PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Northern Command has sent a planning team with expertise in hazardous material and medical and logistical support to Japan to determine what assistance the United States can provide in the nuclear reactor crisis.

Marine Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, announced the deployment of the nine-member team on Thursday.

Visit for the latest on the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Lapan says the team will report to the commander of U.S. Forces Japan and will work with the Japanese military to and assess whether more U.S. help is needed.

Northern Command, based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., is responsible for the military defense of U.S. soil and supporting civilian agencies in natural or human-caused disasters.

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(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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