B-170406, SEP. 8, 1970

B-170406: Sep 8, 1970

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WHEN GOVERNMENT AIR CARRIER WAS AVAILABLE. PROVIDES THAT WHEN GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE AND THE MEMBER PERFORMS TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE. REIMBURSEMENT MAY NOT EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE GOVERNMENT FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION. ABDON ALVARADO-RIVERA: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 18. INASMUCH AS THE SETTLEMENT WAS MADE BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION. YOUR LETTER WAS TRANSMITTED HERE FOR REPLY. HAVING BEEN DETERMINED TO BE PERMANENTLY UNFIT FOR DUTY BY REASON OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AT FORT BRAGG. SINCE GOVERNMENT AIR TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE ALTHOUGH NOT USED. THE REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF COMMERCIAL AIR WAS LIMITED TO $25.

B-170406, SEP. 8, 1970

MILITARY RETIREMENT - TRAVEL ALLOWANCES SUSTAINING SETTLEMENT, DATED MAY 1, 1970, WHICH ALLOWED THE SUM OF $42.52 FOR TRAVEL FROM FT. BRAGG, N.C., INCIDENT TO RETIREMENT, TO HOME OF SELECTION, PUERTO NEUVO, PUERTO RICO. UNIFORMED SERVICE MEMBER, WHO UPON RETIREMENT, ELECTED TO USE COMMERCIAL AIR LINE AT OWN EXPENSE, FOR TRANSPORTATION TO HOME OF SELECTION, WHEN GOVERNMENT AIR CARRIER WAS AVAILABLE, SINCE DEPT. OF ARMY PAMPHLET 600-5, PROVIDES THAT WHEN GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE AND THE MEMBER PERFORMS TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, REIMBURSEMENT MAY NOT EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE GOVERNMENT FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION.

TO MR. ABDON ALVARADO-RIVERA:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 18, 1970, TO THE FINANCE CENTER, U. S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF THE SETTLEMENT BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED MAY 1, 1970, WHICH ALLOWED THE SUM OF $42.52 FOR YOUR TRAVEL FROM FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA, TO HOME OF SELECTION, PUERTO NEUVO, PUERTO RICO, INCIDENT TO RETIREMENT FROM THE U. S. ARMY UNDER ORDERS DATED FEBRUARY 25, 1969. INASMUCH AS THE SETTLEMENT WAS MADE BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, YOUR LETTER WAS TRANSMITTED HERE FOR REPLY.

SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 37, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, DATED FEBRUARY 25, 1969, PROVIDED THAT, HAVING BEEN DETERMINED TO BE PERMANENTLY UNFIT FOR DUTY BY REASON OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY YOU WERE RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT AT FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA, MARCH 12, 1969, AND PLACED ON THE RETIRED LIST EFFECTIVE MARCH 13, 1969. YOUR ITINERARY SHOWS THAT YOU DEPARTED FORT BRAGG BY BUS ON MARCH 12, 1969, TO RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA, BY TAXI TO DURHAM AND BY COMMERCIAL AIR TO NEWARK, NEW JERSEY. YOU THEN TOOK A BUS TO KENNEDY AIRPORT, NEW YORK CITY. THE NEXT DAY YOU TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL AIR FROM NEW YORK TO SAN JUAN AND LATER TOOK A TAXI TO YOUR HOME OF SELECTION IN PUERTO NEUVO, PUERTO RICO.

THE SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 1, 1970, ALLOWED MILEAGE AT 6[ FOR THE DISTANCE FROM FORT BRAGG TO CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, SOUTH CAROLINA, NEAREST PORT OF EMBARKATION, AND FROM RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE, PUERTO RICO, PORT OF DEBARKATION TO YOUR HOME OF SELECTION. SINCE GOVERNMENT AIR TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE ALTHOUGH NOT USED, THE REIMBURSEMENT FOR COST OF COMMERCIAL AIR WAS LIMITED TO $25, WHICH WAS THE AMOUNT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT FOR AIR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE TWO AERIAL PORTS.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU REFER TO THE ITINERARY YOU PREPARED WHICH SHOWED THAT YOU TRAVELED BY EASTERN AIR LINE FROM RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA, TO NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, AND BY THE SAME AIRLINE FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO. YOU SAY THE PAYMENT DOES NOT COVER THE TRAVEL PERFORMED AND REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM.

