Politics The US has 1.3 million troops stationed around the world — here are the major hotspots

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More than 450,000 US troops are stationed overseas, in hotspots like Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

Marines participating in an exercise in Hawaii in 2014. play

Marines participating in an exercise in Hawaii in 2014.

(U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)
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The US military has over 1.3 million men and women on active duty, with more than 450,000 of them stationed overseas.

Many of these stationed service members perform training exercises and other duties at rather safe bases. Then there are others who are deployed to conflict zones like Syria or Iraq or potential "hotspots" like Somalia.

We pulled together the numbers and units from around the military to show you where service members are engaged.

US troops are deployed in hotspots around the world, including places like Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

US Army soldiers provide security from a street corner during a foot patrol in Tameem, Ramadi, Iraq, August 16, 2006. play

US Army soldiers provide security from a street corner during a foot patrol in Tameem, Ramadi, Iraq, August 16, 2006.

(Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock/US Air Force)


Here's a look at some of the most significant deployments for American soldiers.

Here's a look at some of the most significant deployments for American soldiers. play

Here's a look at some of the most significant deployments for American soldiers.

(Skye Gould/Business Insider)

In Afghanistan, about 8,400 US troops, most of which are US Army soldiers, are authorized to take part in Resolute Support, which aims to train, advise, and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions in their fight against the Taliban and other terrorist networks.

A new report, however, recently revealed that there are actually about 12,000 US troops in the country. The Pentagon then said on Aug. 30 that about 11,000 US troops are in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, about 4,000 to 6,000 soldiers are taking part in Operation Inherent Resolve, which aims to eliminate the Islamic State. Only 5,262 US troops are authorized to be in Iraq, but the actual numbers have been larger for a while as commanders leverage what they call temporary — or "nonenduring" — assignments like the one involving the 82nd Airborne in Mosul.

In Syria, 500 US special forces and 250 Rangers are working in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The Pentagon is also mulling sending an additional 1,000 US service members to the war-torn country.

A new BuzzFeed News report, however, also said that there are really about 2,000 US forces in Syria — about 850 (including US Marines) then previously thought.

In Kuwait, about 15,000 soldiers are spread among Camp Arifjan, Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, and Ali Al Salem Air Base. About 3,800 soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team also deployed there late last year.

In Poland, about 3,500 soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team are stationed as part of Atlantic Resolve, which seeks to halt Russian aggression. These soldiers will help train local forces and provide security, eventually fanning out to other countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary to do the same.

In Ukraine, approximately 250 Oklahoma National Guardsmen are training Ukrainian forces in support of Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.

In Somalia, about 40 US soldiers from the 101st Airborne division are assisting the central government in training its forces and fighting the terrorist group al-Shabab.



Of the US Navy's seven fleets, three are deployed in or near potential hotspots around the world.

Sailors and Marines from the USS Mesa Verde swim in the Mediterranean Sea. play

Sailors and Marines from the USS Mesa Verde swim in the Mediterranean Sea.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Josue L. Escobosa/Released)


The Navy's 6th Fleet is stationed around the Strait of Gibraltar; the 5th is by Saudi Arabia; and the 7th is near Japan and the Pacific Ocean.

The Navy's 6th Fleet is stationed around the Strait of Gibraltar; the 5th is by Saudi Arabia; and the 7th is near Japan and the Pacific Ocean. play

The Navy's 6th Fleet is stationed around the Strait of Gibraltar; the 5th is by Saudi Arabia; and the 7th is near Japan and the Pacific Ocean.

(Skye Gould/Business Insider)

The USS Carney, Ross, Porter, and Donald Cook are destroyer ships part of the 6th Navy Fleet, which contains 17 ships and 12,638 sailors.

The USS Bataan and George H.W. Bush are part of the 5th, which consists of 24 ships and 16,731 service members. The Bush is patrolling the Persian Gulf, while the Bataan is south of Yemen.

