Texas Gov. Greg Abbot ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor federal troops as they conduct Jade Helm 15 military exercises later this year that some fear are a prelude to declaring martial law.
Some Texans have been accusing the federal government of using the Jade Helm 15 military exercises as a way to take over, seize their guns and declare martial law.
Operation Jade Helm 15 is a massive training exercise involving 1,200 special operations troops operating clandestinely in several southwest states, including Texas, which, for the duration of the exercise, has been designated a hostile country.
The US military’s most elite soldiers, Navy Seals and Green Berets will attempt to operate covertly without being seen from Texas to California in what the Pentagon is calling, training on the evolving nature of warfare.
In response to citizen fears of a federal government takeover and amid growing concern of individual rights, Gov. Abbot ordered the Texas military to monitor the US military operations during Jade Helm, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property right and civil liberties will not be infringed. I am directing the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15.”
Abbot commands the Texas State Guard, a militia of volunteers reserved for times of emergency or catastrophe.
A Texas State Guard spokesman told the San Francisco Chronicle his unit was ready to meet the governor’s command in response to Jade Helm.
“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.”
Radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has joined the far right blogosphere in voicing his fear of a federal government takeover during the Jade Helm maneuvers, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Many conservative Texans also view the abrupt closing of five Wal-Mart’s and the firing of 2,200 workers in the southwest with suspicion and fear the superstores could be used as bases for foreign or federal troops operating under Jade Helm, according to the Inquisitr.
Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria, a spokesman for federal military forces attended a Bastrop County Commissioners Court Monday and sought to dispel resident’s fears saying the misinformation about Jade Helm 15 was spread for someone’s personal agenda, according to the Austin American Statesman.
“You may have issues with the administration. So be it. But this institution right here has been with you for over 200 years. I’ve worn this uniform across five different administrations for 27 years.”
Jade Helm military exercises in Victoria and Goliad counties have been cancelled for unknown reasons.