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Military deployment is the movement of armed forces and their logistical support infrastructure around the world.

United States

The United States Military [1] defines the term as follows:

  1. In naval usage, the change from a cruising approach or contact disposition to a disposition for battle.
  2. The movement of forces within operational areas.
  3. The outer positioning of forces into a formation for battle.
  4. The relocation of forces and materiel to desired operational areas.
  5. In army usage, the term "downrange" is also common.

Deployment encompasses all activities from origin or home station through destination, specifically including intra-continental United States, intertheater, and intratheater movement legs, staging, and holding areas.

Deployments consist of men and women who leave their families and their homes with other soldiers (Airmen, Marines, Sailors) and go to another country and earn combat pay. These deployments can last anywhere from 90 days to 15 months. In the United States Army, members receive what is known as a combat patch to wear on their uniforms (ACU's) and Dress Uniforms (Class A's).

In most of the world's navies, a deployment designates an extended period of duty at sea. The United States Navy recognizes those who complete deployments with a special decoration known as the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Redeployment is known as the return of Soldiers in a combat zone to their prior station (i.e. where they are stationed with families, where they were prior to deploying). The time between deployments is known as dwell time.

List of deployments

Nuclear weapons


The term "deployed launcher of ICBMs" means an ICBM launcher that contains an ICBM and is not an ICBM test launcher, an ICBM training launcher, or an ICBM launcher located at a space launch facility.

The term "deployed ICBM" means an ICBM that is contained in or on a deployed launcher of ICBMs.

The term "deployed launcher of SLBMs" means an SLBM launcher installed on a submarine that has been launched, that contains an SLBM, and is not intended for testing or training.

The term "deployed SLBM" means an SLBM that is contained in a deployed launcher of SLBMs.

The term "deployed heavy bomber" means a heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments, other than a test heavy bomber or a heavy bomber located at a repair facility or at a production facility.

See also


  1. Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms
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