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Jade Helm – What is Actually Happening in Texas

163826_600 Bruce Plante, Tulsa World


There has been a lot of conspiracy talk about Jade Helm 15 as the military exercises get underway this week. Here’s what is actually happening, and why.

So what is our military doing?

The world situation is changing and the combat environment that our forces face will soon change from deserts, hills, and villages, to one where our troops will have to fight in a more urban and or metropolitan setting. So in response to this, our Special Operations Forces (who normally are one of the first into the fight) are familiarizing themselves with operating in these types of environments.

Jade Helm is only one exercise in a series of exercises that helps our military forces develop and broaden joint training initiatives. These initiatives emphasize building partnership capabilities, focusing on interoperability, irregular warfare, counterterrorism, and stability and counterinsurgency operations, all in an effort to increase the effectiveness of units to deter and defeat aggressors. Other exercises in this series include Emerald Warrior, Raven, and Jade Thunder. These exercises help our leaders, both military and civilian, better understand each other’s capabilities and limitations. It also provides opportunities for the Services to better leverage Special Operations Forces’ expertise with unconventional approaches that focus on influencing populations to counter hostile forces.

Realistic Urban Training

Military Operations on Urban Terrain [MOUT] are not new to the US Army. Throughout its history the Army has fought enemies on urban terrain. The military has many training areas built to simulate streets, villages, and rural areas. However, these areas are limited in size, and restrict movement and training options for larger units to train effectively. What is new is that urban areas and urban populations have grown significantly during the late twentieth century and have begun to exert a much greater influence on military operations. The worldwide shift from a rural to an urban society, and the requirement to transition from combat to stability and support operations and vice-versa, have affected the US Army’s doctrine greatly.

It is estimated that seventy-five percent of the world’s population lives in urban or metropolitan areas. The increased population and accelerated growth of cities have made the problems of combat in built-up areas an urgent requirement for the US military. Urban areas are expected to be the future battlefields, and combat in urban areas cannot be avoided.  Cities hold a strategic or tactical advantage because possession or control of a particular major urban area can yield power and wealth through the control of industrial bases, transportation complexes, economic institutions, and political and cultural centers. The denial or capture of these centers may yield decisive psychological advantages that frequently determine the success or failure of a larger conflict. Villages and small towns will often be caught up in a battle because of their proximity to major avenues of approach, or because they are astride lines of communications that are vital to sustaining ground combat operations; therefore, because military forces may be mixed in with civilians, the rules of engagement (ROE) and use of combat power are more restrictive than in other conditions of combat.

Train like you expect to fight.

The military has always trained in environments they expect their forces to face in order to socialize and condition the warriors’ senses for what is to come. They have always created the most realistic training environments possible.  Unfortunately, our military has limited realistic urban environments that prepare our joint forces for the nuances of operating in these settings. Hence, this Jade Helm exercise gives commanders and military planners the ability to develop, organize, and execute scenarios in very large urban settings not normally available to them. This flexibility allows units to realistically train and practice by simulating a wide set of battlefield tactics techniques and procedures.

Civilian, and Local, State, and Federal Government involvement.

The military could never experience these type of training scenarios without partnering with both civilians and government at the local, state, and federal levels.  In order to develop the environment for supporting these training scenarios, the military negotiates contracts and working agreements. Private citizens provide support in the form of local citizen role players, businesses, non-military vehicles, and private land to replicate a realistic training environment. Local and state governments support immersive training; use of airfields; offer terrain similar to operations outside the United States; and operational environments and military installations that provide reception, staging, onward movement, and integration (RSOI) capabilities that include, billeting, live fire ranges, and maneuver areas.

The size of these exercises is extreme.  The amount of airspace and land required; the number of personnel; and the number of local, state and federal agencies is huge. Players replicate all those our military would normally have to coordinate or work with while operating in a foreign country.  Scenarios include theater-sized elements and are structured to replicate task organization of higher and adjacent headquarters, along with allied and enemy military units, non-governmental organizations, and the host nation’s population and infrastructure.


The bottom line is, it is economically unfeasible to create from scratch the type of environment that would facilitate realistic training, therefore our government is leveraging the country’s assets and exploiting innovative training opportunities which cannot be replicated in current national training centers.

Will we see drones and military aircraft in our local airspace? Yes. Will we see soldiers and equipment in our area of operations? Yes. Will we see vehicles painted in UN or foreign country markings? Possibly. Will we see foreign military members? Yes. Will military or government personnel develop and maintain internet content such as email, websites, blogs, smart phones and more to enhance training scenarios? Yes.

The fact is that our military and government has recognized the benefit and potential of leveraging the populace and its infrastructure, and efforts are underway to develop the largest rural urban training environments the world has ever seen, all in an effort to train for Irregular Warfare (IW) Threats (counterterrorism, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, counterinsurgency and stability operations).

Will these tactics, techniques and procedures be used against the U.S. citizenry? Is there some conspiracy movement to put people in FEMA camps? Doubtful.



David Luntz served 20 years in the U.S. Army with over half supporting Special Operations Forces, and as a civilian  worked as a military contractor as a Plans and Operations Officer working continuity of operations and contingency response plans. He currently serves as a Department of the Army Civilian providing Acquisition Logistics Support developing weapons systems focusing on cost, schedule and performance of the weapon system’s life-cycle.

He will receive his Program Management Master’s Degree through the Naval Post Graduate School this year.



