What is the point of Naval operations that include exercises for “collecting evidence” for criminal prosecutions?
The Twin Cities Daily Planet recently published a report that might be quite important: “Minneapolis police records shed light on 2014 military training.”
In August of 2014, military helicopters flew low over residential neighborhoods of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, engaged in a series of night-time training exercises. The exercises involved the Naval Warfare Development Group – a “special forces” component of the U.S. Navy – and were aimed at enhancing urban combat tactics.
Just as they had two years earlier, military personnel had come to the Twin Cities to conduct counter-terrorism training operations in an urban environment. And just as before, those operations commenced with little advance notice to the public.
In fact, the Naval Warfare Development Group’s operation was so sensitive, that some communications in making the arrangements with local authorities were restricted to face-to-face communication. Which means there may be no paper trail for some details regarding the training exercise.
The 2014 operation was preceded by a similar operation in 2012. The Daily Planet notices some differences between them.
While much about the 2014 exercise appears to have paralleled its 2012 predecessor, MPD documents indicate that there were some notable – and perhaps significant – changes to the training regime.
Documents obtained by PRM in 2012 suggested that the Navy’s training operation was – at the time – undertaken for the purpose of preparing special operations forces for foreign deployment. However, records relating to the 2014 exercise include hints that some aspects of that training may have had a domestic focus.
According to an e-mail from an anonymous federal official, “There is a significant change in our ‘template’ since the August 2012 exercise,” and as such “we are under new DOD regulatory guidance for this type of training.”
The military’s solicitation letter to Mayor Hodges included a list of training specifics that mirrored language in its 2012 letter. Those specifics included training for “low visibility movement, low-altitude precision helicopter operations, surveillance, and counter-surveillance.” However, the Navy’s 2014 letter also stated that its exercises would help its personnel in “preserving evidence for criminal prosecution” and that the relationships established with urban law enforcement professionals would be critical to the Navy’s “future success.”
So where is the Naval Warfare Development Group expecting to execute urban warfare and need to cooperate with local law enforcement for the purpose of criminal prosecutions?
Wouldn’t be great if the mainstream media insisted on answers to that question?