Friday, February 20, 2009

National Guard scraps plans to invade rural town 'This operation could be pretty intrusive to the people'

Well, looks like they called it off!

(hat tip to Mike V.)

Posted: February 20, 2009
4:24 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily DES MOINES, Iowa – Following publicized reports that the Army National Guard was planning a military training exercise on the streets of a rural Iowa town, the commanding officers have called off the mock "invasion."

The Guard had planned a four-day urban military operation in tiny Arcadia, Iowa, population 443, sending troops to take over the town and search door-to-door for a suspected weapons dealer


The exercise was designed as a mock scenario to give soldiers the skills needed for deployment in an urban environment, and military officials stressed that only households that consented to be part of the drill would be searched.

"It will be important for us to gain the trust and confidence of the residents of Arcadia," Sgt. Mike Kots, readiness NCO for Alpha Company, told Carroll's Daily Times Herald. "We will need to identify individuals that are willing to assist us in training by allowing us to search their homes and vehicles and to participate in role-playing.

"We really want to get as much information out there as possible," Kots continued, "because this operation could be pretty intrusive to the people of Arcadia."

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Greg Hapgood, however, told WND that the operation has now been "scaled back" and no longer involves an "invasion" of Arcadia.

And while Hapgood confirmed the Guard had been inundated with objections from citizens concerned about soldiers patrolling the streets of an American town, he said most came from people out of state and unfamiliar with the operation. Iowans, he explained, typically cooperate with the Guard. The change in plans was based on troop evaluation, he said, not public outcry.


"There are no active duty bases in Iowa, so there are no urban warfare training areas of any size," Hopgood said. "In order to get that larger neighborhood feel or city feel, we have to be creative and partner with our communities."

Hopgood further told WND that in past cooperative exercises with the community, the people of Iowa have welcomed learning how their sons and daughters operate in action.

Plans for the urban operation training, Hopgood explained, are still set to continue, but will be conducted in a smaller, platoon-by-platoon basis in the near vicinity of the Carroll armory.

Read the whole thing here.

Well now, that's interesting! So, "the change in plans was based on troop evaluation, he said, not public outcry." I have my doubts about that!

The public outcry was pretty loud, including people beginning to plan to stage demonstrations, marches, and even half in jest proposals for patriotic Americans to show up and serve as OPFOR (opposing forces for training). Only half in jest ... that means at least half serious.

Americans just do not cotton to the notion of any troops training to go house to house and search for guns, even if it is explained as being done with the best intentions. The current political environment is just too much on edge, as I noted here.


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