Deployment Process

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The successful deployment of a military force involves the movement of troops and materiel in response to a regional threat and the ability to sustain this force until the military objective is achieved. RAND has extensive experience evaluating and providing supportable recommendations to military decisionmakers to ensure rapid and sustainable deployments to counter regional threats.

  • U.S. Marines and Sailors with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit

    Research Brief

    Deployment Experiences and Health Among U.S. Active-Duty Service Members

    Jun 21, 2018

    The 2015 Health Related Behaviors Survey asked active-duty service members about the frequency and duration of deployments, their levels of exposure to combat-related experiences, the prevalence of deployment-related injuries and substance use, and deployment-related mental and physical health.

  • U.S. Army soldiers in an exercise on Udari Range Complex near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, that better prepares them to certify for future deployments, November 2017

    Report

    How Does Deployment Experience Compare Across the Services?

    Mar 6, 2018

    Deployments are a key aspect of U.S. military service. Since 9/11, 2.77 million service members have served on 5.4 million deployments. Accrued time deployed is a relevant metric for measuring military experience, but also for measuring service member and family well-being.

Explore Military Force Deployment

  • U.S. Army M1 Abrams tanks perform a strategic convoy maneuver at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, May 2, 2018, photo by Spc. Andrew McNeil/U.S. Army

    Report

    Understanding the Deterrent Impact of U.S. Overseas Forces

    After Russian aggression in Ukraine, and with rising U.S.-China tensions, the question of whether U.S. overseas military presence can enhance deterrence remains central. What does the evidence suggest?

    Feb 4, 2020

  • Report

    Army Expeditionary Civilian Demand: Forecasting Future Requirements for Civilian Deployments

    As the largest provider of government civilians to support U.S. military operations, the Army stands to benefit to a great extent from a more robust process for forecasting future demand for its civilian workforce.

    Oct 24, 2019

  • Riflemen compete in the Lithuanian Best Infantry Squad Competition at Rukla Training Area, Lithuania, August 24, 2017, photo by Lithuanian Land Forces

    Research Brief

    Why Understanding 'Will to Fight' Is Crucial

    Arguably, will to fight is the most important factor in war. The best technology in the world is useless without the force of will to use it and to keep using it even as casualties mount and unexpected calamities arise. Ignoring will to fight can contribute to tactical or even strategic defeat.

    Sep 13, 2019

  • Report

    Personnel Recovery in the AFRICOM Area of Responsibility: Cost-Effective Options for Improvement

    This report identifies the most cost-effective options for improving medical rescue capabilities in U.S. Africa Command's area of responsibility.

    Aug 27, 2019

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a working lunch at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Osaka, Japan, on Friday, June 28, 2019, photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Reuters

    Commentary

    Japan's Hormuz Dilemma

    Japan is a staunch U.S. ally in the Indo-Pacific. But any decision to support a coalition against Iran in the Middle East is likely to put Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a tough position.

    Aug 16, 2019

  • A licensed clinical social worker listens to her client during a therapy session at the Bay Pines Veterans Administration Healthcare Center in Bay Pines, Florida, October 29, 2015, photo by EJ Hersom/DoD News

    Research Brief

    How to Improve Mental Health Care for Veterans

    Veterans, especially those who deployed overseas, face elevated risks of mental health conditions. Those who have served since 9/11 are particularly vulnerable. About one in five experiences mental health problems. Are veterans getting the high-quality care that they need?

    Aug 13, 2019

  • Soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division's Main Command Post-Operational Detachment stand in formation during the unit's activation ceremony, photo by U.S. Army

    Report

    Main Command Post-Operational Detachments (MCP-ODs) and Division Headquarters Readiness

    Researchers identify the effects of Focus Area Review Group II headquarters design and its new unit type -- the Main Command Post--Operational Detachment -- on division headquarters readiness.

    Jun 3, 2019

  • Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy soldiers patrol in the Spratly Islands, February 9, 2016, photo by China Stringer Network/Reuters

    Commentary

    Vietnam Is the Chinese Military's Preferred Warm-Up Fight

    China's last major war experience gave it virtually zero lessons to apply to future armed conflict. At some point the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will need to test its new capabilities and the training it has honed over time. There are at least three reasons why Vietnam is likely in the PLA's crosshairs.

    May 15, 2019

  • Report

    A Stated Preference Analysis of the Determinants of Unit and Soldier Operational Effectiveness

    The authors assess the relative importance of component status relative to a number of potential determinants of operational effectiveness, including but not limited to unit type, training level, experience in country, and associated costs and risk.

