Pentagon orders more troops to Philippines

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The Pentagon ordered more American troops and equipment to the central Philippines, to assist with the massive humanitarian mission there. 

Roughly 90 sailors and Marines, along with four MV-22 Osprey aircraft and three KC-130J cargo aircraft, have been shuttled from bases in Japan to areas in the Visayas region of the country hardest hit by Typoon Haiyan, according to Agence France Presse.

The additional U.S. forces will join the nearly 100 Marines already in country, sent in by Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelOvernight Defense: Navy medic killed after wounding 2 sailors in Maryland shooting | Dems push Biden for limits on military gear transferred to police | First day of talks on Iran deal 'constructive' 140 national security leaders call for 9/11-style panel to review Jan. 6 attack Trump Afghan pullout deal unachievable, says ex-Pentagon leader MORE over the weekend. 


American forces will primarily responsible for conducting search-and-rescue missions as well as run air support operations for the massive humanitarian operation. 

Defense Department officials are working closely with the U.S. ambassador in Manila and the U.S. Agency for International Development to organize the response to the storm.

The typhoon, which slammed into the chain of islands in central Philippines on Sunday, is reportedly the strongest to ever make landfall in the Pacific or elsewhere in the world. 

Current casualty reports show over 900 perished in the massive storm, which reportedly took out whole villages and towns -- including the central town of Tacloban -- located in the coastal areas near the eye of the typhoon. 

Local government and humanitarian organizations fear that death toll could reach 10,000 rescue and recovery efforts continue in the country. 

"Everything's destroyed," 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy said after his unit arrived in Tacoblan. 

President Obama issued a statement with first lady Michelle on Sunday expressing their condolences, and said the U.S. is committed to providing assistance.

“The United States is already providing significant humanitarian assistance, and we stand ready to further assist the Government's relief and recovery efforts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of people affected by this devastating storm.”