The empty streets of Bastrop are the opposite of what was expected on the first day of Jade Helm 15.
"It appears to be a lot of to do about not much," says Elgin's Chief of Police Chris Bratton. The eight week exercise will take place South of Elgin. But Bratton says he's been in contact with those in charge of Jade Helm. He feels confident that the hype is just that. "We don't anticipate any issues at all."
That's a far cry from a late Spring town hall meeting in Bastrop. Angry residents peppered the military and local officials. Angry that plans surfaced after the County agreed to host the troops.
"I think the commissioners have gotten more feedback than the law enforcement agencies have," Bratton says.
The Bastrop area will host sixty of the elite soldiers. The training, the military says, is designed for Special Forces to navigate around terrain they may encounter overseas.
The private properties around the Smithville area where they will train are shrouded in secrecy. That, locals have said is what's driving much of the conspiracy chatter.
"I think right now the mood of the country is there are a lot of people suspicious about what the federal government is up to in a lot of different ways," says Bratton
But he believes that shouldn't be confused with what the military has scheduled over the next eight weeks.
"We trust them implicitly and they've been our partners for a long time and we've seen no evidence of any nefarious activity on the part of the military."
Neither the public nor the media are invited to watch the exercises.