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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan —Approximately 2,200 Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit will begin military and humanitarian exercises in the Philippines on Monday.

The 31st MEU will work with members of the Philippine marine corps on disaster preparedness, community development, and humanitarian assistance projects in an exercise called PHIBLEX, according to a Philippine Marine Corps news release. The 28th annual exercise, which will take place at various locations across the country, is expected to last throughout the month.

“Thousands of local residents will benefit” from the medical and engineering projects, the news release states. “PHIBLEX 2012 perpetuates a long and lasting partnership founded firmly on common heritage between freedom loving countries committed to the preservation of liberty and democracy.”

The MEU is currently deployed with elements of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, which departed Sasebo last month for its fall patrol.

From staff reports

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