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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 686-97
December 18, 1997

106,664 SERVICEMEMBERS TO CELEBRATE HOLIDAYS DEPLOYED OVERSEAS

Some 106,664 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will spend the holiday season deployed overseas on operations in and around the world. These include some 21,148 U.S. Army soldiers, 49,676 U.S. Navy sailors, 13,639 U.S. Air Force airmen and 22,201 U.S. Marines. These figures were briefed to the deputy secretary of Defense as of Dec. 9.

There are 271 servicemembers deployed away from home stations within the U.S. Atlantic Command theater of operations.

There are 2,379 servicemembers deployed in the U.S. Southern Command theater of operations. The majority of the forces are participating in counterdrug operations throughout the Americas. There are also 30 soldiers monitoring the border between Ecuador and Peru, 413 servicemembers in Haiti providing humanitarian support and 50 servicemembers handling migrant operations at Guantanamo.

There are 14,111 servicemembers deployed within the U.S. European Command theater of operations. The majority of these forces are supporting the NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia. There are also 373 U.S. servicemembers deployed to Macedonia in support of Operation Able Sentry, 15 servicemembers conducting demining operations in Western Sahara, four servicemembers supporting the United Nations in Georgia and nearly 1,300 servicemembers in Turkey supporting Operation Northern Watch.

There are 30,256 servicemembers deployed in the U.S. Central Command theater of operations. Over 28,000 servicemembers are assigned to Operation Southern Watch, including deployed naval vessels. There are 11 servicemembers assigned to support the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) in Iraq, some 987 servicemembers supporting the Multinational Observer Force in the Sinai, some 736 Air Force personnel at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, 11 servicemembers supporting the United Nations in Kuwait and 463 Navy personnel involved in Maritime Intercept Operations in the Arabian Gulf in support of U.N. sanctions against Iraq.

There are 16 servicemembers deployed in the U.S. Pacific Command theater of operations. These 16 servicemembers are part of Joint Task Force Full Accounting and are engaged in demining operations in Laos.

These figures do not include the more than 100,000 servicemembers in Europe and 37,000 servicemembers stationed in South Korea, most of whom will be also separated from their families in the United States this holiday season.

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