the Army 2001). “Deployment” is defined as a troop movement to a land-based location outside the continental United States that does not have a permanent medical treatment facility (i.e., funded by the Defense Health Program). Deployment is the result of a Joint Chiefs of Staff/Unified Command deployment order and lasts for 30 or more consecutive days (U.S. Department of the Army 2001).

The role of U.S. military forces has changed and expanded. Increasingly, U.S. troops are deployed for operations other than war, including peacekeeping, humanitarian, and nation-building missions of varying scope and duration. (See Figure 1-1 for an illustration of potential conflicts and likelihood of occurrence.) Deployments differ in the degree and nature of tactical risks (i.e., risk due to the presence of an enemy or adversary). However, with or without tactical threats, there are risks of accident, disease, and illness inherent in deployment. Those might arise from contaminated local environments, from the intensive activities of the deployed forces, from exposure to hazards associated with mission tasks, from intentional exposures to pesticides and prophylactic agents, and from the rigors of exposure to climatic extremes.

In deployment situations, commanders must balance the effects of multiple risks. Effects can include casualties, impacts on civilians, damage to the environment, loss of equipment, and levels of public reaction against the value of the mission objectives. The Army’s Field Manual 100-14 (U.S. Department of the Army 1998) outlines the principles, procedures, and responsibilities of applying an operational risk-management (ORM) process to conserve combat power and resources. The manual defines risk management as “the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling risks arising from operational factors and making decisions that balance risk costs with mission benefits. . . . It applies to all missions and environments across the wide range of Army operations.” The ORM process is a cycle of (1) identifying hazards, (2) assessing the risk associated with those hazards, (3) developing controls and making risk decisions, (4) implementing the controls, and (5) supervising and evaluating the effectiveness of the controls. The process is depicted in Figure 1-2. The basic principles for implementing the process include the following:

  • Integrating risk management into mission planning, preparation, and execution. Leaders and staff continuously identify hazards and assess both accidental and tactical risks. They then develop and coordinate control measures. They determine the level of residual risk for accidental hazards in order to evaluate courses of action, and they integrate control

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