Night Raids
On May 8th, Special Operations Soldiers fast roped from Black Hawk helicopters onto the balconies of the abandoned Grand Bay Hotel in Miami, Florida.  The training mission simulation a hostage rescue operation as CBS reports:

According to police sources, this is what came down in the mock anti-terror operation: Helicopters dropped Special Operations teams on the Grand Bay to rescue “hostages.”  The freed hostages were spirited to nearby Peacock Park where more helicopters delivered them to safety at an undisclosed location.

While the commando raid was going on at the hotel, fighter jets strafed a “terrorist missile site” that had been established at Miami City Hall, across Bayshore Drive.

From the Miami Herald:

“It was quite a shocking experience,” said Jane Muir, who was awakened around 1:45 a.m. by the sound of military choppers that later dropped rappelling soldiers onto the Grand Bay’s rooftop. “It was kind of that bizarre feeling that you were surrounded by wind.”

From her third-floor balcony, Muir then watched the soldiers fire off flares and smoke bombs before searching floor by floor through the darkened hotel, their paths marked by flashlights and the pop-pop-pop of gunshots. “The show of force was so overwhelming,” she said.

The maneuvers were part of a “realistic urban training” exercise for about 100 military personnel, and organized by the U.S. Special Operations Command, said Maj. Michael Burns, a U.S. Army spokesman. The exercise also included three military helicopters, and the use of simulated explosions and gunfire to mimic real-life military scenarios.

Realistic Urban Training Exercises
The Miami training operation comes on the heels of the Chicago training exercise that I reported on just a few weeks ago that also (I strongly suspect) involved 160th Special Operations Aviation and Special Operations troops.  This also follows on similar training that has taken place in LA, Boston, and elsewhere in recent years.

While I have some concerns with why these drills are being conducted, I’d also like to be the voice of rationality.  The internet is lighting up right now with people saying that this is training for martial law, FEMA camps, the whole nine yards.  I don’t believe this to be the case and think that people should be cautiously skeptical.

When I was in the Ranger Regiment we conducted urban training exercises like this and it was some of the best training that I participated in.  We hit an abandoned prison outside of Nashville and an abandoned Middle School right outside of Ft. Benning one time.  Running through the shoot house or the the MOUT City on base is good training but actually working with the assets you will have overseas, such as helicopters, and infilling to a more realistic target does a far better job of replicating what soldiers are likely to see overseas.  That said, we never conducted these training raids in the middle of major metropolitan areas.

Rehearsals for an Upcoming Combat Operation?

It is interesting that we’ve seen a flurry of these urban training missions as of late.  However, I don’t think that SOCOM is conducting these training missions as part of a train up for a specific combat mission.  We are told that the Miami training the other day simulated a hostage rescue mission.  This would mean Delta or SEAL Team Six, possibly with Rangers or SEALs in a supporting role.  If they were training for an actual mission that they are currently looking at, I do not think that they would conduct rehearsals in such a public setting.

I stumbled onto a staging ground that Delta was using in Central America a number of years ago.  It was so low-vis that I didn’t even know what was going on until I heard about it from another source several years after the fact.  If you look at the rehearsals for other high profile missions, like Desert One, they also took place in remote locations away from public scrutiny.  I think that this kind of training is a full on simulation for future combat operations but probably isn’t as nefarious as some people would make them out to be.  Now, whether this type of training is appropriate in the middle of major American cities is another question that I will leave up to our readers to decide.

What’s Behind the Curtain?
There is a lot of hype out there.  Just recently there was a big blow up on the internet about Russian and American troops training together in an upcoming joint exercise.  That much appears to be accurate.  After that people went off the deep end with it.  Denver Airport, CIA Black Sites, training for martial law in America, FEMA Camps, ect…  Sometimes it pays to be skeptical about these things.

Now, I wish I could tell you to ignore the fat man behind the curtain but I can’t.  Lately I’ve been researching something called Continuity of Government.  COG planning was conducted during the Cold War, supposedly with the idea that if there was a nuclear exchange with the Soviets than there would be a type of parallel government laying in wait that would hold America together.  Of course this would mean the suspension of the constitution.  The whole thing was set up by Oliver North, Richard Secord, and the Iran-Contra crew so that should tell you where this is going.
I’ve been researching and talking to some other investigators about COG and I believe this could be the darkest episode in American history.  It’s chilling.  Unfortunately, COG is conspiracy fact rather than conspiracy theory. However, I don’t think that these urban training exercises that SOCOM has been conducting has anything to do with that.

Routine Training?
Maybe not.  When I participated in these types of exercises they were sometimes scenario based, structured around scenarios that could occur sometime in the future even if they did not mimic a specific mission that we were to execute in the near future.  Some of these scenarios revolved around Iraq and Afghanistan.  Some were centered around “other” countries which I will leave undisclosed here.

Is it possible that SOCOM is training for future scenarios in new theaters of operation?  It is possible, but in this case I don’t think it is a rehearsal for a combat operation that will be executed in the near future.  I also don’t believe that this has anything to do with “martial law” training or any of the other more far out theories getting slung around the internet.
I must admit that it is very suspicious that all these urban training missions seem to be happening back to back in recent months and that they are all happening in built up areas packed full of civilians.  Maybe SOCOM is just taking advantage of the empty hotel in Miami like we did with the abandoned prison and school house.  One way or the other, I’ll keep an eye out!