A recent review of imminent danger pay areas found the imminent threat of physical harm to US military personnel has “been significantly reduced” in many areas, according to a Jan. 3 Pentagon release. Following an in-depth review by the Joint Staff, combatant commanders, and each of the military services, the following locations will no longer be designated as imminent danger areas effective June 1: the land areas of East Timor, Haiti, Liberia, Oman, Rwanda, Tajikistan, United Aram Emirates, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan; land areas and airspace above Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, and Montenegro; the waters of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, and the Red Sea; and the water area and airspace above the Persian Gulf. However, IDP will remain in effect for Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and Egypt, states the release. “This is a process that began [in 2011],” said DOD spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren in a separate release. Warren noted the changes are not budget related. The last recertification was completed in 2007.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.