See here for detailed article explaining Jade Helm and the controversy surrounding the historic military exercise to take place on civilian soil.
Known as: Jade Helm or Jade Helm 15
Jade Helm operation motto: Master the Human Domain”
Purpose: Not known. Said to be (1) exercise to condition special operations forces to environments similar to overseas areas (2) exercise to test tactics to protect the US from an invasion by a foreign government or terrorist organization.
Controversy: Detractors find federal military personnel operating covertly in American cities throughout the southwest USA alarming and cite plenty of reasons to suspect there is more to the Jade Helm operation than meets the eye. Some believe Jade Helm is a dry run, practice for a suspected collapse, uprising, or civil war that would require the implementation of martial law. Others believe the operation is preparing the U.S. military for a major terrorist ground assault on the United States.
Date of operations: Jade Helm will be conducted on public and private land between July 15 and September 15, 2015
Locations: Jade Helm operations conducted in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, California and Nevada. Texas cities affected included (but not limited to) Bastrop/Smithville, Big Spring, Caddo Lake, Caldwell, Christoval, College Station, Dell City, Eldorado, Goliad, Junction, Leakey, Menard, Mountain Home, San Angelo, San Antonio and Victoria.
Participants: Participants include the Green Berets, Navy Seals, US Air Force Special Operations Command, USMC Special Operations Command, USMC Marine Expeditionary Unites, the 82nd Airborne Division, and “interagency partners” (believed to be FBI, NSA, and DEA).
Markings: Some Jade Helm participants will be wearing civilian attire and driving civilian vehicles. All participants will wear armbands.
Hostile states: In the Jade Helm scenario, states denoted as “hostile” include Texas, Utah, and part of California.
Known events: A “simulated event” will occur in central Texas requiring Special Forces joint operations (Navy/Marines) entering the country from the Gulf of Mexico. Another simulated event will occur in Utah while an “insurgency group” will take hold in southern California near the Mexico border.
The map above shows the areas where operations will be taking place. The following acronyms are used on the map.
JOAX – Joint Operation Access Exercise
CRF – Contingency Response Force or Contingency Reaction Force
AOB – Advanced Operations Base
ODG – Ordnance Disposal Group
ODA – Operational Detachment-Alpha (standard 12-man special forces team)
SOTF – Special Operations Task Force
ODH MC – Operation Desert Hammer Mission Control?
NSWTU – Navy Special Warfare Task Unit
MSOT – Marine Special Operations Team
Several reports of increased military aircraft traffic (primarily helicopter) between the Grand Prairie and College Station areas of Texas.
USASOC Press Release March 24, 2015
PRESS RELEASE: Exercise readies SOF for threats abroad
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, March 24, 2015) – 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.
My SouTex article announcing the Jade Helm exercises in their area – December 2014
Military exercises to be held in county
GOLIAD – The Goliad County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a request by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command to conduct military exercises in the county for month-long period in 2015.
Thomas Mead, operations planner for the U.S. Army’s Jade Helm realistic military training, spoke to the court during its Dec. 8 meeting and told the commissioners that 60 to 65 military personnel will be involved in the exercises, which will be conducted between July 15 and Sept. 15, 2015, at privately owned land.
“This allows our soldiers to get a better training environment,” Mead said. “You can only do so much in a military environment. You don’t really get a true interaction with the public.”
Jade Helm is an eight-week joint military and interagency unconventional warfare exercise that will be conducted in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. The exercises will also be conducted in 15 other Texas locations, including Victoria County.
“We have Army Green Berets, Navy Seals, Marine Special Operations Command, the 82nd Airborne Division and we also have some of our interagency partners such as the DEA, FBI and the joint personnel recovery agency that will be working with us.”
Mead said the operations will held on property owned by T. Michael O’Connor.
“We’re getting these guys back into the woods,” Mead said. “We’re getting them back into the field to make it hard for them.”
Mead said county residents will see increased aircraft in the area at night and warned county officials that there may be an increase in noise complaints.
Some participants will be carrying weapons with blank ammunition and some may be wearing civilian attire while driving civilian vehicles.
According to Mead, the economic impact to Goliad County is estimated to be $150,000.
Hudspeth County Herald article announcing Jade Help operation in their city – February 27, 2015
Commissioners Endorse Plan for Green Beret Training
February 27, 2015
After more than a decade of wars in which U.S. special-operations forces have played a lead role, military planners are seeking to retrain those forces in skills they haven’t used in the decade’s overseas missions. This summer, Hudspeth County will be the site of part of that training effort.
At a meeting of Hudspeth County commissioners Tuesday (Feb. 24), Francisco Oquendo, a contractor working with U.S. Army Special Operations Command, described plans for a Green Beret training exercise planned for August. Commissioners voted to grant their support for the operation, which will be conducted in cooperation with private landowners in the county and in adjacent areas of New Mexico.
Oquendo said the exercise will not involve live fire, and that most county residents will be unaware of the troops’ presence. Participants in the exercise will be veteran soldiers. The purpose the exercise is to retrain participants in unconventional warfare, an effort Oquendo compared to rebluing, or renewing the protective finish, on a gun.
“For the last 12 to 15 years, we’ve been heavily involved in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other places not in the media,” Oquendo said, “in direct action missions – not conducting unconventional warfare. These are perishable skills, and commanders have asked us to come up with ways to reblue them.”
