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U.S. Begins Massive Training Exercise in the Philippines, Follows Historic Defense Deal

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Philippine and U.S. Marines participating as part of Exercise Balikatan 2013. US Marine Corps Photo

Philippine and U.S. Marines participating as part of Exercise Balikatan 2013. US Marine Corps Photo

Days after Washington and Manila struck a new defense pact to increase U.S. military presence in the Philippines, thousands of American troops are streaming into the southern part of the country for a new round of large-scale military exercises.

Nearly 2,500 American troops have arrived on Philippine shores to participate in the military drills, known as the Balikatan exercises. The drills, one of several joint U.S.- Philippine military exercises held annually in the region, kick off on Monday according to recent reports.

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