Tag Archives: troops

Video: Armed National Guard Troops Conduct Exercise in Virginia Park Near Children’s Playground

Video: Armed National Guard Troops Conduct Exercise in Virginia Park Near Children’s Playground

116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team on the move next to public park

by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON

military troops guard playground Virginia

“This was a Sunday morning exercise. They appeared to be heading to carry out PT (physical training) at some other location,” the man who shot the video tells us. “This was in a city park and people were walking, jogging, and enjoying the playground with their children.”

“What struck me were the M1As or M16s they were carrying (whether real or plastic) I could not tell the difference. I drove up as close as possible to them as they turned to my left onto the sidewalk,” he adds.

One of the soldiers confirms that they are part of the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which is currently assigned to the Virginia Army National Guard and is based out of the Thomas Howie Memorial Armory in Staunton, Virginia. The troops were filmed at Gypsy Hill Park, which is situated next to the Armory.

The Guard troops behave in a friendly manner and are willing to engage in casual conversation, but some have expressed concerns about armed personnel conducting maneuvers in public, suggesting that such activity should be done on base.

Others insist that the activity is perfectly routine and nothing to be worried about.

Last week, we featured a video out of Ontario, California which showed National Guard troops marching down a residential street while chanting military cadence and performing traffic control drills. Some locals claimed that such public drills were not commonplace.

Concerns about military personnel operating in public places are heightened in anticipation of the nationwide Jade Helm military exercise, a drill which will revolve around soldiers operating “undetected amongst civilian populations,” to see if they can infiltrate without being noticed.

A National Guard exercise based around dealing with civil unrest after a dirty bomb attack in Richmond, California which took place earlier this month featured role players acting as angry Americans yelling ‘right-wing’ rhetoric.

Footage captured by a local shows Guard troops pushing irate citizens away with batons before one of the protest group states, “I’m a sovereign citizen, I refuse to recognize you guys, I refuse to recognize you.”

Disturbing video out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida last month also showed military and law enforcement practicing the internment of citizens during martial-law style training.

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U.S. defense chief sees military recruitment challenges ahead

U.S. defense chief sees military recruitment challenges ahead

US Military Special Operations holding urban warfare drills in Broward County

US Military Special Operations holding urban warfare drills in Broward County

Police aiming at home DHS
Police In Boston in Armored Hummvee aiming at home

Police agencies in Broward County are assisting members of the U.S. Special Operations Forces who are undergoing urban warfare training.

The exercises began Monday, will last until March 27 and will be held at locations that the military will not disclose.

Related: US Military Train in Texas, Mid-West for Urban Civil Unrest

U.S. Special Operations is commanded out of Tampa and has staged such “routine drills” in cities throughout the country, a spokesman said.

The 200 military personnel are from the four branches: Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy.

The goal is to prepare participants in realistic, unfamiliar training conditions before they deploy for combat overseas. Those urban locations can’t be replicated on a practice range, the military said.

The exercises will happen in a variety of places but will not be held at the beaches, the Everglades, malls or large population centers, the spokesman said.

Local police departments are tasked with managing traffic and keeping spectators away.

Special forces set to swarm Southwest and operate undetected among civilians in massive military exercise

Special forces set to swarm Southwest and operate undetected among civilians in massive military exercise

  • Operation Jade Helm will see 1,200 service members including Green Berets and SEALs and special forces from the Air Force and Marines in July
  • Soldiers armed with blank rounds will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado for 8 weeks
  • The so-called Realistic Military Training has some residents fearful the drill is a preparation for martial law

Seven Southwestern states will soon be infiltrated by 1,200 military special ops personnel as part of a controversial domestic military training in which some of the elite soldiers will operate undetected among civilians.

Operation Jade Helm begins in July and will last for eight weeks. Soldiers will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado where some of them wil drop from planes while carrying weapons loaded with blanks in what military officials have dubbed Realistic Military Training.

But with residents of the entire states of Texas and Utah dubbed ‘hostile’ for the purposes of the exercises, Jade Helm has some concerned the drills are too realistic.

Hostile: An unclassified military document reveals the states involved in a controversial multi-agency training exercises that will place 1,200 military personnel into 7 Southwest states--with residents of Utah, Texas and part of Southern California designated as 'hostile'

Special ops: Operation Jade Helm will involve Green Berets and SEALs and special forces from the Air Force and Marines starting in July and lasting 8 weeks
Special ops: Operation Jade Helm will involve Green Berets and SEALs and special forces from the Air Force and Marines starting in July and lasting 8 weeks

Headlines like Freedom Outpost‘s ‘Operation Jade Helm—military trains for martial law in American South-west’ abound across the Right-leaning blogosphere and Info Wars warns that Jade Helm is simply ‘an effort to test the effectiveness of infiltration techniques’ on the American public.

‘They’re having Delta Force, Navy SEALS with the Army trained to basically take over,’ Info Wars’ Alex Jones said Sunday. ‘Texas is listed as a hostile sector, and of course, we are…We’re here defending the republic.’

The Houston Chronicle reports that, among the planned exercises, soldiers will attempt to operate undetected among civilian populations.

Residents, in turn, will be asked to report suspicious activity in order to gauge the effectiveness of the soldiers.

Military officials say they’ve gotten the go ahead for the operations from local authorities such as mayors and county commissions.

And sheriff’s deputies told the Houston Chronicle they would ensure residents living near where aircraft were slated to create disturbances and drop soldiers, civilian and military vehicles will barrel through and where blank rounds would be fired.

Jim Stewart with the Brazos County, Texas Sheriff’s Office told the Chronicle that such exercises are far from anything new.

‘Special ops for years have trained off-post for years, where they go out and have folks that are role players out on the economy,’ said the Army intelligence veteran. ‘They’ll have a scenario they’ll be following and they’ll interact with these role players as if they’re in another country.’

However, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command themselves say Jade Helm is different.

Reassuring? Sheriff's deputies say they will ensure residents living near where aircraft were slated to create disturbances and drop soldiers, civilian and military vehicles will barrel through and where blank rounds would be fired [FILE PHOTO]
Reassuring? Sheriff’s deputies say they will ensure residents living near where aircraft were slated to create disturbances and drop soldiers, civilian and military vehicles will barrel through and where blank rounds would be fired.
Texas, which the military has designated as 'hostile' for the purposes of the training, was chosen to be a hub of the unprecedentedly large program because 'Texans are historically supportive of efforts to prepare our soldiers' writes the USASOC
Texas, which the military has designated as ‘hostile’ for the purposes of the training, was chosen to be a hub of the unprecedentedly large program because ‘Texans are historically supportive of efforts to prepare our soldiers’ writes the USASOC

‘The size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states,’ the USASOC wrote in a March 24 release.

‘The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.’

The military has also reacted to widespread fear of the operation by calling some ultra-conservative coverage of the ‘martial law’ drills alarmist and inaccurate.

‘That notion was proposed by a few individuals who are unfamiliar with how and why USASOC conducts training exercises,’ USASOC spokesman Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria told Stripes.

‘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.’

Egypt’s president backs joint Arab military force

Egypt’s president backs joint Arab military force

A joint military force should be created to defend Arab nations, Egypt’s president said Saturday.

Egyptian guards
Guards search vehicles before a meeting of Arab heads of state, in Sharm el-Sheik, South Sinai, Egypt. (Ahmed Abdel Fatah / Associated Press)

 

President Abdel Fattah Sisi made his comments at a summit of Arab leaders in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the escalating conflict in Yemen was top of the agenda.

He said the Arab world was at a critical crossroads and facing unprecedented challenges.

“The challenges are grave,” he told the Arab leaders. “It is a huge responsibility, heavy and burdensome.”

Saudi-led warplanes carry out a second day of airstrikes in Yemen
Saudi-led warplanes carry out a second day of airstrikes in Yemen
His comments came as Saudi-led airstrikes were launched against Shiite rebels in Yemen, known as Houthis.

The coalition supporting the strikes says the takeover of Yemen is supported by Iran, which wants to exert its influence in the region.

Sisi said military action in Yemen was “inevitable.”

