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Jade Helm "drills" start today

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.

US Army Special Operations does admit that “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.” It explains that “the diverse terrain in these multiple states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.”

No media will be allowed

READ MORE:Jade Helm 15: One nation under siege?

Despite receiving multiple applications from leading US outlets such as the Washington Post to monitor the war games, the Pentagon has rebuffed all requests, saying it would be impractical to follow commandos on fast-moving operations in real-life urban terrain, and could also expose officers who will later perform classified missions around the world.

The Army Special Operations Command has said that it may let several reporters follow a segment of an exercise if it is convenient at some point during the drills.

“We are dedicated to communicating with the public, while balancing that against the application of operations security and other factors,” said a statement from Lastoria.

Texans are not pleased

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