DOD removes 20 areas from imminent danger pay list
The Department of Defense has removed 20 areas from its list of locations that qualify for imminent danger pay starting June 1, in a move that is expected to affect approximately 50,000 service members.
DOD officials announced in January that service members in the 20 areas would no longer receive the additional imminent danger rate of $225 per month.
As of June 1, the following areas are no longer eligible for imminent danger pay:
• The nine land areas of East Timor, Haiti, Liberia, Oman, Rwanda, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
• The six land areas and airspace above Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, and Montenegro.
• The four water areas of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and the Red Sea.
• The water area and air space above the Arabian Gulf.
Imminent danger pay, or IDP, will remain in effect for Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and Egypt within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
The decision, which was made after a periodic review and re-certification process, is expected to save approximately $9 million a month, or $108 million a year, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, Defense Department spokesman, in an email.
“The re-certification process began in July 2011, and included an in-depth threat assessment from each combatant command for countries within their area of responsibility,” Christensen said. “Following the review, it was determined that the imminent threat of physical harm to members has been significantly reduced in many areas. As a result, IDP will be discontinued in those areas.”
According to Christensen, 194,189 service members received imminent danger pay in Fiscal Year 2012. The changes were finalized in coordination with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Combatant Commands and military services, Christensen said.
The last re-certification process was completed in 2007, according to the DOD’s announcement of the changes.