Governor Greg Abbott has called out the Texas State Guard to monitor the U.S. Army’s Operation Jade Helm 15. The massive, multi-state special warfare exercise is set to start in July and run through September.
In a letter sent on Tuesday (included in its entirety below), Abbott tasked Major General Jake Betty, Commander of the Texas State Guard, with monitoring the operation and reporting back to the Governor for the duration of the exercise. Citing Texas’ “long history of supporting military forces,” Gov. Abbott said he is taking this action to ensure “Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”
This follows sustained controversy on the internet, where some critics fear Jade Helm 15 is an training exercise for such ominous purposes as:
- Declaring martial law in some southwestern states.
- Using the military to confiscate firearms.
- Bringing in United Nations troops or Islamic soldiers to effect firearms confiscation, and put resisters into FEMA internment camps.
Austin based radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been sending out warnings for weeks regarding the exercise, saying it is the U.S. military positioning itself to take over the states and declare martial law.
The Dallas Morning News Capitol Reporter, Christy Hoppe, appeared to lump Abbott in with conspiracy theorists in her story Tuesday, headlined “Paranoia catches Abbott attention: Gov orders Texas guard to monitor military exercises over fears of federal takeover.”
At the time of this writing, the Texas State Guard has not announced any specifics on how they will staff or monitor the training exercise.
The Defense Department has posted this description of Jade Helm 15:
Operation Jade Helm 15 is a planned military exercise that will be led by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and will include personnel from the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Green Berets), U.S. Navy SEALS, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, USMC Marine Special Operations Command, USMC Marine Expeditionary Units, the 82nd Airborne Division and civilian interagency partners. This Operation will take place over an eight-week period beginning in July of 2015 in locations across the State of Texas and neighboring states New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.
WHAT IS THE TEXAS STATE GUARD?
The Texas State Guard is unique to Texas. It traces its linage back to Stephen F. Austin forming local militias as early as 1823. It is considered an all-volunteer “backup” for the Texas National Guard. It has also been used is disaster situations, and assisted with traffic control at various events. It includes military police, civil affairs officers, maritime units, aviation unites, engineering units and medical units.
Texas State Guard units are attired in current issue army ACU camouflage when deployed on missions across the state. They have a distinctive patch on their left sleeve, with a name tab on the left side reading “Texas State Guard.” On the right sleeve, they fly a Texas flag patch.
Over the past year, the Texas State Guard has been deployed several times to assist law enforcement in searching for missing or dead illegal immigrants who have become lost in the ranch lands of Brooks County (Falfurrias, Texas). The State Guard has been helpful in finding the bodies of illegal immigrants who have died trying to circumvent the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint, as Breitbart Texas previously reported. The illegal immigrants are often abandoned by their human smugglers and left to die of thirst or exposure in the harsh conditions of Brooks County.
Rob Milford is a news contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Facebook.