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Jade Helm 15 starts Wednesday, Big Spring residents not concerned

Published: Jul. 15, 2015 at 9:49 PM CDT|Updated: Jan. 13, 2016 at 7:19 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Wednesday, the military began their training exercises known as Jade Helm 15.

The training is taking place in Texas and six other states.

It allows the military to train on unfamiliar terrain that they may come across when serving overseas.

Terrain that many private land owners have allowed troops to utilize.

It has certainly sparked a lot of conversation on why the military would need to train outside of their bases.

Several residents around Big Spring say they have no concerns when it comes to the training the troops may need.

"I mean, I'm always out and about and constantly throughout the days," Sammy Ruiz said. "I haven't seen any military vehicles, military personnel swarming or wondering around. If they're doing it, they're doing it very discreetly."

Ruiz has lived in Big Spring for one year and says no one in his family is buying into the conspiracy theories that are floating across social media.

Though Jade Helm 15 is not taking place within Big Spring city limits, it is located in Howard County.

"The military is needed," Ruiz said. "They volunteered to do a job, to protect our freedoms and anything they need to do to protect our freedoms, including exercises, if that's what helps them do it, then by all means, do what you have to do."

He says waking up this morning he had plans with his family to come to the park and knowing Jade Helm 15 starts today didn't change that.

"Not altered or changed, not one bit," Ruiz said.

Mayor of Big Spring, Larry McLellan, says it was a unanimous vote within the city council and county commissioner's court to allow troops to train in this area.

He says he even received a letter from a lieutenant colonel in the army thanking him for allowing the military to train within the county.

"We should be proud of ourselves to be able to host these men and women to come in and do the training and give them the tools they need to go into combat," Mayor McLellan said.

Ruiz says he is so comfortable with troops training.

"Trust in the military, trust in the government," Ruiz said. "Trust in the fact that those guys volunteered to do that job."

Mayor McLellan says he has received a lot of emails and phone calls from concerned citizens, but none of them reside here in Howard County.

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