“We reject any intervention in our own affairs,” he said, but did not directly mention Iran.

The summit also heard from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Yemen President Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who has fled his nation.

Islamic State calls on backers to kill 100 U.S. military personnel

Islamic State calls on backers to kill 100 U.S. military personnel

Reuters

ISIS terrorist Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Islamic State has posted online what it says are the names, U.S. addresses and photos of 100 American military service members, and called upon its “brothers residing in America” to kill them.

The Pentagon said after the information was posted on the Internet that it was investigating the matter. “I can’t confirm the validity of the information, but we are looking into it,” a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday.

“We always encourage our personnel to exercise appropriate OPSEC (operations security) and force protection procedures,” the official added.

In the posting, a group referring to itself as the “Islamic State Hacking Division” wrote in English that it had hacked several military servers, databases and emails and made public the information on 100 members of the U.S. military so that “lone wolf” attackers can kill them.

The New York Times reported that it did not look like the information had been hacked from U.S. government servers and quoted an unnamed Defense Department official as saying most of the information could be found in public records, residential address search sites and social media.

The Times quoted officials as saying the list appeared to have been drawn from personnel mentioned in news articles about air strikes on Islamic State. The group’s forces control parts of Syria and Iraq and have been targeted in U.S.-led air strikes.

The posting, addressed to disbelievers, Christians and “crusaders” in America, included what the group said were the names, military service branch, photos and street addresses of the individuals. The posting includes the military rank of some but not all of those named.

(Reporting by Will Dunham and Eric Beech; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Russia launches war games in disputed Ukraine territories

Russia launches war games in disputed Ukraine territories

Russia has launched large-scale military exercises involving three disputed territories in a move likely to irk its neighbours and heighten concern in Nato about Moscow’s intentions.

The defence ministry on Thursday announced a drill including the federal districts of Southern Russia, the Northern Caucasus and the recently-annexed Crimea as well as Russian military bases in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Armenia. The exercises will run until April 10.

This adds to a string of manoeuvres conducted over the past few weeks in Crimea, Armenia, the Russian region of North Ossetia and three other areas in Southern Russia.

While the Russian armed forces regularly hold manoeuvres at their bases in Armenia and in the two disputed breakaway regions from Georgia — Abkhazia and South Ossetia — they have in the past shied away from giving them too high a profile.

Foreign military experts in Moscow said the overall level of drill activity since the beginning of the year was comparable to the same period last year. Yet the latest exercises were being viewed as a message. “That every exercise at the moment also carries a signal to the west regarding Russia’s readiness goes without saying,” said a European military official.

In September 2012, when the military conducted an annual exercise covering the Caucasus region, it said bases in Armenia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia were not participating and no foreign nationals were taking part “in order to avoid extra tension in the bilateral relations with several neighbours of the Russian Federation.”

But this time, the tone is set by a hardening stand-off between Russia and Nato over Moscow’s role in the war in eastern Ukraine.

Victoria Nuland, US assistant secretary of state, said on Wednesday that Russia had “thousands and thousands” of soldiers in Ukraine. Nato has been strengthening its presence in member states neighbouring Russia, and some members of the alliance are discussing whether to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons to defend itself. The UK is sending personnel to train Ukrainian soldiers.

Several Nato member states and other European countries also complain of increasingly aggressive military posturing by Russia, including repeated incursions by fighter aircraft.

Russia continues to angrily deny any formal involvement of its military in Ukraine and, in turn, has accused Nato of pressuring it. Anatoly Antonov, deputy defence minister, mockingly asked why Ms Nuland had not used even higher figures. “Why doesn’t she say 20,000?” he asked.

Mr Antonov claimed Nato was more active in the vicinity of Russia’s borders than Russia itself. He accused the alliance of using the Ukraine conflict as a pretext for moving closer to Russia’s borders.

The drills also come as Russia is integrating South Ossetia and Abkhazia closer into its security infrastructure through alliance treaties and the establishment of joint forces. Moscow went to war with Georgia in 2008 to support South Ossetia. It subsequently recognised the two breakaway territories as independent states and they have been highly dependent on Russia since.

