Some 115,118 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will spend the holiday season deployed overseas on operations around the world. These include some 35,393 soldiers, 57,176 sailors, 12,358 airmen and 10,191 Marines.
The Army has 35,393 soldiers deployed on 252 missions in 60 countries during the holiday period. These include soldiers supporting Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia, Croatia, and Hungary; Operation Able Sentry in Macedonia; Operations Intrinsic Action and Desert Fox in Southwest Asia; Operation Apoyo Fuerte in Central America (Hurricane Mitch relief and reconstruction); counterdrug support operations in South America; humanitarian relief in Haiti; and demining training operations in Africa and Southeast Asia.
The Navy has deployed 57,176 sailors aboard 101 ships supporting nine operations throughout virtually every region of the world. This includes operations in support of peacekeeping operations in the Balkan region and participation by more than 25 ships in support of Operation Desert Fox and Operation Southern Watch in the Arabian Gulf.
The Air Force has deployed some 12,358 airmen on contingency operations overseas including Operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch and Desert Fox in Southwest Asia; peacekeeping operations in Bosnia; Hurricane Mitch relief efforts in Central America; humanitarian relief in Haiti; and counterdrug operations support in the Caribbean.
The Marine Corps has deployed some 10,191 Marines including the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in the Arabian Gulf supporting Operation Desert Fox, the 15th MEU in the Northern Pacific, and the 24th MEU supporting operations in the Mediterranean. Additionally, Marines are deployed on missions at Incirlik, Turkey, supporting Operation Northern Watch; as the principal security element guarding the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya; supporting humanitarian relief in Haiti; and supporting bridge building and reconstruction efforts in Honduras and El Salvador as part of the Hurricane Mitch relief effort.
In addition to service members deployed out of the United States on operations, there are about 100,000 service members permanently stationed in Europe and about 100,000 service members permanently stationed in the Pacific. Many of these will also be separated from their families during the holiday season.