U.S. Troop Deployments: Digging into the data
November 17th, 2011
02:35 PM ET

U.S. Troop Deployments: Digging into the data

When U.S. President Barack Obama addressed Australian troops at a naval base in Darwin after promising to deploy 2,500 U.S. marines to northern Australia over the next several years, it got us thinking: which other surprising locations are American soldiers sent to?

So I found some statistics from the U.S. Department of Defense from December 2010, got hold of a couple of highlighter pens, and got to work.

It turns out that Australia is just one of approximately 150 countries where U.S. military personnel are stationed. It's probably not a surprise to anyone that the largest number of American troops based outside of the U.S. itself are in Afghanistan and Iraq, but here is where it gets interesting (if you are a data geek like me, anyway)...

Germany is home to the most American Army and Air Force troops outside the continental United States, with 54,431 based there. 35,329 U.S. military personnel are stationed in Japan, including the most U.S. Marine and Navy troops based on foreign soil. According to Reuters, 28,000 U.S. troops are currently in South Korea.

A further seven countries are host to more than 1,000 U.S. personnel each, including Italy, Spain, the UK, Turkey and the tiny African nation of Djibouti.

Digging a little deeper, quirkier figures started to emerge.

Did you know that there are 153 U.S. Air Force personnel stationed in Greenland, for example? Or that there is a single member of the U.S. Army and 5 Marines based in New Zealand?

And finally, there is the team's favorite tidbit: there are 43 lucky U.S. troops based in the island chain of the Bahamas. It must be such a difficult place to be posted to...

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Filed under: Data • General • Personal musings
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Galactic Cannibal

    For all you anti-Pres Obama people. Has it every occurred to you that China could and would if it saw a benefit to disperse its population , turn Australia into another TIBET . The Chinese PRC have crushed TIBET and they are capable of repeating that in Australia.. China has 1.3 billion , Australia has 21 million. But when the USA puts a military presence on the Australian soil, it would make the PRC think twice on crushing Australia. That's what is presently stopping the PRC from crushing Taiwan , the support of the US military.. So I say to all you anti-Pres Obama people , please try and think beyond the end of your political noses. See our planet as a spherical jigsaw to be held together in one peaceful picture.

    November 17, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  2. Vanessa

    Five Marines in New Zealand and more in the Bahamas, did you realize that Marines guard our U.S Embassy's all over the world. I grantee they are working shifts even on the holiday's while you are writing these articles trying to make a point that you are not yet educated enough about. Go see them in those great locations. You think they are in paradise, then go shadow them, The embassy's will allow you with proper notice, do what they do,then maybe you will realize that they are not able to leave when they want to see their family, their paradise isn't really what you are getting at. I see where you are going, however you need to do some research and bring to light why we have service members in obscure locations. You really came off ignorant to your readers who have served and are serving, especially Marines who know very well why we are in those odd locations.

    November 23, 2011 at 1:25 am | Reply
  3. timo

    The other surprising locations is Uganda where they one hundred have been sent to hunt for LRA rebel leader Kony. The man that has been fight and killing thousands in Northern Uganda. It will be another surprise when other soldiers are sent in other war areas in Africa.

    December 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  4. timo

    It is coming to a moment that terrorism is now targeted on some people, they are made susceptible to influence and they are made weaker and they are whispered into inciting words to commit crimes that are attributed to terrorism, insanity, sentiments and others are dragged into uncertain sexual intercourse and they do that without any protections and they are killed off with HIV/AIDS. It will be surprising if the army is sent to other nations to fight terrorism in that broader perception.

    December 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply

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