This is in response to the portion of the Rampart Group investigation into
Representative Matt Shea (WA State), and the section specifically identified
as ‘Finding#8’, which makes false assertions about the role, function, and
intent of myself and the AmRRON network. This type of slanderous ‘reporting’
simply will not be tolerated.
AmRRON has never acted unlawfully, nor have we developed training scenarios
centered around “armed conflicts against federal, state and local governments
and law enforcement.” This claim is an outright lie, and is so egregious that
we believe Rampart Group showed gross negligence toward due diligence in their
I (JJS) was never contacted by any of the investigators of Rampart Group, hired
by the far-left legislature of Washington State (Olympia), as part of their
investigation. Their sole source is apparently an individual with a personal
vendetta against Rep. Shea, with an agenda of bringing harm to him (politically
and legally, at minimum), in my estimation.
I have copied the relevant portions below as an indented quote, with my responses
below each quote.
Finding#8 — Representative Shea engages in and promotes annual
Patriot Movement militia training and readiness exercises in support of
anticipated armed conflicts against federal, state and local governments and
This is inaccurate. Rep. Shea has always supported civil defense training and
has a long history of promoting self-reliance and preparedness, as is prudent.
He also recognizes the historical and traditional role of the militias in
America’s foundation. The necessity of militias is clearly stated in the United
States Constitution, as well as volumes of writings from the founding fathers.
Not only is the support of properly formed citizen militias lawful, it is a duty,
especially among statesmen.
The scenarios which have been developed and practiced have not been oriented
around anticipated “armed conflicts against federal, state and local governments
and law enforcement.” In fact, the opposite is true. We regularly practice and
train to partner with and support government entities and law enforcement who
A) are acting lawfully and not abusing their authority; B) Need communications
or intelligence assistance due to lack of resources; and C) Want the help of of
AmRRON, by requesting it or accepting our offer.
All of our scenarios involving a hostile force have been oriented toward large,
organized criminal elements, violent anarchist groups, a foreign invasion, or an
entity which has unlawfully overtaken the legitimate government.
These are strictly hypothetical (but plausible and realistic) scenarios to enhance
realism in training. They are neither illegal nor immoral. To claim otherwise
During September 9-11, 2016, W22 was directed by Representative Shea
to participate in Operation Premonition. W22 was the recipient of an email and
Operation Premonition Operations Order (OPORD) that was sent out by [John Jacob
Schmidt]. Emails pertaining to this operation were entitled “September Rain.”
During Operation Premonition, an operational control location based at Pastor
Shahram Hadian’s residence was established and the goal for the mission was to
practice evacuation (EVAC) of Representative Shea and other members of Patriot
Movement leadership to get them to the central operations location or “SIGCEN.”
W22 in the Rampart ‘Investigation’ is Witness 22. He is also known as Jay Pounder
(formerly Fox-519 before being stripped of his honorary AmRRON code name). He was
never an active AmRRON member, although he often identified as such to others.
Pounder provided security and some logistical planning for Rep. Matt Shea for
approximately four years. He was a trusted friend to Shea and many of us in the
patriot community. He was essentially Rep. Shea’s ‘go-fer’ and eyes and ears at
Jay Pounder’s level of participation was to serve only as Rep. Shea’s driver. He was not
directly involved in emergency communications training or part of the simulated leadership
decision-making process for solving hypothetical emergency/disaster problems.
However, it was amusing to the 22 trained and experienced AmRRON radio operators present
for the exercise, when Jay Pounder charged in to the SIGCEN on Rep. Matt Shea’s heels with
a radio ear peace in his ear, like a secret service agent, and pointing to maps on the
wall asking questions such as “So, what do we have going on here?”, as if he were part of
Rep. Shea’s hypothetical command staff (which didn’t even exists). After Rep. Shea left
with Jay Pounder a couple of hours later, the recollections of the ‘Jay episode’ was the
subject of levity and many laughs for the remainder of the two-day exercise.
That particular event took place in a shop on a pastor’s property. Where the
training took place is irrelevant. We intentionally train in various locations
due to the unpredictability of operational environments and conditions. This is more
realistic for our participating radio operators who have to adjust to unfamiliar
conditions in austere environments. In other words, it’s smart!
Corporations, ministries, Non Government Organizations (NGOs), Aid Relief workers,
and government entities at all levels routinely plan and train personnel in
emergency evacuation procedures, safe relocation, and worst-case-scenario response
drills. This is responsible and lawful activity, and carried out by citizen
volunteers at their own expense. This does not cost the tax payers anything.
In times past, leaders in and out of government have lamented that there are plans
to move certain key personnel, but not them. AmRRON stands ready to fill needs and
gaps where needed and wanted.
I am trying to think of a more professional and diplomatic way of saying “whoop-de-do!
Seriously, this was part of an official investigation? It’s a sham.” And sadly it
is twisted grossly out of context.
According to W22, Representative Shea actively coordinates with [John Jacob
Schmidt] each year to organize a drill in the Eastern Washington area to practice crisis
response within the Patriot Movement.