The USS Reagan, Bonhomme Richard, Carl Vinson, and Makin Island are part of the 7th, which consists of 53 ships and 37,935 sailors.

The 7th fleet has experienced three high-profile accidents of late that resulted in deaths. The USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald both collided with merchant ships, and the USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay.

Analysts have offered many explanations as to why these accidents keep happening, like lengthy at-sea periods that come with being deployed in the Pacific.



US Marines are deployed around the world to help counter the Islamic State. Some are also deployed in efforts to contain Russia and to provide security.

US Marines are deployed around the world to help counter the Islamic State. Some are also deployed in efforts to contain Russia and to provide security. play

US Marines are deployed around the world to help counter the Islamic State. Some are also deployed in efforts to contain Russia and to provide security.

(US Marine Corps)


Here are some of the most important Marine deployments.

Here are some of the most important Marine deployments. play

Here are some of the most important Marine deployments.

(Skye Gould/Business Insider)

In Syria, approximately 400 Marines are taking part in Operation Inherent Resolve.

In Afghanistan, 300 Marines are taking part in Resolute Support.

In South Sudan, approximately 40 US Marines are providing security to the US Embassy.

In Norway, about 300 Marines are stationed as part of a bilateral agreement between Oslo and Washington to undergo winter training and reinforce Norway's border with Russia.



While the US Air Force is deployed in bases worldwide, the service most recently sent two F-35s each to Bulgaria and Estonia.

While the US Air Force is deployed in bases worldwide, the service most recently sent two F-35s each to Bulgaria and Estonia. play

While the US Air Force is deployed in bases worldwide, the service most recently sent two F-35s each to Bulgaria and Estonia.

(US Air Force/Osakabe Yasuo)


This is where the Air Force has a significant presence.

This is where the Air Force has a significant presence. play

This is where the Air Force has a significant presence.

(Skye Gould/Business Insider)

Two F-35s were recently deployed to Bulgaria for training and "reassuring allies and partners of US dedication to the enduring peace and stability of the region." Another two F-35s recently deployed to Europe and will visit multiple NATO countries in support of European Reassurance Initiative.

Four hundred airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing recently deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Twelve F-16 fighters are in South Korea to "help maintain a deterrent against threats to regional security and stability." Multiple B-1, B-2, and B-52 bombers are also stationed there.



Here's a view from across the military. In total, about 69,300 troops are assigned to Pacific Command, with 41,990 in Central Command, 34,520 in European Command, and 9,150 assigned to Africa Command.

Here's a view from across the military. In total, about 69,300 troops are assigned to Pacific Command, with 41,990 in Central Command, 34,520 in European Command, and 9,150 assigned to Africa Command. play

Here's a view from across the military. In total, about 69,300 troops are assigned to Pacific Command, with 41,990 in Central Command, 34,520 in European Command, and 9,150 assigned to Africa Command.

(Skye Gould/Business Insider)

Though we've shown you some of the most significant deployments around the world, it's worth noting that these graphics are not all-inclusive. We've kept off most traditional bases and training exercises, for example.



Here is a chart of the significant US military deployments worldwide.

Here is a chart of the significant US military deployments worldwide. play

Here is a chart of the significant US military deployments worldwide.

(Skye Gould/Business Insider)

There are some other rather significant troops deployed to support in other service members in hotspots.

Thousands of US service members, mostly airmen, are deployed in Qatar, where the US Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base is located.

In Jordan, 1,500 soldiers, a squadron of F-16s, a Patriot missile battery, and M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems have been deployed because of the war in Syria.

About 7,000 US military personnel, mostly sailors, are based in Bahrain, which is home to the 5th Navy Fleet. A large number of US airmen also operate out of the Shaykh Isa Air Base, where F-16s, F/A-18s, and P-3 surveillance aircraft are stationed.

Elements of the US 379th Air Expeditionary Wing are based in Eskan Village Air Base in Saudi Arabia, where the 5th Navy Fleet also patrols.