A staging area (otherwise staging point, staging base, or staging post) is a location in which organisms, people, vehicles, equipment, or material are assembled before use. It may refer to:
In military usage, a staging area is a place where troops or equipment in transit are assembled or processed. The US Department of Defense uses these definitions:
- (DOD) 1. Amphibious or airborne – A general locality between the mounting area and the objective of an amphibious or airborne expedition, through which the expedition or parts thereof pass after mounting, for refueling, regrouping of ships, and/or exercise, inspection, and redistribution of troops.
- (DOD) 2. Other movements – A general locality established for the concentration of troop units and transient personnel between movements over the lines of communications. Also called SA. See also airborne; marshalling; stage; staging.
Often and historically, this military staging area has been termed a point d'appui, which is often on high ground and sometimes coincident with a significant prehistoric monument, as in the case of Catto Long Barrow in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Unlike normal bases, the facilities of a staging area are temporary, mainly because for a certain time it will hold much more troops and materiel than would be reasonable in peacetime.
Militaries use staging areas to deploy military units, aircraft, and warships and materiel ahead of an attack or invasion. In former times, this used to be generally the border area of one's own country, but in recent wars (Gulf War, Kosovo War, Iraq War), it may also be the border area of another unrelated country granting access.