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Contingency location

Definition A contingency location in military operations refers to a geographical area or a specific site pre-identified for potential use in response to emergencies, crises, or conflict situations. These areas act as bases for launching, recovery, and support of military forces during unexpected events. These locations can serve various functions including logistical support, force staging, […]


A contingency location in military operations refers to a geographical area or a specific site pre-identified for potential use in response to emergencies, crises, or conflict situations. These areas act as bases for launching, recovery, and support of military forces during unexpected events. These locations can serve various functions including logistical support, force staging, and forward operating bases among others.

Key Takeaways

  1. A contingency location in military operations refers to a predetermined, strategic location, selected for its tactical advantages, which allows military forces to operate short term under specific conditions or emergencies.
  2. Contingency locations are often preorganized and equipped with necessary resources for quick and effective response. They can be used for myriad of operations such as combat missions, non-combatant evacuation operations, or humanitarian assistance tasks.
  3. These locations are crucial for the military’s ability to respond swiftly and effectively to unforeseen circumstances or rapid changes in a conflict situation, thereby providing them with an operational advantage over potential adversaries.


Contingency location holds significant importance in military operations as it refers to an alternative location or site prepared in advance for use when the primary location is not viable or under threat.

This could include geographic areas or installations identified for potential use during crisis response or large-scale combat operations.

The existence of a contingency location ensures the continuity of operations, offering flexibility and strategic advantage.

They serve as logistical bases for supplies, transportation, communication, repairs, healthcare services, and personnel sheltering.

Therefore, by planning and maintaining contingency locations, a military force can maintain readiness, optimize response time, and adapt rapidly to evolving situations, thereby increasing overall operational effectiveness and tactical success.


Contingency location is a term used extensively in military operations. Essentially, it implies a geographical location, such as a base, outpost, or facility, which is set up and prepared to deal with unexpected or emergency situations that require swift, efficient, and organized military response. Contingency locations play pivotal roles in the strategic placement of military assets in areas that could potentially present volatile situations or require rapid military intervention.

These bases are part of a wide security network, boosting defense readiness, emergency relief, crisis response and supplement the main military structures that are typically located in the home country. A contingency location’s primary purpose is to offer immediate support, logistical, operational, or otherwise, in unforeseen events or situations. They enable the armed forces to respond to emergencies faster due to their proximity to potential hotspots.

In the context of warfare, these locations allow for swift counterattacks, abrupt withdrawal, or surprise invasions. Furthermore, in terms of humanitarian aid or natural disasters, these points can be utilized as immediate response units providing crucial aid, necessities, and even evacuation if required. Sophisticated planning and keen foresight are invested in such locations as they underscore preparedness, readiness, and the military’s ability to adapt to evolving situations.

Examples of Contingency location

Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm – In 1990-1991, the U.S. military personnel were quickly deployed to a contingency location in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states due to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. This military operation was a contingency plan to protect Saudi Arabia from possible aggression and to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Operation United Assistance – In 2014, when the Ebola outbreak occurred in West Africa, the U.S. military set up a contingency location in Liberia to help manage the disease crisis. This involved constructing treatment centers, training healthcare workers, and providing logistical support for aid agencies.

Operation Tomodachi – Following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear disaster in Japan, the U.S. military moved forces to contingency locations around Japan to provide disaster relief, including search and rescue missions, medical aid, and the distribution of supplies.

FAQs about Contingency Location

What is a contingency location?

A contingency location is a predetermined geographical location used for temporary military operations. They are established as a reactive measure to unexpected crises and are equipped to facilitate the rapid deployment and operation of forces.

What purpose does a contingency location serve?

Contingency locations serve the purpose of providing a strategic advantage in a region of interest. They allow the military to quickly respond to threats or crises, establish a presence for deterrence, and potentially aid in humanitarian operations.

How is a contingency location chosen?

The choice of a contingency location is a strategic decision made based on numerous factors. These can include geographic location, logistical support capabilities, proximity to the situation, existing infrastructure, and political considerations.

What resources are typically found at a contingency location?

In a contingency location, you will typically find resources required to support military operations. This includes but is not limited to: tactical equipment, medical support, logistics equipment, communication systems, and sometimes humanitarian aid materials.

Who manages a contingency location?

A contingency location is managed by a dedicated team of military personnel. Their roles can range from logistics and supply chain management to tactical operations planning and execution. The team’s size and composition will depend on the scale of operations being conducted.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Deployment pay: Extra income earned by the soldiers while they are deployed in a contingency location.
  • Hazardous duty incentive pay: Bonus pay for military personnel who are assigned dangerous tasks in contingency locations.
  • Combat zone tax exclusion: A VA benefit term that allows military personnel in contingency locations to exclude certain pay from their taxable income.
  • Family Separation Allowance: Financial compensation for military personnel separated from their families due to deployment at contingency locations.
  • Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay: Extra compensation granted to soldiers in contingency locations who are exposed to hostile gunfire or imminent danger.

Sources for More Information

  • U.S. Department of Defense: The official website of the U.S. Department of Defense. They provide a variety of information about operations, strategies, and definitions related to the military.
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff: This is the official site of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who are the military advisors to the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the President.
  • Brookings Institution: A nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. It conducts high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, provides innovative, practical recommendations.
  • RAND Corporation: A research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.

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