Bob Hope will spend another Christmas entertaining U.S. troops, this time amid looming war tensions in the Middle East.

"He's going through piles of material and he's busy rehearsing with Ann Jillian and Khrystyne Haje and Delores (Hope)," Hope spokesman Ward Grant said Thursday.The 87-year-old entertainer will be joined by the Pointer Sisters, Marie Osmond, country singer Aaron Tippin, former Cincinnati Reds baseball player Johnny Bench and former Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton.

The troupe will depart Los Angeles this weekend and plans to return Dec. 29. Their exact itinerary was not disclosed.

Hope first entertained troops for Christmas in 1948, during the Berlin airlift. Since then he has spent the holiday with troops in Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon (1983) and the Persian Gulf (1987).

"One of the loves of his life is the GI audience," Grant said.