War Games w/ a new twist, AL Power cut the electricity

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Picked this up from another list. New MO for a troops, unbelievable. I especially liked the last line, "if you are going to play soldiers in our yard, you ought to invite us to play, or take your guns and parachutes and go home."

From the Anniston Alabama Star-Editorial

Wart games: Tell someone next time

by Our Opinion 03-16-1999

THE GREEN Berets swooped in out of the darkness Friday night. Silent and deadly they drifted down from the heavens on their silk parachutes, hitting the ground and scurrying to set up the defensive perimeter around that most strategic of positions: Anniston Municipal Airport.They fought bravely through the night, withstanding the jarring fake explosions and confusion of the darkness. They performed admirably and in the end captured the airport from a mythical enemy.

Do we all feel safer after the Armys weekend war game in our area? Not only do we not feel safer, we feel just a little bit mad about the whole affair. How else to articulate the emotion elicited by an unannounced full-scale invasion of the airport by the 75th Ranger Regiment from Fort Benning and the 160th Special Operation Aviation Regiment from Fort Campbell? A good many people in Oxford heard explosions around 8 p.m. Friday and looked out their windows to see paratroopers gliding to earth. And most of them were enduring it all in the dark. Alabama Power,you see, cut the power for about two hours that night. The power company was cooperating with the Army, which had requested the power outage around the airport so that no paratroopers would be hurt by the live electrical lines. Thats totally understandable. What is not is Alabama Powers failure in telling everyone about the power outage. For those folks left out in the dark, there was the unexpected power outage followed by the for all they knew  real a full-scale invasion of the airport, by who knows who. The power company says it sent notices to the estimated 300 customers who would lose their power on a Friday evening. But some of those notices never reached the customers. Well, OK, so some were returned. But here is a very irksome thing: The Alabama Power notice declared that the power would be cut to perform work on the power lines. Excuse us. What was that again? Work on the power lines?

Standard notice, standard notice, Buddy Eiland, Alabama Powers spokesman explains. Anytime there is a power cut the same notice goes out, evidently. Thats a real hoot. The power company doesnt have a problem delivering the power bill to everybody who deserves one, nor do they have any trouble putting a different name on each bill. Heck they even send a fellow around to your house every month to have a look-see at your meter just so they will know how much money you own them. But the company cant send out a notice that tells you what all the commotion at the airport is going to be about on Friday night. The Army says it alerted the area about the exercises that also took place at Fort McClellan. Hershal Chapman, Fort McClellans public affairs spokesman, says a press release went out to media outlets telling of the exercise. You are so right Mr. Chapman, but that notice failed to mention anything about the airport or that the power would be offed.

The Army and Alabama Power have some apologizing and some explaining to do to this community. The Anniston Municipal Airport belongs to this community, it is not part of some vast federal government holding that the powers that be can do with as they please.

IF YOURE going to play soldiers in our yard, you ought to invite us to play. Or, take your guns and parachutes and go home.

-- Rusty (iam@work.com), March 17, 1999


link - http://www.annistonstar.com/opinion/opinion_19990316_3848.html

-- Online2Much (ready_for_y2k@mindspring.com), March 17, 1999.

I am starting to wonder if these war games will be going on in a lot of communities without the public's knowledge. Who would be liable should someone think he is being invaded/threatened and shoot a couple of the soldiers as they float down from the sky?

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), March 17, 1999.


good point. funny thing is, one would expect the military planners to have considered the possibility of someone responding with force against an unidentified group firing at their homes...not to be overly paranoid, but I wonder if that might not be what someone is waiting for.


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), March 17, 1999.

Funny thing is - when I read the headline (about cutting power) I thought that it made sense tactically - so the military would be faced with "real life" problem practicing in the dark.

My mistake, it was only for safety of the paratroopers. Not that I want them to jump near dangerous "live" power lines, but I think the Army mised the point here.

And AL Power illustrates agin what I was saying elsewhere about "who" benefits and "who" pays - what the federal government wants, the federal government gets - in secrecy and behind lies.


-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), March 17, 1999.

After reading this article, I can hardly articulate the rage I feel as an American. What in the Hell is going on? This is an affront to every citizen of that community and seems to me that it tramps on the rights of all citizens of this country.

This is beginning to be a much darker cloud than I first thought. First the Urban Warfare Games in Texas, the Marines In Monterrey, Ca and now the Green Berets in Anniston, Al. The actual endangerment to the people in that community was dismissed by not only our own military, but by a power company that has only one duty and that's to provide electricity.

Okay, Pollyannas....if an electrical company will lie to a small community about why the power was cut....what makes you think they wouldn't lie about being compliant? My trust factor just hit an all time low.

-- Cary Mc from Tx (Caretha@compuserve.com), March 17, 1999.

Here's an article from the same paper on 3/14:

Mock War, Real Snafu

-- Lisa (lisa@work.now), March 17, 1999.

