The U.S. military has called off yet another exercise in South Korea as part of President Trump’s efforts to reach an agreement with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un about nuclear weapons.
Vigilant Ace, an annual aviation exercise, will not be happening in December. Its purpose is to allow the Air Force as well as Navy and Marine Corps aviation units to train with South Korea’s air force. Last year’s exercise involved 230 aircraft.
“Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo decided to suspend Exercise Vigilant Ace to give the diplomatic process every opportunity to continue,” Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White announced on Friday.
“Both ministers are committed to modifying training exercises to ensure the readiness of our forces. They pledged to maintain close coordination and evaluate future exercises.”
Friday’s announcement is the latest development in the off-again, on-again war games on the Korean peninsula. In June, President Trump ordered the Pentagon to suspend this year’s Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, which he called, “tremendously expensive” and “very provocative.”
Mattis told reporters on Aug. 28 that there were no plans to cancel further exercise in South Korea; however, the U.S. government had not yet decided whether to hold the Foal Eagle and Ulchi Freedom Guardian wargames in 2019.
But the next day, Trump tweeted a White House statement that contradicted Mattis: “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.”
Trump’s relationship with Kim was warmed considerably this year. The two leaders met in Singapore in June and Trump has expressed his appreciation for the correspondence he has received from Kim.
“He wrote me beautiful letters,” Trump said at Sept. 29 rally in West Virginia. “They were great letters. And then we fell in love.”
More than 7,500 boots on display at Fort Bragg this month served as a temporary memorial to service members from all branches who have died since 9/11.
The boots — which had the service members' photos and dates of death — were on display for Fort Bragg's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's annual Run, Honor and Remember 5k on May 18 and for the 82nd Airborne Division's run that kicked off All American Week.
"It shows the families the service members are still remembered, honored and not forgotten," said Charlotte Watson, program manager of Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services.
After more than a decade of research and development and upwards of $500 million in funding, the Navy finally plans on testing its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun on a surface warship in a major milestone for the beleaguered weapons system, Navy documents reveal.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.
Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.
When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.
In less than three years after the National Security Agency found itself subject to an unprecedentedly catastrophic hacking episode, one of the agency's most powerful cyber weapons is reportedly being turned against American cities with alarming frequency by the very foreign hackers it was once intended to counter.
The spectacle of hundreds of thousands of motorcycles roaring their way through the streets of Washington, D.C., to Memorial Day events as part of the annual Rolling Thunder veterans tribute will be a thing of the past after this coming weekend.
Former Army Sgt. Artie Muller, a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran and co-founder of Rolling Thunder, said the logistics and costs of staging the event for Memorial Day, which falls on May 27 this year, were getting too out of hand to continue. The ride had become a tradition in D.C. since the first in 1988.
"It's just a lot of money," said the plainspoken Muller, who laced an interview with a few epithets of regret over having to shut down Rolling Thunder.