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Officials extend stateside space-A travel test

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFPN) -- The one-year test to expand space-available travel privileges to family members of active-duty and retired servicemembers traveling within the continental United States was extended until further notice, according to Air Mobility Command's air transportation division officials.

The extension will allow the test to continue while office of the secretary of defense officials complete their evaluation of the test, wrote Lt. Col. Darcy Lilley, chief of the division's passenger policy branch, in a recent message.

Under the space-A test phase, the family members of active-duty and retired servicemembers are able to travel space-A aboard military flights when accompanied by their sponsors, said John Lundeby, of the passenger policy branch. He said the test does not apply to "gray-area retirees" -- Guard and Reserve Airmen who are retired but are not yet eligible for retired pay and benefits.

Mr. Lundeby explained that in December 2000, the commander of U.S. Transportation Command outlined the proposed test as a way to improve quality-of-life privileges for servicemembers and their families. After reviewing the proposal, defense officials approved the one-year test period.

"Prior to the test, regulations prohibited family members from flying space-available within the CONUS," said Mr. Lundeby. "This privilege was available only to active-duty and retired military people. During the test period, dependents can accompany them."

To register for space-A travel, active-duty sponsors must be on leave or a pass and remain in the status while awaiting travel and through the entire travel period, officials said.

Additional space-A travel and signup information is available through the passenger policy branch Web site at http://public.amc.af.mil/SPACEA/spacea.htm. A list of passenger terminals and phone numbers can be found there. (Courtesy of AMC News Service)

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