    May 13, 2019

  • Report

    A Throughput-Based Analysis of Army Active Component/Reserve Component Mix for Major Contingency Surge Operations

    This report examines how changing the way in which the Army executes mobilization and contingency planning can affect the ratio of reserve component to active component units deploying in the early weeks of a major crisis.

    May 8, 2019

  • Members of Japan's Self-Defence Forces' airborne troops stand at attention during the annual SDF ceremony at Asaka Base, Japan, October 23, 2016, photo by Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

    Commentary

    With Little Fanfare, Japan Just Changed the Way It Uses Its Military

    In early April, Japan deployed its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) abroad to join a multinational force not connected to the United Nations. This is the first time that SDF personnel will participate in overseas peacekeeping operations not under UN control. The difference may not seem important, but it is.

    May 3, 2019

  • Blog

    Christchurch, Brexit, China and Israel: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the Christchurch shootings, how the UK can improve its post-Brexit prospects, China and Israel's evolving relationship, and more.

    Mar 22, 2019

  • An F-16 fighter jet lands at a U.S. Air Force base in Osan, South Korea, April 3, 2013, photo by Lee Jae Won/Reuters

    Commentary

    'Cost Plus 50' Explained

    The Trump administration may be considering requiring host nations to subsidize the entire cost of the U.S. military presence and pay an additional 50 percent of that amount. This type of transactional foreign policy increases the risk that countries will rethink their agreements to host U.S. forces, and that could reduce the U.S. military's ability to operate globally.

    Mar 15, 2019

  • Report

    Planning an Army for the 21st Century: Principles to Guide U.S. Army Force Size, Mix, and Component Distribution

    In this Perspective, the authors seek to provide criteria for an effective and efficient Army for the 21st century and lay out principles to help guide leaders in making contemporary force-planning decisions.

    Dec 3, 2018

  • U.S. Marines install concertina wire along the top of the primary border wall at the port of entry next to Tijuana, Meico, in San Ysidro, San Diego, U.S., November 9, 2018

    Commentary

    The U.S. Military's Border Enforcement Role

    The Trump administration announced a deployment of at least 5,200 active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. Is a military response of this size needed to address the situation on the southern border?

    Nov 19, 2018

  • Ferrying South Vietnamese rangers, U.S. helicopters swoop in on a landing zone on the fringe of a pineapple plantation in the Mekong Delta on August 21, 1967

    Report

    Assessing Will to Fight at the Military Unit Level

    Will to fight is vital to understanding war, but it is often ignored or misunderstood. A model of unit will to fight that can be applied to ground combat units of any scale can help U.S. military leaders better assess partner and adversary forces and incorporate will to fight in their planning.

    Sep 20, 2018

  • Landing ships putting cargo ashore on Omaha Beach, mid-June, 1944

    Report

    What Shapes a Nation's Will to Fight?

    When considering threats from Russia and North Korea, it is natural to focus on military capabilities. But incorporating will to fight into the analysis of actual or potential conflicts will enhance strategic planning. A model that can be tailored and applied to various conflict scenarios can help U.S. leaders better understand and influence will to fight.

    Sep 20, 2018

  • Refueling operations in a KC-135 Stratotanker

    Report

    Is the USAF Flying Force Large Enough? Assessing Capacity Demands in Four Alternative Futures

    This report draws on historical data to quantify gaps in the U.S. Air Force's capacity to meet potential future demands.

    Aug 28, 2018

  • Bridge stretching across the Vistula River during the joint NATO exercise Anakonda 2016, near Chelmno, Poland, June 7-17, 2016

    Commentary

    Exploring the Allied Decisions on Military Mobility in Europe

    Debates about defense expenditure and concerns over NATO unity overshadowed decisions on defense and deterrence in Europe made during the recent NATO summit and European Council meetings. Both events brought significant and tangible conclusions with potential impacts on defense, deterrence, and readiness in Europe.

    Jul 27, 2018

  • A U.S. Army Soldier guides an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank from 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, off the ramp of the ARC vessel Endurance May 20 at the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, May 20, 2018

    Commentary

    Military Mobility Returns to the Forefront in Europe

    The importance of military mobility has returned only recently to the international high-level agenda, specifically NATO and the European Union. The EU is expected to tackle the issue of military mobility during a European Council meeting in late June, and NATO will convene a summit in July.

    Jun 25, 2018