The forces of the United States military are located in nearly 130 countries around the world performing a variety of duties from combat operations, to peacekeeping, to training with foreign militaries. Some of these deployments have existed for nearly 50 years, as in Japan, Germany, and South Korea, while other deployments have more recent origins such as the current occupation of Iraq.
Trajan’s campaign against the Parthians expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest extent. After Trajan’s death in 870 AUC (117 AD), the new emperor, Hadrian, made defensive moves to protect the existing Roman Empire. Roman legions actually withdrew from the regions across the Danube later in the Second Century AD. By this time, the Roman Army consisted of about 28 Legions with approximately 160,000 legionaries, along with an additional force of some 220,000 auxiliary troops in other types of units. Augustus had inherited some 60 legions after the battle of Actium (31 BC) but soon reduced this to 28 (c.150,000 men) in the interests of political security and economy.
Before the military reorganization of Marius in 649 AUC (104 BC), the Roman army went through three phases of development, with the legion reduced from 8400 men to 4000. During the late empire, a legion only consisted of perhaps 1,000 men in the mobile field deployment and around 3,000 men in the territorial legions.
Legio Decima Equitata, the Tenth Legion of Julius Ceasar, was not the same unit as Legio X Fretensis, which was reported to have been officially formed sometime during 712 or 713 AUC (41 to 40 BC) by Octavian. Legio X Fretensis derived its name from the Fretum Siculum, which is the water channel located between Italy and Sicily, now called the Straits of Messina. By 759 AUC (6 AD) Legio X had made Syria its home base, along with the Legio III Gallica, Legio VI Ferrata, and Legio XII Fulminata. Nearby in Egypt two additional legions were stationed. They were the Legio III Cyrenaica, and Legio XXII Deiotariana. Among their many duties of maintaining the peace in this volatile area was the vital protection of the corn supply being exported to Rome. Legion X Fretensis, which took part in the siege of Jerusalem and Masada, garrisoned Jerusalem for nearly 200 years.
SPQR was the “motto” and the official monogram of the Roman Republic, in the same way that “US” or “USA” represents the United States. SPQR stands for Senatus Populusque Romanus (in Latin) or Senate and People of Rome (in English). The Romans of classical antiquity were as enthusiastic for acronyms as modern Americans [BKs, KFCs, VCRs, DVDs, MRIs, EKGs and NASAs]. SPQR was inscribed on the base of the legion’s eagle standards, like the regimental number for Napoleon’s regiments, after the reforms of Marius [which created a professional military and did away with other legion symbols. SPQR seems to have been used in the Roman vexilla, though it was not used on flags in antiquity.
As of mid-August 2003, there are some 243,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen deployed in support of combat, peacekeeping, and deterrence operations. This figure does not include those forces normally present in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom or Japan unless bases at those locations are actively supporting a combat operation. Furthermore, tours of duty in these locations are routine and not considered hardship tours. If one were to include these forces the number of deployed troops worldwide would be around 364,000. It is also unclear whether the 245,000 figure accounts for sailors on ships deployed to various regions of the world.
However, forces deployed to South Korea are included as those units are part of a UN command and deterrence operation.
Of the 31 combat brigades in the US Army’s active component, some 16 are currently deployed (including the two from the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea), in the process of rotating to and from deployments or having just returned from deployment. Of the 2 Armored Cavalry Regiments both are also deployed (it should be noted that press and Army officials tend to lump the ACR’s in with the Brigades when counting total combat brigades).
Deployed Active Combat Brigades/ACRs
Legend: Location/Pre- 9/11/Current/Planned
SWA-Iraq: 1 / 13 / 8
SOK: / 2 / 2 /3
Afghan: / 0 / 2 (Rotation) /1
Kosovo: / 1 / 0 / 0
Bosnia: / 1* / 0 / 0
TOTAL: / 4 / 17 / 12
* Bosnia [SFOR] became a National Guard Deployment in October 2001
Nearly 8 additional brigades have been identified as candidates to be rotated out to Iraq and Afghanistan by the end of 2003. 1 brigade from the 25th Infantry Division is currently undergoing a transition to the Stryker vehicle and is unavailable for operational deployments.
Soldiers from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve have been mobilized to support operations both in the United States for homeland security duties and for operations globally, including Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Joint Guardian and in the Sinai with the Multinational Force and Observers. As of 10 September 2003 roughly 128,568 soldiers from the Guard and Reserves were on active duty, a decrease of roughly 4,000 since August 20.
Of the Army National Guards 37 combat brigades 2 are currently deployed with 2 more slated to deploy in the near future. The National Guard has one Armored Cavalry Regiment, it is not deployed.
The United States Navy has roughly 35,518 sailors deployed, as of mid-August 2003, in support of various operations and training exercises throughout the world. Of the 12 aircraft carrier strike groups that are in the fleet the Navy has 2 currently deployed, 2 in pre-deployment training, and 7 receiving extensive yard periods that would make the strike group unavailable for deployment before 2004 and 1 that will be available in November 2003. Of the 299 ships and submarines in the Fleet roughly 94 are currently on deployments.