Jade Helm 15 is the largest peace time military operation since the 1950s. It will involve all branches of the US military with troops in seven states from Texas to California.
The exercise will simulate hostile forces in those states with troops operating covertly in the areas.
The Houston Chronicle reports military leaders say the exercises are vital but the Internet and social media immediately exploded with those who believe this is a mission, not an exercise.
In an email to Stars and Stripes, Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria tried to calm the fears.
“That notion was proposed by a few individuals who are unfamiliar with how and why USASOC conducts training exercises,” he began. “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.”
Lastoria continued, “the nature of warfare is always changing, the 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.”
KWES reports citizens of Spring, Texas are ready to welcome the soldiers. “You’re going to have thousands of troops here buying groceries, and the military’s going to be buying fuel in the area,” Jacob Martin said.