In the past week, Youtube and certain alternative media sites have exploded with reports of a “new” surface-to-air missile site in Texas. “Journalists” insinuate this is proof that the Jade Helm 15 exercise is actually cover for a military buildup in preparation for an impending war against hordes of ISIS fighters streaming out of Mexico.
Quite simply, this could not be further from the truth.
I happen to know Travis Kuenstler, the man who took the photos, and have confirmed that this site is in fact the Snyder Electronic Scoring Site (ESS).
According to the USAF: “The Snyder Electronic Scoring Site, which falls under the 7th Operations Support Squadron, was established in 2002. The site provides ‘real world’ airpower threat-reaction training to aircrews to ensure the survivability of personnel and equipment in actual battle situations.”
“We’re the bad guys on the ground,” said William Clingenpeel, the site manager. “We send up signals that simulate tracking radar, antiaircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles. It’s the aircrew’s job to avoid us, get in there and do their damage.”
More specifically, this site serves as a training tool for the 7th Bomb Wing, 12th Air Combat Command at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, which includes the B-1 Bomber and the B-52 Stratofortress.
The site is 7 miles north of Fluvanna, Texas, on the left-hand side of Farm to Market Road 1269. One can also view satellite images of the site on Google Maps at 32°59’00.3″N 101°09’14.8″W.
In addition to the electronic warfare threat simulators, the site has mock-up targets with heat sources the aircrews use to test on-board sniper pod equipment.
Mock-up targets such as SA-2 Surface-to-Air Missiles and 2S6 M Self Propelled Air Defense Vehicles are scattered throughout the main facility and remote locations.
Nearby Winston Field outside of Snyder, Texas, is also part of the greater electronic scoring complex–and, in 2013, served as a site for ‘simulated airport seizure’ in an exercise that included bombers, transport, and attack aircraft.
According the 2007 Department of Defense Base Structure Report, there is also an ESS located in Pecos, Texas, in addition to the site outside of Snyder.
As a member of the Texas Liberty Movement, I am certainly concerned about the Jade Helm 15 exercise and share the sentiments of Kimberly York, Regional Coordinator for the Texas Nationalist Movement who spoke to the Big Spring City Council condemning their decision to host the Jade Helm 15 exercise without consulting or deferring to residents.
Speaking privately, she voiced legitimate concern that property owners in the area may inadvertently fire upon participating troops as they conduct armed maneuvers in the dead of night.
Over the past few decades, the wanton refusal of the mainstream press to conduct true journalistic investigations into government action has created an explosion in citizen-journalism; unfortunately, not all members of the “alternative media” demonstrate the discipline that should be demanded from news sources. A lack of willingness to do research or report factually will only serve to discredit the new press and further disenfranchise the societies that have been betrayed by traditional news sources.
In addition, given the suspicion surrounding the Jade Helm exercise and the potentially dangerous reaction that such tension might provoke, it is vitally important that we not allow ourselves to be overcome to the point that we fall victim to the careless fame-seekers that are hawking salacious half-truths to the detriment of their own readers.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth