National Defense:

Quality of Life for U.S. Soldiers Deployed in the Balkans

GAO-01-201R: Published: Dec 14, 2000. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 2000.

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Carol R. Schuster
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U.S. Army ground forces have been deployed to the Balkans since December 1995. For these personnel, such a tour of duty involves a significant change in living conditions and separation from family and friends. The Army has spent more than $2 billion to build camps and implement services to sustain deployed personnel. Much of what has been spent contributes to enhancing soldiers' quality of life. GAO examined (1) how the Army defines and views the quality of life of deployed soldiers in the Balkans and (2) the quality of life at three base camps in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia. GAO found that the Army (1) defines quality of life as the provision of equitable, adequate, and appropriate living, working, and leisure conditions consistent with available resources and political and military considerations and (2) is providing facilities in keeping with its established quality of life standards. GAO also found that most soldiers were satisfied with the living conditions and recreational facilities.

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