Jade Helm ’15: Amid Fears Of Martial Law, Bastrop Residents And Visitors Have Fun

After Jade Helm ’15 was announced, conspiracy theorists stated that this was the beginning of martial law. The Army was mobilizing to to set up detention camps to detain Americans while enacting martial law across the country. Last Wednesday, the Jade Helm 15 exercise started with a whimper instead of a bang.

As Jade Helm ’15 kicked off on Wednesday, the governor of Texas mobilized the Texas National Guard to keep an eye things, while citizens reported things were quiet. As reported in the Texas Tribune, local retiree Bud Sinclair blamed the Internet for the controversy.

“I just think it’s a bunch of hooey. All it takes is one person to get on the internet and say something.”

Bastrop resident James Bradshaw said he wasn’t worried.

“If I see them in my backyard, they’ll be some serious concern. But so far I haven’t seen much of them. I thought there was going to be a bunch of helicopters flying around. I’m anti-Obama, but I don’t think they are coming to take our guns away… I’m a whole lot more worried about the U.N. coming in and taking over the Alamo than I am about the federal government coming in and taking my guns away.”

The Austin American-Statesman reported that local citizens weren’t worried about Jade Helm ’15. Local residents Pete Summers and Michelle Adams walked through the Main Street Shopping District wearing aluminum caps, making a lighthearted dig at the conspiracy theories that had abounded since the Jade Helm 15 controversy started.

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command announced that the Jade Helm ’15 operation was a training exercise meant to help the U.S. Military adapt to the changing conditions of war. Army Lieutenant Colonel Mark Lastoria said the exercise was meant to help train special forces soldiers to conduct operations worldwide.

“The nature of warfare is always changing and U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s mission is to make certain the Army’s various Special Operations Forces are trained, equipped and organized to successfully conduct worldwide special operations in support of our nation’s interests. Training exercise Jade Helm is going to assist our Special Operations Soldiers and leadership in refining the skills needed against an ever changing foreign threat.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Army held a meeting with local residents to dispel fears about Jade Helm ’15. In spite of reassurances by the U.S. that Jade Helm ’15 is a routine training exercise, some weren’t as convinced. Vicki McMillan, who runs a barbershop a few blocks from the county courthouse, wasn’t so dismissive.

“I’m trusting it to be what they say it is. The way they described it, it was like going to be descending down on the town, all this militant stuff, but I haven’t seen hide nor hair of anybody.”

The Jade Helm ’15 exercise encompasses all four branches of the military services and is one of the most comprehensive military exercises ever conducted by the U.S. military. It lasts from July 15 through September 15 and covers Texas, New Mexico, parts of California, and other states.

What do you think about Jade Helm 15? Are conspiracy theorists right and this is the beginning of martial law, or is it just a routine military exercise?

[Photo Credit: Dzopa]