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Jets roar over Pacific skies as US military gathers allies in drills, to keep ahead of China


ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam — Fighter jets from the U.S. and two key allies roared into western Pacific skies Thursday in the combat phase of annual exercises that have gained importance as the region responds to the rise of China and other potential threats.

The Cope North drills — which could soon swell in participants — are aimed at preparing air forces of the U.S., Japan and Australia to fight together if a military crisis erupts. They also send a vivid reminder to Beijing that America's regional alliances are strong, though officers leading the maneuvers say they are...