Military Readiness:

Effects of a U.S. Military Presence in Europe on Mobility Requirements

GAO-02-99: Published: Nov 28, 2001. Publicly Released: Nov 28, 2001.

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The United States maintains 100,000 military personnel in Europe to provide rapid response in the event of a military crisis and help shape the international environment. These forward-deployed forces and equipment also facilitate the movement of U.S. forces to an area of operations. DOD has not quantified the impact of a forward presence in Europe on mobility requirements. However, Defense officials believe that, without forward-deployed forces and equipment in Europe, mobility requirements and costs would be considerably higher and deployment times longer, increasing war-fighting risk. The U.S. en-route system of airbases is critical to operations in Europe and Southwest Asia. U.S. prepositioned weapons and equipment in Europe facilitate military operations in nearby areas. Air Force aircraft and personnel deployed in Europe allow forces to move more quickly to small-scale contingencies in the area and reduce the airlift and sealift burden on U.S.-based units. As with the Air Force, Army combat and support units stationed in Europe allow forces to move more quickly and at less cost to small-scale contingencies in the area.

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