The authorities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia say their motive for the closer security alliance with Russia — which was designed in Moscow — is the desire for protection as Georgia seeks to align itself with Nato more closely.

US to Deploy Six National Guard Companies to Ukraine This Week

US to Deploy Six National Guard Companies to Ukraine This Week

US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC said the US would deploy personnel by the end of this week to train the Ukrainian national guard.

Navy US military aircraft plane relief troops

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States will deploy personnel by the end of this week to train the Ukrainian national guard, US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday.“

Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion minus… to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place,” Foster stated. “What we’ve got laid out is six United States companies that will be training six Ukrainian companies throughout the summer.”

The training will take place at the level of US and Ukrainian national guard companies, Foster explained, adding that “we have nothing above battalion staff level” engaged in the military training.

The Ukrainian nationalist Aidar battalion was officially disbanded and reorganized as the 24th Separate Assault Battalion of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.

The current plan is for US forces to stay six months, he said, and noted there have been discussions about how to increase the duration and the scope of the training mission.

Related: Last April We Said Russia Would Start WWIII. See Article.

The current channels for military training set up between Ukraine and the United States would not be used for transferring defensive lethal aid if the United States decided to provide arms to Ukraine, Foster told Sputnik on Monday.

“It would go through something separate… We would not funnel the lethal aid or arms through that [training] event, we would use a secondary method for that,” Foster said, adding that a completely separate process is preferable.

The United States and NATO have been engaged in military training exercises with Ukraine since the fall of 2014, according to NATO press releases.

United Kingdom’s (UK) Prime Minister David Cameron announced last week that the UK will also be sending military advisors to Ukraine.

U.S. military decimated under Obama, only ‘marginally able’ to defend nation

U.S. military decimated under Obama, only ‘marginally able’ to defend nation

The U.S. military is shedding so many troops and weapons it is only “marginally able” to defend the nation and falls short of the Obama administration’s national security strategy, according to a new report by The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.

“The U.S. military itself is aging. It’s shrinking in size,” said Dakota Wood, a Heritage analyst. “And it’s quickly becoming problematic in terms of being able to address more than one major conflict.”

President Obama’s latest strategy is to size the armed forces pledged in 2014 so that the four military branches have sufficient troops, ships, tanks and aircraft to win a large war, while simultaneously acting to “deny the objectives of — or impose unacceptable costs on — another aggressor in another region.”

In other words, the Quadrennial Defense Review says the military can essentially fight two major conflicts at once. It could defeat an invasion of South Korea by the North, for example, and stop Russia from invading Western Europe or Iran from conquering a Persian Gulf state.

But Heritage’s “2015 Index of U.S. Military Strength” took a look, in detail, at units and weapons, region by region, and came to a different conclusion.

“The U.S. military is rapidly approaching a one-war-capable force,” said Mr. Wood, a former Marine Corps officer and strategic planner. “So [it is] able to handle a major war and then having just a bit of residual capability to handle other minor crises that might pop up. … But it is a far cry from being a two-war force.”

“The consistent decline in funding and the consequent shrinking of the force are putting it under significant pressure,” the report concluded. “The cumulative effect of such factors has resulted in a U.S. military that is marginally able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests.”

The index report is part scorecard, part research tool.

It grades the Army, which is shrinking from 570,000 soldiers to 440,000 or lower, and the Navy, which is failing to achieve a 300-ship force, as only “marginal” in military power. The Air Force’s fleet of fighters and long-range bombers is judged “strong.”

Heritage says the military cannot fight two wars at once.

The report said the Army historically commits 21 brigade dombat teams to one war. Several years ago, that left just 21 more brigades for a second war and none for strategic reserve.

But the problem is more acute. The Army announced in 2013 it may go as low as 33 brigades, far short of the 50 brigades Heritage says are needed.

The Army has been battered by automatic budget cuts known as “sequestration.” A bipartisan budget deal provided some relief last year, but the slashing could come back in 2016 without another agreement.

Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff, has said that if the active force is squeezed down to 420,000 soldiers, it could not carry out all global commitments.

The Navy would need 346 ships to carry out two large campaigns, Heritage said, but its fleet is only 284.

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