Thomas Mead, operations planner for the U.S. Army’s Jade Helm realistic military training, spoke to the court during its Dec. 8 meeting and told the commissioners that 60 to 65 military personnel will be involved in the exercises, which will be conducted between July 15 and Sept. 15, 2015, at privately owned land.
“This allows our soldiers to get a better training environment,” Mead said. “You can only do so much in a military environment. You don’t really get a true interaction with the public.”
Jade Helm is an eight-week joint military and interagency unconventional warfare exercise that will be conducted in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. The exercises will also be conducted in 15 other Texas
locations, including Victoria County.
“We have Army Green Berets, Navy Seals, Marine Special Operations Command, the 82nd Airborne Division and we also have some of our interagency partners such as the DEA, FBI and the joint personnel recovery agency that will be working with us.”
Mead said the operations will held on property owned by T. Michael O’Connor.
“We’re getting these guys back into the woods,” Mead said. “We’re getting them back into the field to make it hard for them.”
Mead said county residents will see increased aircraft in the area at night and warned county officials that there may be an increase in noise complaints.
Some participants will be carrying weapons with blank ammunition and some may be wearing civilian attire while driving civilian vehicles.
According to Mead, the economic impact to Goliad County is estimated to be $150,000.