A Global Christmas Salute: Where the US Military is on Active Duty This Holiday Season

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As the holiday season approaches, many of us are getting ready to spend time with our loved ones and enjoy the warmth of home. But for some brave men and women in the US military, this Christmas will be spent serving their country on active duty around the world. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the places where the US military is on active duty this Christmas.

  1. Afghanistan: Approximately 14,000 troops are deployed in Afghanistan as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.
  2. Iraq: Around 5,200 troops are deployed in Iraq to support Operation Inherent Resolve, a mission aimed at defeating ISIS and stabilizing the region.
  3. Syria: Approximately 2,000 troops are deployed in Syria to support Operation Inherent Resolve and work with local partners to defeat ISIS and stabilize the region.
  4. Kuwait: The U.S. military maintains a significant presence in Kuwait, with approximately 13,000 troops stationed there as part of Operation Spartan Shield, which aims to deter regional aggression and support regional security.
  5. Qatar: Approximately 13,000 troops are deployed in Qatar, where the U.S. Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base is located.
  6. Saudi Arabia: The U.S. military has a presence of around 3,000 troops in Saudi Arabia, where they support regional security and stability operations.
  7. Jordan: Approximately 2,795 troops are deployed in Jordan to support Operation Inherent Resolve and work with local partners to defeat ISIS and stabilize the region.
  8. Turkey: Around 1,650 troops are deployed in Turkey to support NATO operations and regional security.
  9. United Arab Emirates: The U.S. military maintains a presence of approximately 5,000 troops in the United Arab Emirates, where they support regional security and stability operations.
  10. Bahrain: The U.S. military has a presence of around 7,000 troops in Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based.

Here’s a list of U.S. military deployments in the Pacific region, along with the approximate number of troops stationed at each location:

  1. Japan: Approximately 54,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed in Japan, with major bases located at Yokosuka, Misawa, Sasebo, and Okinawa.
  2. South Korea: Around 28,000 U.S. troops are deployed in South Korea, primarily at the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, Osan Air Base, and Camp Casey.
  3. Guam: The U.S. military maintains a presence of approximately 6,000 personnel on the island of Guam, with major installations including Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam.
  4. Australia: The U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force have a rotational presence in Australia, with about 2,500 personnel stationed at various locations, including the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin and the RAAF Base Darwin.
  5. Hawaii: The U.S. military has a significant presence in Hawaii, with approximately 42,000 troops stationed at various installations, such as Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
  6. Singapore: The U.S. Navy has a rotational presence in Singapore, with around 1,000 personnel and four littoral combat ships at Changi Naval Base.
  7. Philippines: The U.S. military has a rotational presence in the Philippines, with about 300 personnel participating in joint exercises and training activities, primarily at the Antonio Bautista Air Base and Basa Air Base.
  8. Diego Garcia: The U.S. military maintains a presence of approximately 4,000 personnel at the U.S. Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia, a key logistics hub in the Indian Ocean.
  9. Djibouti: The U.S. military maintains a presence of approximately 4,000 personnel at Camp Lemonnier, a key counterterrorism and security operations hub in the Horn of Africa.
  10. Palau: The U.S. military has a small presence in Palau, with around 50 personnel participating in joint exercises and training activities, such as the annual Pacific Partnership mission.
  11. Tinian Island (Northern Mariana Islands): The U.S. military has a small presence on Tinian Island, with approximately 100 personnel involved in training exercises and infrastructure development.

These deployments represent a significant commitment to global security and stability, and the U.S. military continues to work closely with partner nations to address threats and promote peace and prosperity around the world.

In Europe, the U.S. military maintains a significant presence to support NATO and regional security. Key deployments include:

  1. Germany: Approximately 35,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Germany, with major installations such as Ramstein Air Base and the Grafenwoehr Training Area.
  2. Italy: The U.S. has around 12,000 military personnel in Italy, with key bases including Naval Air Station Sigonella and Aviano Air Base.
  3. United Kingdom: Approximately 9,000 U.S. troops are stationed in the UK, with major installations such as RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath.
  4. Spain: The U.S. has around 3,000 military personnel in Spain, with key installations including Naval Station Rota and Morón Air Base.
  5. Poland: The U.S. military presence in Poland has increased in recent years, with plans to station approximately 5,500 troops in the country. Key installations include the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area and Powidz Air Base.
  6. Romania: The U.S. military maintains a rotational presence in Romania, with approximately 1,000 troops participating in joint exercises and training activities.
  7. Bulgaria: The U.S. has a rotational presence in Bulgaria, with around 500 troops participating in joint exercises and training activities.
  8. Hungary: The U.S. military maintains a rotational presence in Hungary, with approximately 1,000 troops participating in joint exercises and training activities.
  9. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania: The U.S. has a rotational presence in the Baltic States, with around 1,000 troops participating in joint exercises and training activities.

These numbers are approximate and subject to change due to various factors such as troop rotations and mission requirements.

Headed Home

But it’s not just those on deployment who are on active duty this Christmas. There are also many service members stationed at bases around the world, such as the 5,500 OSUT Soldiers headed home for Holiday Block Leave from Fort Moore near Boston. And let’s not forget those who are stationed at bases in the US, such as the 4,000-5,000 military personnel and their families who will be spending Christmas at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

In addition to those on active duty, there are also many military families who will be spending Christmas without their loved ones this year. But thanks to the many organizations and programs that support military families during the holidays, such as Operation Homefront’s 14th Annual Holiday Meals for Military Program and the Sayville, NY community’s free turkey giveaway, these families will still be able to enjoy a festive holiday season.

This Christmas, let’s take a moment to remember and honor the brave men and women in the US military who are on active duty around the world. Their service and sacrifice make it possible for us to enjoy the freedoms and safety that we often take for granted. From all of us at Self-Reliance Central, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.