U.S. Marines with Combat Assault Battalion, GS Platoon, 4th Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Battalion and 1st Republic of Korea Marine Corps Amphibious Assault Battalion emerge from the waters of Dogu Beach during Korea Marine Exercise Program 17-6 (KMEP) at 1st Republic of Korea Amphibious Assault Vehicle Battalion Headquarters on March 16, 2017. KMEP 17-6 seeks to maximize interoperability between U.S. Marine and Republic of Korea Marine Corps ground forces, to include Tanks, Amphibious Assault Vehicles, and Reconnaissance units.
U.S. Marine Corps photo / Cpl. Anthony Morales.
On the question of whether the U.S. military will hold large-scale exercises in South Korea next year, the answer is a definitive “maybe.”
In June, President Trump announced he had ordered war games in South Korea to be suspended as part of negotiations with North Korea about ending that country’s nuclear weapons program. The Pentagon clarified on Wednesday that the president’s order was not a blanket suspension of all large-scale training events. “The Department of Defense suspended three individual military exercises in order to provide space for our diplomats to negotiate the verifiable, irreversible and complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
Later on Wednesday, Trump tweeted a White House statement that seemed to indicate that next year’s war games would not happen after all: “There is no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money on joint U.S.-South Korea war games. Besides, the President can instantly start the joint exercises again with South Korea, and Japan, if he so chooses. If he does, they will be far bigger than ever before.”
However, the president did not specify whether he was referring to the military exercises that have already been suspended or next year’s war games. A National Security Council spokesman referred questions about next year’s training events to the Pentagon.
“Regarding the exercises in Korea: Routine planning continues for major ROK [Republic of Korea]/U.S. exercises on the peninsula in 2019, in accordance with the normal exercise program planning cycle,” said Army Col. Rob Manning, a Defense Department spokesman.
No further clarifications were available by deadline on Thursday.
Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).