A series of recent military exercises in major cities including Miami and Houston have alarmed residents and even local officials, many of whom were reportedly unaware that the drills would be taking place in their jurisdictions. The Obama administration's controversial “urban-warfare” scenarios included low-flying black helicopters firing blanks out of machine guns, heavily armed troops rappelling onto buildings, and more.
More than a few commentators have expressed concerns about the true purpose of the training exercises — especially in light of troubling anti-constitutional political developments in Washington, D.C., and the increasingly unstable economy. However, authorities assured media outlets that there was no cause for alarm and that the drills were just “routine” operations to keep Americans forces ready for urban warfare.
The most recent military exercises to spark mass panic and terror were held this week in Texas — one over Houston and another in Galveston. In southeast Houston, U.S. Army Special Operations forces working with other agencies used unmarked military helicopters to “take over” a local high school in the area as heavily armed men in fatigues ran around firing what most terrorized residents assumed were live rounds.
"When you see this, you think the worst. When you hear this, you think the worst," area resident Frances Jerrals told a local ABC affiliate after witnessing the highly controversial exercise. "I felt like I was in a warzone. … It was nonstop. I was terrified." Other residents who spoke with reporters expressed similar sentiments, and emergency services reportedly responded to multiple reports of gun fire throughout the operation.
Police officials later apologized for not warning people about the exercise, though the Army claimed it had at least notified the city's public safety director. Still, local authorities, including the city council and the mayor, were never informed of the plans. "They should have notified us on this magnitude. They should have let somebody know," complained Houston Council Member Wanda Adams, who represents the district where the drill took place. Authorities also refused to tell reporters exactly what they were doing, according to local news reports.
In Galveston, meanwhile, residents suffered from a similar simulated military invasion by U.S. Army Special Operations forces working with other agencies; although there, at least, citizens were given advance warning in news reports. According to local media, some 80 soldiers and an unknown number of law enforcement agents firing “simulated ammunition” were involved in the “urban combat” operations. A military spokesman attempted to justify the scheme in a statement e-mailed to reporters.
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