22 Responses to “Jade Helm – What is Actually Happening in Texas”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    Wisconsin pissant and candidate to start wars quicker than dumbass dubya says he might invade Iran on Inauguration Day.

  2. I support Operation Basket o’ Puppies.

  3. mike from iowa says:

    No reports of Texas civilians or weapons disappearing. No Chinese killers have been reported. No confrontations with special forces reported. The military must have cancelled out of fear of Texuns with guns.

    • juneaudream says:

      Actually Mikey..get yourself..a ‘purloined’ sat view..of the panhandle area..asap. Now watch..the smallest gulches/draws and wallows..big time. Keep watching. Yup..yup..see..they picked a very special..image design..for their gear and kit. It’s the ..MOVEING..ya gots to watch for the govmnt..has gotten wAAAYbig time sneaky….. 😉

  4. mike from iowa says:

    Jade Helm notwistanding,California fire fighters have interference from drone operators as they try to fight major fires.

  5. Beaglemom says:

    It amazes and saddens me that people in Texas, a state that receives a huge portion of federal taxpayer largesse, can allow themselves to be fooled by far right wing nuts into believing that President Obama is sending troops to Texas to take people’s guns and then send the people to China via closed Walmart stores! Whatever do Texans eat for breakfast that makes them so gullible.

    • juneaudream says:

      The word..insular..may a ..clue. There are islands in this world of 2015..where the animal life..has been alone-with-itself..for almost..uncountable..generations. The ..studied in now, after unusual..separation from the ..REST of the lands..very different. Looking our assorted faces..across this state, this country, the total are the bulk of folks..who carry..the designs..of..average people. Not a bad thing, not a good thing..just..a true thing. have groups of people….who start moving into..a after the fearsome civil war years….the assorted people..brought with them..wounds..not..healed. adds enough..of other people..who have..festering mental pictures..and images of a life..they wished to..continue, and..of their individual family historys..which loved, and cherished family is not hard to gathering together..much like a hard tissue, forming over a deep wound..have lasted..unto..this time frame. If the ..outside world..buffets you, and ‘they’..whomever ‘they’ happen to not..allow you to..continue down the word/dream and life patterns you/yours..find together. The wound..puckers..and..scars..deeply. Average people..are the backbone of..any takes..working, have..healthy goals..before those..deep tissue damages..can be..softened, assorted..future dreams..of being all..part of a Family. I am..mixed blood..and I dream..of The FAMILY..of Mankind.

  6. Alaska Pi says:

    Thank you Mr Luntz.
    I wish I thought some of the folks who are off in the conspiracy-theory-ozone were seeing this.
    I’m not all that warm and fuzzy about the Fed but I am uncomfortable with the hoo-hoo conspiracy stuff we see too much of lately.
    Thank you for posting it Jeanne.
    I have lots of reservations about militias -in general and specifically -but I appreciate what you have accomplished in bringing some of my neighbors to the table whom I would not ordinarily hear.
    Mr Luntz reminds me more and more of a favorite cousin of mine- we disagree on so many dang things it is hard to explain why I’m always happy to hear from him 🙂
    But I am. Always happy to hear from him.

  7. mike from iowa says:

    Texas wingnut guv Greg A-Butt has done nothing to dispel rumors that Obama is declaring martial law,rounding up citizens,taking their guns and sending prisoners to tunnels under abandoned Walmart stores so the Chines can kill them.. It is like there is a vast segment of America living a hundred years behind the times. It also involves militias and guns,lots of guns in hands of people too freaking crazy to own them.

  8. juneaudream says:

    Have noticed..that the last few comments of mine..end up with moi’name’ red, which is usually meaning they are held until read/accepted..for publishing..thence..the print..becomes At any rate..there was a visiting Prof from Calif. bay area..who worked for a an Oregon he was retired. I found it..of interest that he was..orig. flooded with money…inorder to planning..and…? Yes..this whole business..has been in the planning stages..for over 20 just takes this long..for we gen. population sniff out the planning portions. No..I am not a person..looking at the dark side of all this..just makes be able to throw our forces..into skilled interventions..when needful. Nothing more..nothing less.

    • Jeanne Devon says:

      Your comments seem to be posting fine on this end. 🙂

      • Naomi says:

        although with a great many dots. kind of distinctive, and I don’t really mind, but am curious about why so many dots?

        • juneaudream says:

          At 77 and a half..I have a..’life to live’, stage 4 cancer..held at having been a successful ..lab rat..for a local clinic, for 4 and a half years, a screaming ..’creative’..who was raised to..LIVE..outside the real world terrain. Learn to spell? Learn to handle machines like ..typwriters, short wave, math formulas, and all the modern made me crabby. Since I thought life as a ..spoken word life..all of the..commiting my voice..into discrete little bits..for..the rest of the worlds concerns..made me, scratch where I itch..then..saunter off..into the be my crabby, hopeful self.

          • mike from iowa says:

            I think I love you! 🙂

            • Alaska Pi says:

              We all pretty much love juneaudream, especially this person who is me who lives in and loves the town of JNU but thinks it needs take itself “seriously” like our dream and not like its sometimes small minded self…

  9. Old Redneck says:

    Hmmm. So, Dave, I see you, too, have been blinded by the Black Man in the White House. How can you possibly doubt that Jade Helm is a cover for Obama’s takeover of Texico. Besides, you should know better than to confuse rightwingnutjobs with the facts.

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