SECTION 404(C) OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, PROVIDES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, A MEMBER WHO IS RETIRED WITH PAY MAY, NOT LATER THAN ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE HE IS SO RETIRED, SELECT HIS HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY SUBSECTION (A). PARAGRAPH M4158, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER WHO IS RETIRED AS IN YOUR CASE MAY SELECT HIS HOME AND RECEIVE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES THERETO FROM HIS LAST DUTY STATION AS PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPHS M4151 AND M4159 AS APPLICABLE.

PARAGRAPH M4151 OF THE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZES MILEAGE FOR LAND TRAVEL AND PARAGRAPH M4159-1 PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER TRAVELING TO, FROM, OR BETWEEN POINTS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, UNDER ORDERS WHICH DO NOT SPECIFY GROUP TRAVEL OR DIRECT TRAVEL BY A SPECIFIC MODE OF TRANSPORTATION, WILL BE ENTITLED TO:

"1. THE ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED IN PAR. M4150 OR M4154 AS APPLICABLE, FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE BETWEEN THE OLD PERMANENT STATION AND THE APPROPRIATE AERIAL OR WATER PORT OF EMBARKATION SERVING THE OLD STATION;

"2. TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT OR VESSEL, IF AVAILABLE, OTHERWISE GOVERNMENT PROCURED TRANSPORTATION OR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION PROCURED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE FOR THE TRANS-OCEANIC TRAVEL INVOLVED (SEE SUBPAR. 4), PLUS PER DIEM, IF APPLICABLE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PART F; AND

"3. THE ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED IN PAR. M4150 OR M4154, AS APPLICABLE, FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE BETWEEN THE APPROPRIATE AERIAL OR WATER PORT OF DEBARKATION SERVING THE NEW STATION AND THE NEW PERMANENT STATION."

PARAGRAPH M4150 PRESCRIBES A MILEAGE ALLOWANCE OF SIX CENTS PER MILE FOR LAND TRAVEL AND PARAGRAPH M4159-4 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT WHEN TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM DIRECTED) AND THE MEMBER PERFORMS TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL BY ANOTHER MODE OF TRANSPORTATION (OTHER THAN FOREIGN-FLAG) AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, THE MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION UTILIZED NOT TO EXCEED THE APPLICABLE TARIFF CHARGE WHICH THE SPONSORING SERVICE (IN YOUR CASE, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY) WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THE AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION BY MILITARY AIRLIFT COMMAND OR MILITARY SEA TRANSPORTATION SERVICE.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M4159-5C, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE APPROPRIATE UNITED STATES AERIAL PORT OF EMBARKATION TO PUERTO RICO IS EITHER MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY, OR CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, SOUTH CAROLINA, WHICHEVER INVOLVES THE LESSER DISTANCE IN THE UNITED STATES.

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY PAMPHLET 600-5 (HANDBOOK ON RETIREMENT SERVICES FOR ARMY PERSONNEL AND THEIR FAMILIES - 1969 ED.), PROVIDES WITH RESPECT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES INCIDENT TO RETIREMENT, THAT IF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION, OR COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION PROCURED BY USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION DOCUMENTS, IS AVAILABLE AND THE MEMBER PERFORMS TRANSOCEANIC TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE (OTHER THAN FOREIGN FLAG), REIMBURSEMENT MAY NOT EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE GOVERNMENT FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION.

IT WAS ON THE BASIS OF THE REGULATIONS CITED THAT THE SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 1, 1970, ALLOWED MILEAGE TO THE AERIAL PORT OF EMBARKATION AT CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, WHICH INVOLVED A LESSER DISTANCE THAN TO MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE. ALSO, THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT BY AVAILABLE MILITARY AIRLIFT COMMAND AIRCRAFT WAS REPORTED TO BE $25. THE TOTAL, INCLUDING MILEAGE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE, PUERTO RICO, AERIAL PORT OF DEBARKATION TO PUERTO NEUVO, PUERTO RICO, TOTALED $42.52, WHICH WAS THE MAXIMUM PAYMENT DUE UNDER THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 1, 1970, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.