The training exercise in Hudspeth County will be limited in scale – lasting four to seven days and involving fewer than 20 soldiers on the ground. But the local exercise is part of a much larger operation, unfolding across seven states in the Southwest and in 10 other Texas counties, called “Jade Helm.”
Over an eight-week period, 1,500 to 1,800 people will participate in the Jade Helm training, Oquendo said. The training will run from July 15 through Sept. 15, and the Hudspeth County portion is planned for August. Jade Helm is planned as an annual occurrence, and future exercises in Hudspeth County could involve a larger number of military personnel, Oquendo said.
In Jade Helm, special operations are simulating entering a foreign country to assist an insurgency. Oquendo said the exercise is focused as much on the skills of decision makers in various agencies as it is on soldiers on the ground. In Hudspeth County, participating soldiers will by Army Special Forces, or Green Berets, but special-operations soldiers from the other branches of the military will participate in other locations.
In the Hudspeth County exercise, a group of Green Berets will parachute into the airfield near Ranch Road 1111, north of Sierra Blanca. The soldiers will be moved to a location north of the drop site – and will then move on foot into New Mexico.
“There will be an airborne infiltration, and they’re going to hide,” Oquendo said. “You’re not going to see them. At 1 a.m., there will be an airplane that flies at about 1,000 feet for about 15 seconds, and that’s the last you’ll hear or see of them.”
The Hudspeth County training will recreate a situation in which soldiers have to get out of hostile terrain. Oquendo said the military will recruit several local residents to serve as role players – to assist in transporting soldiers, in the guise of locals sympathetic to the insurgency.
Though the military has vast installation across the Southwest, Oquendo said that conducting training outside of an installation is designed to create a more “realistic” training experience. He said that for participants, encountering unfamiliar terrain outside of an installation, and interacting with residents who have real knowledge and experience of that terrain, is a central point of the training.
Oquendo is a retired sergeant major from the Green Berets, with 23 year of active duty experience. He works know with Intelligence, Communications, and Engineering, Inc., or ICE Inc., a Sierra Vista, Ariz.-based company that contracts with the military to facilitate training exercises. On his visit to Hudspeth County, Oquendo was joined by Paul Crownover, a retired master sergeant from the Green Berets, with 27 years of active duty, who now works for contractor Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting, Inc., or VATC.
Special operations trainings were conducted in Hudspeth County in 2011 and 2012, and those trainings included exercises in rural locations and “urban resourcefulness” operations in Dell City, Sierra Blanca and Fort Hancock.
Before the court voted to endorse the plan, Hudspeth County Judge Mike Doyal noted that, in those earlier exercises, some local residents had been caught off guard by the use of live ammunition and explosives in rural areas. Oquendo said that, in the Jade Helm training, “[the soldiers’] job is to maneuver through the terrain without being compromised – so there will be no live ammunition, unless they’re authorized for force protection ammo” against snakes or other wildlife.
West Texas brief mentioned in Standard-Times – November 2, 2014
Military exercise expected in area
Schleicher County commissioners received word of a military exercise JADE HELM 15 scheduled for July through Sept. 15 of next year, according to a report from the Eldorado Success.
The exercise will take part in seven western states, including Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California.
Part of the Texas operation will take place in and around Schleicher County, with home base at the Steve Blaylock Ranch.
Utah County announcement regarding Jade Help training in their area
Military training exercises coming to Utah County
April 09, 2015 12:28 am
SALT LAKE CITY — A Marine Corps special operations unit will be swooping into Utah in August to conduct a nighttime urban training mission.Read more
PROVO — Utah County is set to be the host of a military training exercise later this summer.
On Tuesday, the Utah County Commission was briefed on a series of off-post military training events scheduled to take place throughout the county in August.
“You’re not being invaded,” said Paul Weddle, a contractor for the U.S. Marines who is working with government officials to lay the groundwork for the exercises. “Nothing that these men and women of the service will do will exceed what the populous will support, not without permission.”
Weddle’s explanation to the commission on what will be taking place during the first three weeks of August sounded impressive. The activities are expected to include helicopters landing on buildings within a city’s limits in the middle of the night, and soldiers simulating invading areas using flash bangs and paintball guns. He said those living nearby may hear the noises of the exercises.
Weddle also said practice exercises will take place on Utah Lake, and that soldiers will also spend some time at the Global One training facility in Fairfield to work on target shooting. Captain Barry Morris, a public affairs officer with the U.S. Marines, told the Daily Herald that exercises are used to ensure the highest degree of readiness for the War on Terrorism.
“This training will enable the participants to continue refining their tactics, technique and procedures, as well as their standard operating procedures related to realistic military training,” Morris said.
Morris explained that training like this is routine and conducted throughout the nation to allow soldiers to learn how to operate in unfamiliar urban settings.
“This training is designed to have minimal impact on the general public,” Morris said. “Most of the public will not even know we are there.”
Weddle told the commission that one of the key reasons for Utah County’s selection to host the training is because the county has a capable bomb squad located within the sheriff’s office. Weddle said the bomb squad is equipped so that it would know how to handle any situation that may arise from the military training, should there be a need.
The commissioners said they look forward to the soldiers being in the area. “This is the kind of county that welcomes this kind of stuff,” said Commissioner Gary Anderson.
Portions of the training will also take place in Salt Lake County, as Weddle said the exercise is also expected to include a building invasion simulation at a location in Magna.