The Lone Star State’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott, is answering citizens’ concerns over Operation Jade Helm 15, a lengthy military campaign to train U.S. troops in an urban setting, with a call to arms of his own: he’s ordered members of the Texas military to monitor the special-ops exercises.
Jade Helm, as WND has previously reported, kicks off in July in seven states, including Texas, Utah, California and Colorado. The two-month campaign involves special forces with all four branches of the U.S. military working with local law enforcement, as well as with FBI and DEA officials, to respond to mock hostilities in community settings. The campaign has launched a swell of opposition from social-media posters, who say the mission is little more than an attempt for the federal government to pave the way to declare martial law.
Abbott, in a letter to Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty of the Texas State Guard, said his order to monitor the feds was “to address concerns of Texas citizens,” SFGate.com said.
He wrote: “During the training operation, it is important Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property right[s] and civil liberties will not be infringed. I am directing the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15.”
The State Guard is made up of volunteer reservists who act at the pleasure of the governor, mostly in times of catastrophe.
A spokesman for the State Guard confirmed receipt of the governor’s letter, but said members haven’t yet devised a plan.
“We are always ready to answer the call of the governor and we are in the initial planning and coordination phase in response to the governor’s directive,” the spokesperson said, SFGate.com reported.
The federal government has been working to calm citizens’ fears. Just a few days ago, a spokesman for the Army fielded questions and concerns from hundreds who turned out for a special informational Bastrop County meeting, saying in conclusion the operation was simply training, and nobody need worry. More than a dozen cities and towns in Texas will be impacted by the military operations.
Army Special Operations Spokesman Mark Lastoria told the Chronicle more than 1,000 troops are taking part in Jade Helm and will learn “emerging concepts in special operations warfare.”