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Travel : Space-A
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Pioneer Military Loans
Family Members Receive Extension of Space-A Flight Benefits - March 17, 2004

Click here for more Military Travel programs and information.

March 17, 2004
By Navy Reserve Lt. Keith V. Taylor for USTRANSCOM Public Affairs

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill., (USTCNS) --- Immediate family members of military personnel have the opportunity to travel within the continental U.S. on military aircraft on a space available basis under an extended pilot project. The one-year test policy began on April 1, 2003 and was set to expire on March 31, 2004. Now, officials have decided to extend the program pending the issuance of final rules to make the family friendly benefit permanent.

The Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Transportation Policy) approved the policy extension which originated here at the U.S. Transportation Command. USTRANSCOM, established in 1987, is one of nine unified commands and serves as the Department of Defense's global transportation and distribution process owner in times of peace and war.

Transportation Specialist Kevin Boyce, who helps run the extended program from USTRANSCOM, said, "We are excited about this program because it benefits military families and helps our troops reduce their out-of-pocket travel costs. To date, nearly 20,000 people have used the new benefit and we expect that number to increase in the future as the news spreads." Boyce also noted that the flight missions and operations have not been adversely impacted.

Passengers eligible for this program must be family members of active duty service members, military retirees currently drawing a pension, or Medal of Honor recipients. The rules require that family members travel with their military sponsor and carry the same travel priority as the sponsor. Travel is available on DOD owned or controlled fixed wing aircraft only. Program benefits do not extend to Guard/Reserve retirees not drawing retirement pay.

Here is how the program works:

· Active duty personnel must be in a leave or pass status for the entire period of travel,
· The original registration of the travel time and date must be documented and held by the travelers until the travel is complete, leave terminates, or for a maximum of 60 days, whichever is sooner, and
· Retired members, drawing retired pay, may sign up for travel up to 60 days in advance of the expected travel date.

"Service members may find this benefit handy as they reunite with family members during the holiday season, vacations, family reunions, graduation ceremonies, and other times. This is one of several positive steps DOD is taking to let our troops know that we care about them and appreciate all of the sacrifices they make on behalf of the nation," said Boyce.

Boyce encourages eligible members to contact military terminals to take advantage of this benefit. People can access a list of terminals and their phone numbers at the Air Mobility Command.



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