By AUDREY McAVOY
HONOLULU (AP) - The Army's commander in the Pacific says one of his top priorities is incorporating the growth of U.S. soldiers assigned to the region.
Gen. Vincent Brooks said in an interview Thursday over 100,000 soldiers are now assigned to the U.S. Pacific Command. He says that's up from about 80,000 before President Barack Obama implemented his policy of "rebalancing" U.S. attention to the Asia-Pacific region.
Brooks says one of the most visible ways the military is using the extra soldiers is deploying them to a series of exercises with partner countries.
Earlier this year, Hawaii-based soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team left for three different exercises in Thailand, South Korea and the Philippines.
The deployments allow the soldiers to train and forge partnerships with other militaries.