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The U.S. military is about to almost double the number of helicopters it has in Pakistan helping to evacuate flood victims and deliver relief supplies.

Eighteen helicopters from Fort Wainwright, Alaska, are expected to arrive in Afghanistan in mid-September, the Defense Department announced Friday. Those helicopters will supplement the 19 U.S. helicopters taking part in relief efforts in Pakistan, said Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Ryder, a military spokesman in Pakistan.

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge got underway Friday and is expected to arrive of Pakistan in late September, a Navy official said. It is not yet known whether the ship will replace or serve in addition to the USS Peleliu, which is currently providing Marine helicopters for relief operations.

Since the floods began July 29, the U.S. government has pledged $200 million to support affected Pakistanis, according to the Defense Department. The U.S. military has also delivered more than 2 million pounds of relief supplies and evacuated more than 7,000 people.

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