The United States government, or at least the part of it that people that are opponents of Donald Trump, are always looking for ways to control the American people. If you think about it, there’s not a whole lot we can do but prepare ourselves for when you get that knock on the door at two in the morning.
During the administration of former President Barack Obama, thousands of special operations forces massed in the southwestern portion of the United States to participate in the largest domestic military training exercises ever performed in American history.
Dubbed “Jade Helm,” the exercises provoked anxiety among local citizens in states such as Texas and New Mexico over concerns that their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties might be infringed upon, as reported then by The Texas Tribune.
Though three years have since passed since “Jade Helm” was performed and a new president elected to office, history appears to be repeating itself.
According to Flying magazine, beginning Jan. 26 and running through Feb. 18, the U.S. Air Force is conducting yet another round of training exercises, “Red Flag 18-1,” in Nevada that may trigger a possible GPS outage for pilots.
“GPS-equipped aircraft operating in the Western United States should be prepared for possible satellite signal disruptions at various altitudes. The disruptions may lead to traffic delays and even ground stops,” the magazine reported last week.
Moreover, while the exercises will reportedly occur at the Nevada Test and Training Range at the Nellis Air Force Base, they’re slated to “impact vast portions of the Western U.S. including California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico.”
What does this mean for you? Nothing too crazy, probably, except for possible 30-plus minute arrival and departure delays at major commercial airports in the affected states, particularly during the first week or so of the exercises.
But that still leaves one more question: Why are the military’s exercises going to affect GPS services?
Retired Marine Alex Hollings noted in a piece for Special Operations Forces Report that “GPS denial is a growing concern among military planners, especially amid reports that Russia has already begun conducting tests of their own GPS spoofing technology over portions of the Black Sea.”
“If pilots grow too reliant on GPS coordinates to identify targets and deliver ordnance, they would be at a serious disadvantage when operating in GPS denied airspace,” he added.
The goal, therefore, appears to be to expose the military forces in Nevada to the same conditions they might encounter while “operating in GPS denied airspace.”
A recent statement from Air Force Col. Michael Mathes, the 414th Combat Training Squadron commander, seems to support this.
“We’re trying a few new and different things with Red Flag 18-1,” he said in a news brief last week. “It’s the largest Red Flag ever with the largest number of participants, highlighting the balance of training efficiency with mission effectiveness.”