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Eleven-year-old Yaswn, of the Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home in Angeles City, Philippines, takes Air Force Staff Sgt. Derek Smith to the hoop Friday. Smith, and other members of the 56th Fighter Wing, from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., visited the home as part of a community relations project during the annual Balikatan training exercise. The airmen presented boxes of toys – including plenty of sports equipment – and about $250 during the visit.

Eleven-year-old Yaswn, of the Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home in Angeles City, Philippines, takes Air Force Staff Sgt. Derek Smith to the hoop Friday. Smith, and other members of the 56th Fighter Wing, from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., visited the home as part of a community relations project during the annual Balikatan training exercise. The airmen presented boxes of toys – including plenty of sports equipment – and about $250 during the visit. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

Eleven-year-old Yaswn, of the Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home in Angeles City, Philippines, takes Air Force Staff Sgt. Derek Smith to the hoop Friday. Smith, and other members of the 56th Fighter Wing, from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., visited the home as part of a community relations project during the annual Balikatan training exercise. The airmen presented boxes of toys – including plenty of sports equipment – and about $250 during the visit.

Eleven-year-old Yaswn, of the Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home in Angeles City, Philippines, takes Air Force Staff Sgt. Derek Smith to the hoop Friday. Smith, and other members of the 56th Fighter Wing, from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., visited the home as part of a community relations project during the annual Balikatan training exercise. The airmen presented boxes of toys – including plenty of sports equipment – and about $250 during the visit. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

Tech. Sgt. Luis Angel Aviles, of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., hands out paper and other school supplies to orphans at the Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home in Angeles City, Philippines, on Friday.

Tech. Sgt. Luis Angel Aviles, of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., hands out paper and other school supplies to orphans at the Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home in Angeles City, Philippines, on Friday. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

Tech. Sgt. Jeff Mikaio, of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., teaches toddler Alex how to play baseball during a visit to the Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home in Angeles City, Philippines, on Friday.

Tech. Sgt. Jeff Mikaio, of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., teaches toddler Alex how to play baseball during a visit to the Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home in Angeles City, Philippines, on Friday. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

ANGELES CITY, Philippines — It was hard to tell who was having more fun — the orphans at the Duyan Ni Maria Children’s Home or the U.S. troops who had come to visit on Friday.

The airmen, from the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., are in the Philippines for the annual Balikatan training exercise. After delivering several bags of toys, including ball and bat sets, roller skates, jump ropes and basketballs, the troops went to work. Playing, that is.

Basketball action dominated the small courtyard of the home, less than a mile from the special economic zone that once housed the U.S. Air Force’s Clark Air Base.

Like many more of the nearly 5,000 U.S. troops in the annual exercise — most from mainland Japan and Okinawa — the Arizona-based airmen took time from their mission training to focus on community relations projects.

The airmen also donated about $250 during the visit. The exercise is scheduled to end April 30.

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