The United States Military defines the term as follows:
- In naval usage, the change from a cruising approach or contact disposition to a disposition for battle.
- The movement of forces within operational areas.
- The outer positioning of forces into a formation for battle.
- The relocation of forces and materiel to desired operational areas.
- In army usage, the term "downrange" is also common.
Deployment encompasses all activities from origin or home station through destination, specifically including intra-continental United States, intertheater, and intratheater movement legs, staging, and holding areas.
Deployments consist of men and women who leave their families and their homes with other service members (Airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers) and go to another country and earn combat pay. These deployments can last anywhere from 90 days to 15 months. In the United States Army, members receive what is known as a combat patch to wear on their uniforms (ACU's) and Dress Uniforms (Class A's).
In most of the world's navies, a deployment designates an extended period of duty at sea. The United States Navy recognizes those who complete deployments with a special decoration known as the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Redeployment is known as the return of service members in a combat zone to their prior station (i.e. where they are stationed with families, where they were prior to deploying). The time between deployments is known as dwell time.
List of deployments
In New START:
The term "deployed ICBM" means an ICBM that is contained in or on a deployed launcher of ICBMs.
The term "deployed SLBM" means an SLBM that is contained in a deployed launcher of SLBMs.
The term "deployed heavy bomber" means a heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments, other than a test heavy bomber or a heavy bomber located at a repair facility or at a production facility.
- Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms
- This article incorporates text in the public domain from the U.S. Department of Defense.
- "Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms" (pdf). Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense. March 1, 2007. p. 154. Retrieved 2007-04-13.