Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States responded by deploying military personnel in Southwest Asia. By January 2002, more than 30,000 active duty were involved and additional reserve personnel continue to be called to duty.
As a result of Iraq’s refusal to comply with United Nations’ mandates, U.S. began deploying troops to the Gulf region in late 2002. Coalition forces subsequently won a decisive victory against the forces under the regime of Saddam Hussein, during April 2003, in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Coalition forces remain in Iraq today as part of ongoing peacekeeping/nation-building activities.
Currently, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), U.S. troops are on the ground in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and neighboring countries of the former Soviet Union.
Unique Health Risks
- Infectious Disease
- Cold Injury
- High Altitude illnesses
- Environmental Hazards:
- Exposure to sewage
- Exposure to agricultural and industrial contamination of water and food
- Air pollution
- Severe sand and dust storms
- Combined penetrating, blunt trauma, and burn injuries (blast injuries)
- Traumatic Brain or Spinal Cord Injury
- Vision Loss
- Traumatic Amputation
- Multi-drug Resistant Acinetobacter
- Leishmaniasis (sand fly-transmitted infection of the skin)
- Depleted Uranium (DU)
- Mental Health Issues including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)