Black Helicopters Over Galveston, Houston. Wait. No.

 Galveston, TX county jail (courtesy galvestonhistory.org)

You remember our stories about black helicopters firing blanks over Miami and then Houston? Yesterday, the Army and Houston police apologized for not giving advance warning of a joint training exercise in southeast Houston. The Army said they notified Houston’s public safety director about the exercise, but the message never got out. This on the same day the Army gave the Galveston County Daily News a heads-up that a unit from Fort Bragg, North Carolina planned on using the old jail on 17th Street for a night drill in urban warfare. “Residents on the East End may see military personnel and a helicopter, and possibly hear gunfire and explosions.” Apparently, the military wasn’t happy that they’d let the cat out of the bag. The News reports that . . .

The U.S. Army’s plan to use the old Galveston County Jail for urban warfare training was canceled late Wednesday afternoon.

Calls and emails to the Army were not returned, but the county’s Dudley Anderson, who coordinated the use of the facility with the Army, said the military was a bit “sensitive” to the publicity the training generated.

SNAFU on “standard anti-terrorist training” or WTF on military and police coordination? We report you wear the tin hat.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

42 Responses to Black Helicopters Over Galveston, Houston. Wait. No.

  1. avatarJeff the Griz says:

    Practice invading the local areas of the US in the US, practice makes perfect!!! But perfect what??? I gotta go to the store and buy a couple boxes of ammo, oh wait its all gone, ok maybe a few boxes of tin foil

  2. avatarMDC says:

    Tuesday nite in Harrisburg,Pa.Weird.

  3. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    We report you wear the tin hat.

    ROFL. Truer words never spoken. If you’re going to indulge in feeding the tinfoil crowd, you might as well own it.

  4. avatarJack says:

    I have invested in a tin foil cup for my man bits because my wife says that’s where my brain is.

  5. avatarSubZ says:

    adding reynolds wrap to portfolio

  6. avatarNick says:

    “black Helicopters” fly over my place every few weeks. Some time we even get the big freaking cargo planes along side them.

    • avatarJROC says:

      I have black helicopters flying the same flight patterns every few weeks too. I live in Purcellville, VA. and the last time they came (they always fly at night) the helicopter was lower than usual and vibrated the whole house.

  7. avatarAnmut says:

    *THIS COMMENT DELETED*
    Sincerely, B.O.

  8. avatarjwm says:

    Fort Bragg? Ain’t that SF territory? My cranial computer ain’t what it once was, but I think that’s where them boys with the funny French hats hang out at.

    • avatarTariq M says:

      SF is HQ’d there (including Delta) and a Ranger Battalion IIR. Also the entire 82nd Airborne, military police etc. Could be any of them I assume.
      Not sure why they called it off though.

    • avatarGyufygy says:

      Yeah, metric ton of SF stuff goes from there, including their training center, and since they are supposed to operate pretty much anywhere in the world, doesn’t surprise me they’d use an old jail for training. The U.S. isn’t the only country in the world that uses buildings and concrete and whatnot.

      Rangers are out of Fort Campbell, I think. Someplace a little south of NC, at any rate.

      • avatarjwm says:

        this jarred a memory loose. We did some training in a Federal Prison site. This place was brand new and had no prisoners and minimal staff at the time. I think it was in California. That would have been in the early 70′s.

      • avatarGyufygy says:

        Benning, damn. At least had the region right, I think. :p

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          I’m not sure how much weight “headquarters” should be given. Their training camp is up in the mountains, but damned if I can remember the name. And they’re at Bragg often enough. Probably other training centers that we never flew them to. ?

  9. avatarDaniel Silverman says:

    Well I don’t wear a tin foil hat I swear…
    Just a bit odd.. Strange… Even scary…
    Carry on nothing to see here… The actors with the free America now signs acting as protestors, never mind them, nothing to see.. Those Marshal Law signs, ha just for funzies… Geez you people are paranoid! ;-)

    • avatarBadger 8-3 says:

      Martial, not Marshal. Just sayin’…

      Funny how some firearms owners will become angered at being labeled a “gun-nut” but will then turn around and declare someone a “tinfoil-hat-wearing-conspiracy-theorist”. Yep. Tolerant individuals we are not.

  10. avatarJohn Fritz says:

    Why can’t the Army do this shit on base somewhere? Or post or whatever they call their taxpayer-funded towns.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      If they did it on-base, the training wouldn’t be…realistic enough. Frankly, I’d be more at peace with their urban domestic-theater training if they conducted it over Telegraph Hill, mid-town Manhattan, or lake-front Chicago. Then I’d know they were preparing to take down the actual operation centers of the “All their freedoms and bank fees are belong to us” crowd.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      I thought sure all of the “Federal government spends way too much” crowd would applaud the notion of using buildings like this one for training.

      Do you think we shouldn’t provide our troops with urban operations training that reinforces the lessons learned in Iraq?

      Would you prefer that the DoD spend billions constructing a range of building types and sizes to use for training?

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        DoD has already spent “billions constructing a range of building types and sizes” which can be used for training. They’re fairly constantly demolishing older structures. We can assume that if terrorists do strike, or local insurrections occur, lending specialized troops will begin immediately to cope with the situation. This isn’t actually secret information, nor is it tin hat. Mil/DHS/State coordination has been a work in progress, as has ‘doctrine.’ The question is “how comfortable are you with the increase in SOF use in that domestic role?” The Insurrection Act of 1807 is still good law. It is worth noting that there are Reserve and National Guard SOF units. Alpha, you can’t be ex-military….

