- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 9, 2015

Controversial military exercises that will soon take place in the U.S. with roughly 1,200 special operations forces will be off limits to the press.

A military spokesman said Wednesday that Jade Helm 15, which will take place in parts of Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana from July 15 through Sept. 15 will not have media observers.

Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria, a spokesman for Army Special Operations Command, said no reporters will be embedded with special operations forces, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

“All requests from the media for interviews and coverage of U.S. Army Special Operations Command personnel, organizations and events are assessed for feasibility and granted when and where possible,” Lt. Lastoria said, the newspaper reported. “We are dedicated to communicating with the public, while balancing that against the application of operations security and other factors.”

Critics of Jade Helm 15 say that its nature is eerily akin to the kind of military exercises one would see prior to the declaration of martial law.

Personnel from Eglin Air Force Base in western Florida will coordinate Jade Helm 15 exercises. The base is home of the Army’s 7th Special Forces Group. All four branches of the military will take part in the training.

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