The US Army deployment period has been reduced from one year to nine months, Army spokeswoman lieutenant colonel Peggy Kageleiry said.

“Implementation of this change is based on the projected demand for Army forces, and remains contingent on global security conditions and combatant commanders’ requirements,” Kageleiry added.

The new policy will be implemented beginning 1 January 2012 and will affect soldiers in all operations, including Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Guardian and Multinational Forces in Egypt.

The policy is believed to enhance operational continuity and reduce risk to individual soldiers by not having to move a warrior around on the battlefield to go on leave.