WASHINGTON, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The upcoming scheduled Vigilant Ace 2018 allied joint military exercise has been cancelled and that decision was jointly approved by the U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and his South Korean counterpart Jeong Kyeong-doo. That was announced by the United States Department of Defense on Friday, 19th October 2018, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
Vigilant Ace 2018 military exercise was scheduled, as usual, for December, however the event, which involves U.S. aerial assets based in South Korea and Japan as well as the Republic of Korea Air Force, was cancelled in order to “to give the diplomatic process every opportunity to continue,” according to a statement released by Pentagon spokesperson Dana White.
The statement also read that “both ministers are committed to modifying training exercises to ensure the readiness of our forces,” and that the Minister of Defence of Japan Takeshi Iwaya was consulted on the matter accordingly.
The U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had said in August that the Pentagon would “see how the negotiations go, and then we will calculate the future, how we go forward.”
Vigilant Ace is an air exercise that takes place every year in early December in South Korea. Its goal is improving of the coordination between the armies of the USA and South Korea. More than 230 military aircraft and 12,000 US and South Korean personnel participated in Vigilant Ace 2017.
US and South Korean forces have been training together for many years. During these types of events they routinely pass through all types of military exercises – from beach landings to an invasion from the North.
The latest cancellation at the same time with a change of command at Unites States Forces Korea, with General Vincent K. Brooks’ upcoming departure. Brooks will be replaced by General Robert B. Abrams.
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Source: Agence France-Presse, The Diplomat