday, a “routine” exercise, but Texans are forming militias to prevent what they fear is an imposition of martial law, and even Chuck Norris is running scared. RT sorts the truth from the myths.
What is Jade Helm 15?
Running for eight weeks between July 15 and September 15 Jade Helm 15 will unite SEALS, Green Berets and other special forces for a series of unconventional warfare exercises – with military analysts speculating it simulates operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in the Middle East, or even alleged Russia’s involvement in eastern Ukraine.
“This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for Army Special Operations Forces because they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice,”explained Lieutenant Colonel Mark Lastoria, a US Army Special Operations (USASOC) spokesman.
Why is it being conducted outside army training ranges?
According to US army documents, the exercises need to place soldiers “outside the normal support mechanisms” and force them to “adapt to unfamiliar terrain social and economic conditions” and an “opportunity to work with civilians to gain their trust and an understanding of the issues.”
It is not the largest-ever drill on US soil, but it is unusual
The media has widely reported that the drill encompassing seven states (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida) and 1,200 troops is the biggest such exercise ever attempted inside US borders.
This is not correct – for example the $250 million Millennium Challenge 2002 involved 13,000 troops all across the US. Outside the US mainland, there are military exercises involving as many as hundreds of thousands of troops, such as annual drills with South Korea.