Well then, Rep. Shea should be receiving accolades and recognition for his initiative
and leading by example. However, this is another misleading statement. It is not Jay
Pounder’s place to give an account of any lawful activity Rep. Shea or anyone else is
involved in. But for the record, I don’t “coordinate to organize a drill” with
Rep. Shea “each year.”
Even if I did, that would not be illegal or immoral.
I have organized multiple training exercises over the years and have routinely
invited many leaders and their staff to observe or participate if they wish.
This is done as a courtesy to allow them to familiarize themselves with emergency
communications in the event of a major catastrophic event, under plausible, scenario-
based, simulated emergency conditions.
Rep. Matt Shea has attended, and on a very limited basis, has participated in portions
of some of the exercises. In those cases, we brief community leaders on what has
developed in the scenario. in this scenario we would hand a leader a report showing
that a hypothetical terrorist attack has resulted in poisoned municipal water systems
in four cities.
We sometimes develop scenarios in which it appears there is no functioning government
or they simply cannot be reached, or when no one seems to know who is in charge.
People are looking for leadership with answers. This is a great scenario into which
to throw a leader. “What would you do?” Who would you contact? How would you
contact them? Who can we try to contact? What government or non government assets
have we been able to hear or make contact with in the city, the county, or the state?
This is challenging and exciting for those who choose to participate. Matt Shea has
been more engaging than any other leader in or out of government, and he is good at
asking questions and offering suggestions, developing action plans, and getting
solutions in motion. He enjoys it and all the volunteers involved appreciate that an
elected official takes this kind of training to heart and actually gets involved.
He has never stayed for more than an hour or two on any given multi-day exercise
before he has to leave. But he has always expressed his gratitude to the emergency
response volunteers for their sacrifices. (certainly not the maniacal dictator we read
about in the newspapers).
This is done on a regular basis among emergency disaster planning circles inside and
outside of government. This is nothing shocking or new or unlawful. The most shocking
aspect of all of this is how shocked the leftist-media pretends to be.
Representative Shea and [John Jacob Schmidt] name the drills and in 2016
it was named “Operation Premonition.” The exercise was a two-day drill and W22
participated in one day. Representative Shea and [John Jacob Schmidt] schedule the
drill to coincide with the Federal emergency response drills. The drills are run in
parallel to drills being executed by Federal authorities to practice a response should
Federal authorities ever begin the process of, as Representative Shea advised,
“Rounding up Patriots and Christians.”
FALSE! …again. I named the drill ‘Operation Premonition’, which is what it was
named every year we did it. These are based on realistic and plausible (but fictitious)
projections of what ‘could’ happen, given the socio/political/economic trends in the
country or the world at the time of the scenario development. In the past I have told
Matt, “Hey, we’re doing a training exercise, if you’re interested in hanging out for
some or all of it. It’s another ‘Operation Premonition’.”
‘The drills are fun in parallel to drills being executed by Federal
authorities to practice….’
This is PATENTLY FALSE! It is a lie perpetuated by Jay Pounder, clearly intended to
inflict injury upon Rep. Shea’s character.
Would Rampart Group please share your findings related to a government
emergency training exercise which took place from September 9 through 11, 2016?
That’s right, there wasn’t one. Once again, false accusations with no facts.
We run two major, nationwide, scenario-based exercises each year.
T-REX: (Each summer, and anyone who is interested is encouraged to participate)
Operation Premonition: Which we have not done for at least 2 1/2 years due to personal
family matters that precluded me from conducting the intensive planning necessary.
We have never designed these exercises to coincide with government exercises. We have
never conducted an exercise based on the scenario of Federal government rounding up
Christian patriots. Whatever private conversations may take place between individual
people expressing their views or concerns is not related to the training scenarios which
This is ludicrous.
We have indeed followed government-ran disaster exercises, such as Cascadia Rising
(a West coast catastrophic earthquake exercise). Most of us are emergency radio
operators who train for disaster response. Of COURSE we follow along with those
exercises, as many of them follow along with ours. These are wonderful training
opportunities which should be taken advantage of. It has NOTHING to do with lurking
in the shadows and spying on government entities.
That is just asinine.
Although W22 had never been given names, he was told by both
Representative Shea and [John Jacob Schmidt] that they have assets placed within
the Federal Government emergency response agencies and the ARES and RACES
infrastructure. ARES and RACES are both Ham-Radio-based emergency planning assets
that coordinate with both first responders and Red Cross when a major disaster related
incident occurs. These assets are privy to nonpublic information but pass the
information along to [Schmidt] and his AmRRON network. The Patriot Movement has Ham
radio operators that work with Red Cross so they are actively given location data, non-
public briefing information, as well as information ahead of the press that gives them
the advantage to respond in kind to what drills the Government may be practicing.
These radio operators are part of the American Redoubt Radio Operator’s Network (AmRRON)
This is so offensive and maliciously false that is is worthy of exploring a lawsuit.
