Space-A travel

  • Published
  • By Anonymous
  • 39th Air Base Wing
Question: I am a spouse who wants to travel Space-A to the states with my 4 children ... so simple math would show that I need five seats. I was told 13 were available.

Now, because my husband will not be traveling due to a short-notice TDY/deployment (but not one good enough to increase our category) we are a Category 5. I think it's discrimination to consider a family traveling with the military member more important. I could see if a military member was trying to fly by themselves, but I feel that a family is a family, and if my husband is unable to go with us then that should not be held against me.

Okay long story short, I was encouraged to apply for EML paperwork. It will bump me up to Category 4. But the MSG orderly room informed me that I cannot receive my EML papers until two weeks before I leave ... I wanted to be on the Space-A list a least a month out. (Remember, I need those five seats).

So I go to the terminal to get on the list and then inform them on the situation with my EML paperwork. They say, "Well when you get it bring it in, it will change your sign up date, but it will bump you up a category."

What's the point? So the time I have spent on the list is just a waste.

Can this great helper called EML be explained to me (again) and can someone please explain why I have to wait two weeks before I am trying to fly out to use it?

Answer: You are in good company, Space-A travel rules always hurt my cranium as well. The reason it can be complicated is the fact that it competes against commercial interests that also augment our national airlift capability. Because of competing interests there are several rules applied to Space-A travel through the Joint Travel Regulation to accommodate mission requirements first and leave second. It's important to understand these rules and we periodically try to cover the topic with articles in our Tip of the Sword.

All that said your point about sign-up timing is well taken... after reviewing the rules of EML sign up, we have good news for you. Military EML requests will be taken and approved up to 30 days before the projected first day of chargeable leave provided the leave request has been approved. In your case and for other civilian dependents, sign up for Space-A travel can occur 60 days before the flight provided the period falls within the time-frame authorized and approved for EML travel. Once passengers are signed-up, they remain in the system up to 60 days (unaccompanied dependent EML is good for 90) or whenever sponsor's leave expires. In reference to changing categories of travel, AMCI 24-101 Vol 14 Para 11.9 states that "Passengers will receive a new date/time of sign-up when changing travel categories (i.e. Category V to Category IV)." The following is a listing of available categories. Our Air Mobility Squadron teammates are the experts on Space-A travel and we encourage engaging them early on with any questions that may come up as you plan for your leave.

Priority Categories for flying Space-A are governed by DODR 4515.13R Chapter 6, AMCI-24-101 Vol 14 and Directive 35-2 (EML regulation). There are 6 categories to Space-A travel.
CATEGORY 1-Civilian or Dependent Non-funded Emergency Travel
CATEGORY 2-Environmental Morale Leave (EML) for sponsor with or without Dependents
CATEGORY 3-Ordinary Leave, Convalescent Leave and Permissive TDY (House Hunting only)
CATEGORY 4-DODDS Teachers and EML for Dependents without the Sponsor CATEGORY 5-Overseas Stationed Command Sponsored Dependents, Permissive TDY, Student Travel
CATEGORY 6-Retired Military Travel
For more detailed information, travelers can access: http://source/728AMS/spacea.htm