        • avatarGyufygy says:

          The Reserve and Guard units usually backfill the active units, i.e. training allied and friendly forces, trying new gear, tactics, and training out, and other low-key missions while the active guys are doing the raids and secret stuff.

          Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a Reserve or Guard unit that was involved with this story.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          I’m familiar with the simulated structures and reconfigurable shoot-houses used in training, but all of the ones I’ve seen were of limited scale and internal complexity compared to, say, a full-size prison building.

          I’m more concerned with the militarization of domestic law enforcement than I am with the growth of SOCOM, though it does give me pause. Perhaps it’s because I’m not nearly as far along the tinfoil hat spectrum as some folks, and I do still believe that we will manage to keep America intact without turning into a tin-pot dictatorship using SOCOM to enforce order on the serfs.

          I’m a former military/LE brat, with tons of friends in or formerly in the armed services, but I’m not ex-military myself. My life ended up on a different path, despite a tradition of military service in my family.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          My history with those guys doesn’t bear much going into. I worked with the early version as air crew (insert and extract), and stayed friends. Many of those guys (I was 19, they were 21-30) stayed in or went back in after college or med school. Stunning careers later on. Admirable people in their own way, obviously, driven. I wouldn’t want them showing up in my town with guns and orders. Drinking with them one at a time is fine.

        • avatarmatt says:

          There are lots of old bases which have been closed down and could be used for training.

  11. Firing blanks in the middle of a city is utterly ridiculous and irresponsible. People didn’t know what was going and called 911. Someone had to respond to that. In the meantime a real 911 call could’ve come in.

  12. avatarduke nukem says:

    you people are paranoid..
    the same people that are protecting your freedoms you bash and cursed them.. for shame

    • avatarRalph says:

      Actually, we were talking about you.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Duke, I couldn’t find bashing and cursing. The people protecting my freedoms are mostly attorneys and judges, for it is in courtrooms that freedoms have been curtailed and regained. I freely went to war, and I am glad many young men and women still volunteer. Our military’s practical purpose, though, is to maintain free commerce abroad for US enterprise, to protect resources elsewhere, defending logistics lines vital to our economy, and securing our borders, while assisting allies that aid in the four needs mentioned. I’m not a bit convinced that weapons-bearing active duty US Army Regular and Reserves should be necessary for domestic use, excepting the case of Hawaii, Alaska, and several protectorates, given the National Guard units under Governors’ control. The command structure of USSOCOM and the increasingly close ties between the CIA/S.A.D. and DoD incline me even further to, sans tin hat, doubt the wisdom of using SOF’s domestically. As for Alpha’s “preserving the urban combat skills gained in Iraq…” we do have extensive facilities on bases sufficient to refresh and revise that training, and they sufficed. We took Baghdad in a walk, relatively. The “just go to sleep” on central government power has never been a wise course. The reputable literature confirming that view is vast. Our Constitution is a monument to that perception.

  13. avatarRalph says:

    I made my tinfoil hat out of Reynolds nonstick stuff and it just keeps slipping off.

  14. avatarheboone says:

    I’ve heard from multiple people with inside information that there is a huge unit of Houston Police Dept. officers that are currently training for civil unrest. Additionally I’ve heard from the same crowd that there are federal mandates that were issued to local police departments, and presumably others, that instruct dept’s to report direct to the federal level in the event of civil unrest. Sounds like this would mean that any local or state political influence is trying to be subverted.

    Not sure what it all means but it doesn’t sound warm and fuzzy. It used to be you’d hear something like this and think about the LA riots and think, they are preparing to better protect the Korean small business owner or the lost truck driver, but something tells me that’s not the intent.

    The abuse of power by HPD has been overt to me and several friends recently.

    • avatarPencotron says:

      heboone – I have a good friend who works with HPD. He is well aware of my Libertarian leanings and does not talk to me anymore. I’ve had the same thoughts that your inside information has provided. This sucks. You and yours are welcome outside the Belt.

  15. avatarrogue_rager says:

    The thing about this is there are lots of out of the way old installations that have been closed or sitting vacant all around the country. One example is Ft McClellan Alabama, former Chemical and Military Police basic training and Garrison, shut down in about 2000, now houses National Guard Training center and other various agencies in a less populated area. Plenty of large complex buildings and has a SF group right there to host. I know as a Guard officer the pain and paperwork required to use public areas for training not to mention the risk assessments and accountability piece. But it is not the first of it’s kind. Some here ought to remember SF Q and Robin Sage. That is done in public over a period of time. But running the risk of public panic, the exploitation of tactics via public viewing, and the possibility of an aircraft accident, seems a little above and beyond the normal need to maintain training. And the timing of multiple exercises this close coming out of SOCOM community may signal a significant event that requires immediate dry runs in the most realistic terrain.

  16. avatarCarlos U. says:

    It’s Delta /Seals or other SF practicing their hostage rescue/anti-terrorism stuff. If you watch the New Zealand SAS videos on YouTube you’ll see in the final video how they train to do helicopter assaults on buildings.

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