So far, this is the most preposterous and egregious lie of all perpetuated by
this Jay Pounder, as it relates to AmRRON in this Rampart (so-called)
AmRRON does NOT have “assets placed” within government agencies.
This implies espionage (which is Jay Pounder’s forte’), not ours.
AmRRON has several thousand members, with radio operators in all fifty states,
Puerto Rico, Canada, South America, UK, Australia, and elsewhere.
Those members consist of selfless citizens preparing to server their communities
and they come from all walks of life:
Retired and Active Police, Fire, EMS
Active military and veterans
Engineers, doctors, and lawyers
Government personnel (agencies and elected officials)
Good people who actually do something to try to build something, not to tear
down what someone else has built.
Across AmRRON we have many members who also serve in other emergency/disaster
communications services, such as:
Civil Air Patrol
County Emergency Coordinators
They have not been “placed” in those positions by AmRRON as “assets” They
are in those organizations and ALSO join others (including AmRRON). They are
patriots. They love radios and emergency communications and they love their
communities and their country.
They’re not volunteering at the Red Cross “so they are given location data, etc…”
They do it so they can help people in crisis.
Not EVERYONE has “secret agent man” issues, as Pounder’s reputation exudes!
Investigators obtained a copy of the “Operation Premonition 2016
Statement of Purpose and Timeline” that appears to have been scheduled for
September 9, 2016. The scenario centered on the day following the Presidential
Election anticipating a narrow victory for Donald Trump and included riots
breaking out all over the nation in major cities.
So, even according to AmRRON documents used in this Rampart ‘investigation’ there
is no scenario which focuses on “anticipated armed conflicts against federal,
state and local governments and law enforcement.” (Ref. First paragraph titled
The training exercise simply focused on potential civil unrest by hostile
left-wing elements who had previously threatened violence on multiple open source
platforms. This was a realistic, plausible threat which could create a security
risk to law abiding citizens, transportation, commerce, and the functions of
local, state, and federal government entities.
The AmRRON documents, which were apparently provided to the Rampart investigators
by Jay Pounder were intended only for participants in the exercise. No permission
was granted for entering them into a seemingly biased investigation intended to
support the demonization of an elected official and his associates.
This Rampart “investigation” and its conclusions, assertions, and innuendos, are
nothing more than a deliberate smear campaign, with multiple uses of questionable,
biased, and unreliable sources.
No one ever contacted me (John Jacob Schmidt) for clarification on the true
function, intent, and nature of this volunteer network of law abiding volunteer
emergency radio operators. It is our belief that my association with Rep. Matt
Shea and his support for our network is the driving motivation for these
disingenuous and false claims against AmRRON.
Below is the ACTUAL ‘Statement of Purpose’ copy/pasted from my planning document
for ‘Operation Premonition 2016’.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:
Operation Premonition is an interoperability and simulated leadership
Leadership Support: In this exercise scenario, patriotic leadership elements
(elected officials, clergy, grassroots leaders, community leaders, etc.) have
requested AmRRON communications support. In other cases, participating AmRRON
Corps operators are simulating that they have approached previously-identified
patriotic leadership and introduced themselves, offering their services to
those leaders in their communities and regions.
Candidly, this exercise is intended to practice providing communications support
to patriotic leadership who may not be included in the flow of information and
messaging traffic flowing through official support organizations such as ARES,
RACES, MARS, etc.
—– End of Statement of Purpose —–
AmRRON has activated in support of multiple real-world emergencies over the
years, including wild fires, hurricanes, and floods. We have supported local
governments and aided in continuity of government operations, emergency shelter
coordination, government resource logistics, health and welfare traffic, and
have coordinated with private/non-government entities resulting in the rescue
of citizens in danger.
I personally have fielded countless inquiries from county commissioners, city
council members, other elected officials, pastors, and community leaders who
have stated that they have no communications support in emergencies. Many of
them have shelters, food banks, clothing and other supplies intended for
emergencies but have no means of coordinating with others in their communities.
ARES/RACES and other such emergency communications groups have traditionally
been focused on specific ‘served agencies’ (such as a county Emergency
Coordinator office or hospitals). This leaves a very significant portion of
our communities’ leadership with no way to coordinate. AmRRON does not exist
to compete or replace these fine organizations assisting government entities.
We exists to fill gaps where they exists, to go where we are wanted or invited,
and to stay away from where we are not wanted or needed.
This so-called investigation is a shameful embarrassment to true, objective law
enforcement investigative work. It is also shameful that many good, law-
abiding citizens have been maligned by such grossly false assertions and
innuendos. The lack of due diligence by the investigators (term used loosely)
of Rampart Group, and the failure to fully investigate AmRRON’s true role in
our communities all across the country, by simply reaching out to us, is recklessly
irresponsible and grossly negligent.
Because of this level of incompetence, AmRRON members from this point onward
are advised to avoid contact with any independent investigators, especially
Rampart Group, and to refuse to reply to any inquiries about our volunteer
emergency radio operator network.
-John Jacob Schmidt
Founder, Director, AmRRON