Tag Archives: Benefits

Flying Space-A

By Staff Sgt. Antonio Gonzalez
Air Force Social Media Team

Don’t think you can afford that vacation you’ve been planning? Well think again because as a member of the Air Force you qualify for a unique benefit that can provide you with some inexpensive airfare– Space-Available travel or Space-A.

You can fly Space-A between Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard facilities around the world at virtually no to little cost. But before you fly, you must register at the terminal you plan to fly from. You can do this in person, online, by phone or by e-mail. Here’s a link with every Air Mobility Command Terminal’s contact information:  http://www.amc.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-150629-014.pdf.

When you register for a flight, you get assigned to a passenger category that designates your place in line for a seat. Category seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Knowing which travel category you fall under and what that means for your chances of getting a seat can help relieve some stress.

Category 1:

First priority goes to active-duty service members and dependents on unfunded emergency leave. These people need to get back to the States as quickly as possible to handle an emergency situation, so they’ll get the first seats available.

Category 2:

For all those active-duty service members on environmental morale leave from adverse overseas locations or deployments, you fall under Category 2.

Category 3:

This is the category that most people fall under when taking a vacation. Category 3 is for active-duty service members and their dependents on ordinary leave status or house hunting status in conjunction with a permanent change of station or PCS. Family members may travel unaccompanied in this category when their sponsor has been deployed for more than 365 days.

Category 4:

If an active duty member is deployed over 120 days and stationed in an adverse overseas location, their command sponsored dependents may take a break from their overseas duty location and travel Space-A under this category.

Category 5:

This category is for unaccompanied active-duty dependents and active duty service members on permissive TDY.

Category 6:

If you’re a military retiree, reservists, National Guard Member or ROTC Cadet, this category is for you.

Now that you know what category you fall under, you must ensure your travel documents are in order. This includes your leave paperwork, valid Uniformed Services ID, passport/visa or other documents required by the location you are traveling to or from. In many cases this will be different for each traveler depending on your status. Please contact your departure passenger terminal for documentation requirements or travel restrictions.

Also, when checking in at the terminal to mark yourself present, ensure you do not exceed baggage weight limits and that you are not traveling with any prohibited items. Here is the list of prohibited items: http://www.amc.af.mil/amctravel/prohibitedtravelitems.asp.

Then simply await your Space-A call and follow instructions given to you by the passenger service agents.

Here is some addition useful information on Space-Available travel:

–Air Mobility Command Official Website – Space-Available Travel Information:

http://www.amc.af.mil/amctravel/

–Space-A Travel Handbook:

http://1.usa.gov/1Rqytj0

Safe travels!

If you’ve traveled on Space-A, tell us about your experience. Where did you travel? Share your tips for this type of travel in the comments.

Step Up, Step In: What’s a line of duty determination?

By Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane
USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs

During the last five years, the Air Force notified the families of 232 Airmen that their son or daughter died.

Although most anyone can tell you the military can be a dangerous job and being put in harm’s way is often just part of the commitment, the most disturbing part about that statistic is 212 of those Airmen died while off duty.

Even more upsetting is that because of the circumstances surrounding the deaths, some families were paid no benefits. In every case, the deciding factor came down to the line of duty determination.

A line of duty determination investigation is conducted anytime a member acquires a debilitating disease, incurs a significant injury or dies under unusual circumstances, according to Capt. Mikal Nuhn, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa judge advocate. The findings determine whether or not death benefits are paid.

“When a military member is seriously injured or dies, certain statutory rights or benefits accrue to the member or their family,” Nuhn explained. “But only if the disability or death was attributed to military service, and in the line of duty.”

There are four possible outcomes of an LOD determination:
1. Condition existed prior to service and was not aggravated by service.
2. In the line of duty, not due to servicemember’s own misconduct.
3. Not in the line of duty and not due to the servicemember’s own misconduct.
4. Not in the line of duty and due to the sevicemember’s own misconduct.

Nuhn explained how to avoid the fourth outcome in very simple terms.

“Always behave in a reasonably safe manner because your actions could have unintended negative consequences for your loved ones,” he said.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a trip to Switzerland to go bungee jumping or hit the slopes to shred some powder. As long as you take all safety precautions these activities would likely be considered “in the line of duty” and you or your family would receive benefits.

However, a scenario that would likely not provide death benefits to your family is one that involves alcohol. An example is when an Airman drives drunk and puts himself and his family at risk, even if it is not his intention.

Making good choices and taking personal responsibility are key. The wingman concept is a great safety net, but in the end, every individual is responsible for his or her actions and consequences.

“By definition, all mishaps are preventable,” said Master Sgt. James Musgrave, USAFE-AFAFRICA mishap prevention manager.

Accidents happen, but there are always ways to minimize or eliminate risk in everything you do.

“While the younger Airmen have a good portion of the mishaps, no age or rank is immune to mishaps,” Musgrave explained. “It’s more of a psychology issue than an age issue.  ‘It will never happen to me’ is a common jinx if the speaker is not risk conscious.”

As the Air Force Safety Center motto states: “Safety is no accident.”

“Be risk aware, not inattentive,” said Musgrave. “One of the leading factors of mishaps is inattention, which sometimes is a result of boredom or a perceived absence of a threat. If Airmen are aware of the risks, they can control the ones that are controllable.”