Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Military News

U.S.-South Korea military exercises are on, despite Trump’s planned meeting with Kim

As the White House prepares for what could be the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, the U.S. and South Korean militaries will carry out exercises that Pyongyang has long called provocative but now appears to accept.

South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong announced Thursday at the White House that in addition to President Donald Trump agreeing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May, Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from additional nuclear or missile tests and "understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue."

The latter acknowledgment marked a significant shift for the Kim regime. Each spring, the United States and South Korea launch military exercises known as Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, and the Kim regime has typically reacted angrily. The exercises there are seen as preparation for an attack on Pyongyang, while the South Koreans and Americans characterize them as defensive in nature.

Last year, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles toward Japan in what was widely seen as a response to the exercises. The North Korean military already had warned that if a single shell fell in waters near the Korean Peninsula, it would immediately launch "merciless" counteractions.

The exercises are believed to include rehearsals of what is known as OPLAN 5015, in which U.S. and South Korean forces would carry out "decapitation" strikes aimed at killing Kim and other senior members of his regime. North Korean hackers stole a trove of classified data in 2016, including information about the strikes, a South Korean lawmaker announced last year.

Foal Eagle began last year on March 3, with about 3,600 U.S. troops deploying to South Korea to join others among the 28,500 U.S. forces based there to participate in the exercises, according to U.S. Pacific Command. The exercises included the new F-35B Joint Strike Fighter among a fleet of aircraft, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and other Navy ships, and ground forces.

The exercise this year is expected to begin at the end of the month - a delay that South Korea requested to work around the now-concluded Winter Olympics and the Winter Paralympics, which began Friday. The operation includes live exercises and a variety of war games involving computer simulations.

The exercises are bookended by another set of computer-simulated exercises late each summer known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian. Those exercises focus on defending South Korea from attack.

Comments
Sunk by torpedo a century ago, USS Tampa left a legacy of protection

Sunk by torpedo a century ago, USS Tampa left a legacy of protection

As dusk was settling in over the Irish sea, a German submarine spotted a lone ship steaming toward England’s Bristol Channel. The U-boat dived to attack. About half an hour later, it fired a single torpedo. In his battle notes, the commander,...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/22/18
Howard Altman: Tampa World War II veteran turning 100 recalls guarding prisoners then celebs

Howard Altman: Tampa World War II veteran turning 100 recalls guarding prisoners then celebs

Frank Sorbera was a band boy for the Russ Morgan Orchestra, lugging equipment and driving vehicles, all the while hoping to one day join the big band outfit as a singer.But it was 1944, World War II was grinding on and Uncle Sam had other plans for t...
Published: 09/13/18
Updated: 09/14/18
Saved by a hunk of marble, Trinity man recalls harrowing escape from World Trade Center

Saved by a hunk of marble, Trinity man recalls harrowing escape from World Trade Center

TAMPA — Shortly before 9 a.m. on a beautiful morning 17 years ago, Greg Amira was making his way up to his office on the 73rd floor in the south tower of the World Trade Center.He felt the building shake."I assumed Building No. 1 was hit," Amira said...
Published: 09/11/18
Updated: 09/12/18
Experts say it’s likely Cuba embassy workers were sickened by ‘directed energy’ weapons

Experts say it’s likely Cuba embassy workers were sickened by ‘directed energy’ weapons

There is a "high probability" that U.S. embassy workers sickened in Cuba in late 2016 were attacked by a "directed energy" weapon, a biochemistry expert told officials from U.S. Special Operations Command and its Ybor City-based incubator partner Sof...
Updated one month ago
World War II nurse, turning 100 in Tampa, recalls the pain of invisible wounds

World War II nurse, turning 100 in Tampa, recalls the pain of invisible wounds

TAMPA — During her time as an Army nurse in World War II, treating the wounded in North Africa, Normandy and the Ardennes Forest, Martha Cameron proved to be a pioneer in more ways than one.One of the first women to land in France after D-day, part o...
Updated one month ago
SOCom is asking to see all kinds of drones, some for delivering blood to the battlefield

SOCom is asking to see all kinds of drones, some for delivering blood to the battlefield

On a far-flung battlefield, 100 miles from the nearest treatment center, a Navy corpsman signals for a small drone to bring life-saving blood to a wounded commando.Meanwhile, a tiny drone shaped like a bug spies on enemy leaders. Another small drone ...
Updated one month ago
Howard Altman: Carrollwood veteran gets hero’s welcome retrieving dog tags from Normandy

Howard Altman: Carrollwood veteran gets hero’s welcome retrieving dog tags from Normandy

Nearly 75 years after first coming ashore in France as a young Army soldier, Boris Stern returned this summer to offer thanks to those who helped return his long-lost dog tag.He arrived to a hero’s welcome."I’ve been all over the world," said Stern, ...
Updated one month ago