A civilian group that calls itself “Counter Jade Helm” says it has organized volunteers to monitor Pentagon’s “Operation Jade Helm 15,” a military training exercise that starts in Texas and six other Southwestern states next week, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Jade Helm runs from July 15 to September 15 in seven states – Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.
It will involve about 1,200 troops with heavy land equipment and aircraft. U.S. Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and troops of the 82nd Airborne Division will conduct drills and train in counterinsurgency techniques, according to the military authorities.
The group of civilian volunteers – composed of former military and law enforcement personnel, as well as ordinary citizens from across the seven affected states – are led and organized by former Marine Pete Lanteri, 44, living in Arizona. Lanteri has had previous extensive experience in civilian border patrol.
He manages the Counter Jade Helm Facebook page, which now has more than 6,000 members and has opened a webpage and forum where members of the group monitoring the exercises will upload their reports.
“We’re going to be watching what they do in the public. Obviously on a military base they can do whatever they want. But if they’re going to train on public land we have a right as American citizens to watch what they’re doing.”
Eric Johnston, 51, of Kerrville, a retired firefighter and sheriff’s deputy, told Houston Chronicle that he will lead a team of volunteers in Texas. The group, according to Johnston, consists of about 20 volunteers who will monitor troop movement and activity in Bastrop, Big Spring, and Junction.
“If a team member sees two Humvees full of soldiers driving through town, they’re going to follow them and they’re going to radio back their ultimate location.”
According to Lanteri, Counter Jade Helm currently consists of about 200 volunteers, many with military and law enforcement experience.
Lanteri, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, will coordinate the overall effort while others lead monitoring teams on the ground in towns and communities where troops will conduct the exercises.
Because the media is prohibited from monitoring the military exercises, it is hoped that Counter Jade Helm will be a source of useful information.
However, the surveillance teams will face major challenges due to the fact that precise locations of the drills are unknown. Members of the group will have to be alert and look out for movement of military convoys.
When they detect a convoy or company of troops on the move, they will follow them to determine their destination, observe their activities, troop numbers, and uniforms.
“If a team member sees two Humvees full of soldiers driving through town, they’re going to follow them. And they’re going to radio back their ultimate location.”
Johnston said one of his men, a licensed pilot, has volunteered to conduct surveillance flights with his aircraft. The men on the ground will relay information to Lanteri in Arizona, where there is an intelligence staff that will review the information critically before posting online.
According to Lanteri, some members of the intelligence team are former Army and police intelligence officers.
Lanteri claims his team does not subscribe to popular conspiracy theories that the military exercises will be used to confiscate firearms and impose martial law. He claims he has made conscious efforts to exclude fringe conspiracy theorists from his online discussion forums.
“Once I saw the freaking nut-jobs coming out of the woodwork I was spending half my day discrediting what they were posting. No nut-jobs will be put in the field.”
But he admitted that the team shares widespread suspicions about the motives of the government and believes they could be “up to something.”
According to conspiracy theorists, President Barack Obama plans to use the exercises to confiscate firearms and impose martial law, as well as round up opponents of his regime and relocate them to FEMA concentration camps as part of his secret Illuminati-sponsored NWO third term agenda.
According to the conspiracy theory rumors, some recently closed Walmart stores with underground facilities will be used as internment centers.
Johnston told the Houston Chronicle that Counter Jade Helm team members will go unarmed. They will carry only binoculars, spotting scopes and will not be dressed in camouflage outfits.
Counter Jade Helm teams will not be alone monitoring Operation Jade Helm in Texas. Responding to expressions of concern and fears about the purpose of the military exercises, Texas Governor Greg Abbot recently ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor the federal troops. But the Texas military has been silent about the details of its planned monitoring operations.
The military has tried fruitlessly to allay fears. U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) recently sent a representative to a town hall meeting in Bastrop to address the fears of concerned citizens but failed to gain the confidence of the people.
According to the USASOC, the purpose of the exercies is to train U.S. troops in counterinsurgency operations and skills to operate against insurgents in hostile territory abroad.
“That notion [that Operation Jade Helm was to prepare for a military takeover] was proposed by a few individuals who are unfamiliar with how and why USASOC conducts training exercises. 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.”
Pentagon spokespersons have said that the exercises will not disrupt normal civilian social and economic activity, and the military authorities will ensure that civilian authorities receive updates as the exercises progress.