Furry from the sky: Meet the military’s elite airborne cat force

FORT BRAGG, N.C, — Move aside, Green Berets! Recently leaked classified documents reveal the military’s latest pet project: a top-secret new airborne force, composed entirely of cats — E.C.H.O. Force (Elite Cats Hunting the Opposition). Insiders say the cats sometimes refer to themselves as The Cats Who Stare at Men. Their slogan is "Clawus autem terrorus!’

E.C.H.O. Force specializes in stealth attacks. They typically infiltrate enemy territory via the sky or the bedsheets, and they are absolutely relentless. How do they know who their target is? Well, these ferocious felines can smell a rat from miles away. Other operators reportedly envy the length of their kill list.

Despite repeated requests, Company commander Captain Mittens was not made available for comment. However, he did leave a dead mouse outside this reporter's hotel room door.

According to obtained classified documents, the Central Intelligence Agency began to invest in the airborne cats upon recognizing the routine incompetence of the 82nd Airborne Division.

“Airborne cats are the pinnacle of the 21st century warrior,” a source familiar with the project says.

E.C.H.O. Force selection is a grueling six-week course held at Fort Bragg, home of the Airborne and Special Operations. The selection process tests cats’ mental agility and physical stamina. (Reportedly, cats must prove that they can climb up and down trees.) They also must manipulate humans by feigning affection to acquire food, a far more efficient method than foraging. The selection does not entail a swim test.

E.C.H.O. Force is one of a few secret projects involving cats, according to CIA sources. The agency also seeks to employ cats as field operators. Such spies would provide daily atmospherics far more intrusive and informative than Amazon's Alexa. So the next time you feel like your cat is watching you sleep, or judging you for having one more cookie—well, he might just be.

As For Class contributed reporting.