Jade Helm 15 exercises are underway in Texas and across the southwest – although you might have forgotten about it since the Department of Defense said it won’t be offering any briefing or updates on the exercise. Since the initial announcement there have been growing suspicions and concerns about the government’s true intentions. So much so in fact, Governor Abbott ordered the Texas Guard to monitor the federal military exercise.
Those concerns prompted a group to organize what they’re calling “Counter Jade Helm,” in which “citizens will participate in an unofficial fashion to practice counterinsurgency, organizational and intelligence gathering and reporting skills.” Texas Director of the Counter Jade Helm group, Eric Johnson, joins the Standard to discuss their observations. Johnson is a 51-year-old retired firefighter and sheriff’s deputy.
On what Counter Jade Helm has seen so far:
“The interesting thing is we haven’t been seeing very much. Everybody gets immediately upset when they see a FEMA motorhome, or…Humvee on a truck and suddenly that’s it, here come the tanks! But personnel on the ground…haven’t seen anything. We had some reports of people in the Caddo Lake area. We had reports of those same people moving into College Station. We’ve not seen them since.”
On why Johnson feels the need to monitor Jade Helm exercises:
“One of the biggest dangers is the fact that these exercises have gone on for many years. This is not the first Jade Helm exercise. This is however the first time that the federal government and the military have stepped off of the military bases to perform these exercises in the public. If they feel the need to practice these exercises interacting with civilians they needed to be more transparent with those actions. I understand that special forces cannot give up special operations and warfare data and information, but if you wanted to run an exercise in the public you need to be clear with the public exactly what you’re doing and they haven’t done that.”
On what Counter Jade Helm actually does versus what you think they do:
“We are not walking around carrying rifles, wearing camouflage, carrying signs and blocking street corners. Nor would any member of my organization actively confront the military if we saw them. We are more like a neighborhood watch program. We look for military activity anywhere in the state. That [activity] is reported to me. I forward that information to our national director. He has a group of people that…will sort that information and place it on the website for anyone to see. There might not be a lot of information there but it is factual information. Not ‘well there’s a train coming through filled with shackles and everybody’s going to be locked in a FEMA death camp.’”