How the annual Robin Sage special forces guerrilla warfare training session feels different in the age of lockdowns, quarantines, and compulsory vaccinations.
While the U.S. government has labeled far-right extremists the number one domestic terror threat, as popular television shows, celebrities, and video games echo such sentiments, it is no wonder conservatives are feeling anxious hearing stories of military drills conducted against simulated rebel ‘freedom fighters’ on U.S. soil.
The annual Robin Sage special forces training exercises have put American conservatives on edge, as trust in law enforcement and government agencies hit record lows among the country’s Republican voters. After numerous high-profile incidents of federal and state misconduct in the 2020 election, as well as the continued nationwide January 6 manhunt of conservatives, any remaining trust in the federal government is fleeting fast among the country’s MAGA constituency.
Robin Sage is a two-week special forces exercise wherein military participants are dropped into realistic guerilla warfare situations on U.S. soil, where resistance fighters, militias, and civilian combatants are both trained and fought. To bring a level of realism to the exercise, civilian volunteers throughout the state of North Carolina participate as role-players in the military exercise.
“During the exercise, 8,500 square miles of central North Carolina becomes the Republic of Pineland. Over 1,000 people consisting of instructors, students, volunteers, civilian authorities, and the citizens from the area participate. Local citizens portray natives and auxiliary forces while additional servicemembers role-play opposing and guerrilla forces to depict a realistic unconventional warfare environment.” – Army.Mil
While military personal insist the knowledge developed during gorilla warfare training exercises is utilized in places far away from the American homeland, eerily familiar imagery used within the fictional country of Pineland has raised eyebrows within the U.S. conservative base.
Similarly, residents who participate in the training exercise appear to be your normal, average blue-collar American conservative, which by liberal standards, represents the definition of far-right extremist.
Such imagery also resembles that of the recent popular video game release titled Far Cry 5, where rebel breakaway forces look like a cross between WACO residents & southern ranchers who have to be killed in order to defeat the religious, conservative villains in the game.
To add more fuel to the fire, over the past 5 years, Democrats, as well as some Republicans, have asserted that ‘far-right-wing extremists are the most significant terrorism threat facing the United States.’ Christian fundamentalism, as well as gun ownership, are among the vast number of characters of those who, by federal government standards, represent the far-right.
The North Carolinian publication, Our State, wrote at length of the Robin Sage training event, saying that “during the intense two-week exercise, Thompson (a participant) transforms from a retired soldier to a guerrilla commander waging a desperate campaign for Pineland’s freedom against the oppressive forces of the United Provinces of Atlantica.”
Thompson is short and lean with a trim gray beard. He wears black jungle boots covered by camouflage pants. A headlamp hangs around his neck, and a sweat-stained Jim Beam baseball cap covers his head as he marches to a base set back in the woods near a farm.
Thompson almost never breaks character. He refers to the students as the “Americans” and talks about the United States like it is another country, far from the reality of Pineland.
Historically, the knowledge gained in North Carolina has been utilized abroad, in places such as Syria and Afghanistan. The training helps U.S. special forces train rebel groups abroad to fight against what is called ‘oppressive regimes.’ This training, as it is used to build opposition forces within combative nations, has helped sprout conspiracy theories surrounding the U.S.-backed color revolutions throughout the middle east and beyond.
With the new federal focus on rural conservative America, many Americans cannot help but feel as though operations like the Pineland Robin Sage are nothing more than a training ground for a future invasion of conservative states resisting federal overreach.
Such anxieties as mentioned above can be seen throughout social media, with individuals expressing concern that these exorcizes are preparations for a domestic war on rural America.
Though the worries might be real to those who have been paying close attention to American politics, they are brushed off as nonsense by accounts online portraying themselves to be knowledgeable of the event. Nonetheless, the anxiety induced by lockdowns, quarantines, compulsory vaccinations, and political manhunts of conservative Americans remains real and is the driving source of conspiracy surrounding the Pineland special forces operation.