The Defense Department will end danger bonuses for U.S. servicemen in the Persian Gulf and has withdrawn an AWACS surveillance plane from Saudi Arabia in moves linked to the truce in the Iran-Iraq war.
The Pentagon, which revealed the steps Monday, said payment of imminent danger bonuses would stop April 1, and the second of four AWACS sent to Saudi Arabia had been pulled out early this month.The bonuses, previously known as hostile fire or combat pay, are worth $110 a month and have been paid since Aug. 25, 1987, to servicemen working inside the Persian Gulf.
While most of those receiving the bonuses were deployed on ships in the region or flew warplanes over the Gulf, servicemen assigned to bases in Bahrain and Kuwait were also eligible. As a result, about 1,300 women also received the bonuses at one point or another, the Pentagon said.
The withdrawal of the huge AWACS early warning plane earlier this month leaves two U.S. Air Force craft still in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have purchased five of the planes themselves. Officials declined Monday to estimate when the remaining two might be pulled out.