Read Inhofe's speech in www.WorldNetDaily.com and ask yourself this question. Why are the Special forces playing these games on those who pay their salaries? We are not the enemy. The enemy is in the White House.

-- Betty Alice (Barn222@aol.com), March 17, 1999.

Since when do we have power lines over airports? Am I missing something here?

-- flb (fben4077@yahoo.com), March 17, 1999.

You can add Lowell, Massachusetts to the list. About a week ago, on 2 consecutive nights, a SEALS practice force descended from helicopters into a river mill complex. The city officials knew but were sworn to secrecy for security reasons. Residents were terrified. It was a lot easier to dismiss this activity when it was going on in Kingsville, TX, but Lowell makes no sense. This sort of thing just doesn't happen in New England - NOT!

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), March 17, 1999.

Brooks, do you know if this was in the local papers. I am from MA and am interested in any information you can give me on this. Thanks.

-- flb (fben4077@yahoo.com), March 17, 1999.

It is also interesting to point out that Fort McClennan is (was) the home of the Army's MP school and Chemical Weapons training.

As I currently understand it, those schools are being moved to Fort Lenard Wood in MO. Fort L. Wood is going through a major rebuild/build-out of facilities. Interesting to do all this work in the _middle_ of MO (which is sort of geographically in the middle of the US; far from the coasts...).

Which leaves Anniston/Gadsden with a big base and no soldiers (or so we're left to believe???).

Local input from AL would be appreciated.


-- j (not@now.com), March 18, 1999.

Isn't this practice at attacking urban areas what we read about a couple of weeks ago on some gov site that was mentioned here. The Marines are supposed to be training for urban fighting in Bosnia or somewhere? The long message with capitalized text, in milspeak, that some thought a hoax but was given credence. I skimmed it and believe it mentioned many sites, mostly port cities, on all coasts around the country. The "urban warriors" were kept from doing San Fran, I believe. Moved to Oakland(?). Also think they did some exercising on some other CA coastal city. Alabama was surprized? Don't know why. There are more cities to come, on the east coast, if I remember correctly.

Does anyone still have that link?


-- Floyd Baker (fbaker@wzrd.com), March 18, 1999.

A trivial correction: Rangers are not Green Berets. During the rare times that they are in garrison they wear black berets. Special Forces and Rangers are two distinct types of soldiers. This was definitely a Ranger-type mission; seize, capture, destroy, kill. SF has more of an infiltrate and subvert mission.

-- Franklin Journier (ready4y2k@yahoo.com), March 18, 1999.

Just an additional FYI before I dash off to look up some primary references. Lowell, MA is one of the communities in the with high profile Y2k community preparations going on; I think it is also Lowell that has its own community money in addition to federal reserve units. I'll put up the links in a bit.

Robert, I too have learned the value of asking questions that don't often get asked when the obfuscating bureaucratic clouds gather...Before asking why, ask: WHO BENEFITS?

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), March 18, 1999.

Just an additional FYI before I dash off to look up some primary references. Lowell, MA is one of the communities in the US with high profile Y2k community preparations going on,...for quite some time; I think it is also Lowell that has its own community money in addition to federal reserve units. I'll put up the links in a bit.

Robert, I too have learned the value of asking questions that don't often get asked when the obfuscating bureaucratic clouds gather...Before asking why, ask: WHO BENEFITS?

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), March 18, 1999.

I concur with the Green Beret/Army Ranger confusion in the story - I think the writer got a little carried away there in his first sentence, but then got the right grup when he id'ed the Ranger group later.

The previous thread a little bit back - you're right it was a Navy-Marine msg about this type of operation against what was to be SFO, but got changed to Monterey CA - but notice the Navy-Marine money will allow them to only spend it on coastal oerations. The Army and Green Beret/Ranger operational money will only be used inland - hence this affair is Army.

The deal is: Clinton will let them drill (spend money) only on anti-American exercises (excuse me, anti-terrorist exercises) right now, because he has taken the rest to serve several dozens of humanitarium assignments all over. So the military has no budget to train and equip their troops anymore UNLESS they assign troops to anit-American exercises.

So being realists, the military now has to play anti-American assault games in MA, TX, CA, AL, ...... To practice for the real thing.

If the Clinton's weren't in charge, I'd actually welcome the training - because terrorists could be a minor threat. I'd rather they protect Tawain, Japan, and South Korean - but the Chinese have bought him off, so we know that won't happen.

But - with Clinton in charge, these exercises are not a drill.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), March 18, 1999.

I think they are desensitizing us to troops. If they do this enough we won't think anything of it....right?? Like the boy who called wolf. If I had been close to the airport I certainly wouldn't have sat around to "see" what was going to happen.

-- Moore Dinty moore (not@thistime.com), March 18, 1999.

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