Late last week and through the weekend, citizens of St. Louis, Mo., were told not to be alarmed should they see military vehicles roll by their home. Even with this warning, though, some wondered why the U.S. Army was taking the vehicles off the base and to the streets in the first place.
According to KSDK-TV, Army specialists from Fort Meade came into town for a training exercise for members of the 354 MP company. As the reporter states, this "drivers' ed." for armored vehicles will take place on city streets and the highway.
Watch the KSDK report:
As noted in the video, the military is warning onlookers to steer clear of the tanks should they be seen on the road. Still, this caused Brandon Smith from Alt-Market in a guest post for Zero Hedge to wonder why the military is really conducting this training in public at all, saying it "makes very little sense to me." He poses these questions:
U.S. Army troops all the way from Maryland running open exercises in armored personnel carriers on the busy streets of St. Louis? I know Maryland is a small state, but is there really not enough room at Ft. Detrick to accommodate a tank column and some troops? Are there not entire fake neighborhood and town complexes built with taxpayer dollars on military bases across the country meant to facilitate a realistic urban environment for troops to train in? And why travel hundreds of miles to Missouri?
He also points out that some local reports did mention some citizens being worried about the purpose of the training exercise but those featured in the report were all supporters. The local Fox affiliate has a couple examples of the supporters in its report:
In the video, two locals explain that they think the presence of troops or law enforcement that looks like the military could help cut down on crime in the area.
Smith wonders this as well writing in response to his above questions that it "makes perfect sense if the goal is to acclimate citizens to the idea of seeing tanks and armed military acting in a policing capacity."
"One of the interviewees even points out that in some countries they don't use police at all; only military. This is true," he writes. "We call those countries 'tyrannies.'"
The training is expected to continue through June 28.
Update: A Blaze reader has informed us that the vehicles being used in the training are not tanks but heavily armored vehicles. The Army Reserve company's name was also the 354th MP company, not NP as we originally reported.