Texas State Guard ordered to monitor military’s Operation Jade Helm 15
Two months after news surfaced that U.S. Special Operations troops will launch a broad training operation in several southwestern states this summer, the Texas state government is registering new concerns: Gov. Greg Abbott called Tuesday for the Texas State Guard to monitor the mission.
Abbott, a Republican, said in a letter to Maj. Gen. Gerald “Jake” Betty that he wants monitoring of Operation Jade Helm 15 “to address concerns of Texas citizens and to ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure and informed occurring in their vicinity.” It marks the first time that a state governor has responded to outrage from those who fear the training exercise isn’t what the military promises.
“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” Abbott wrote. “By monitoring the Operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communication between my office and commanders of the Operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans.”
The State Guard falls under the command of the Texas National Guard and the governor, and is focused on providing support to local authorities in times of crisis. It is considered an organized, legal state militia.
The operation, announced by U.S. Army Special Operations Command in March, has prompted widespread conspiracy theories that the United States is preparing to hatch martial law. That is especially so in Texas, which was labeled in briefing slides prepared for local officials as hostile:
This map shows the military’s plan during the exercise Jade Helm 15, which begins in July. (U.S. Army Special Operations Command map)
As Checkpoint noted in March, the military has routinely launched exercises in which regions of the United States are identified as hostile for the purpose of training. But conspiracy theories continue to persist. Some have even hypothesized that the rioting in Baltimore is actually a cover for the military to take over through Jade Helm 15: