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US-Philippine military drills may be scaled back because of tsunami

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:09 p.m. HST, Mar 27, 2011

MANILA, Philippines >> Officials say annual exercises involving thousands of U.S. and Filipino troops will be held next month as scheduled but may be scaled back because of U.S. military relief operations in Japan following its massive earthquake and tsunami.

Philippine military spokesman Maj. Enrico Ileto said Sunday that humanitarian missions such as school construction during the April 5-15 Balikatan exercises will proceed as planned but some field maneuvers may be affected by the U.S. military's relief activities in Japan.

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson said some "transportation assets" for the exercises can possibly be shifted to Japan. Details of other possible changes are to be announced later.

About 8,000 U.S. and Filipino troops are to join the exercises. 


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