B-175439, AUG 4, 1972, 52 COMP GEN 69

B-175439: Aug 4, 1972

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EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS NO CHANGE IN THE MEMBER'S ASSIGNMENT TO CREATE ENTITLEMENT TO THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED BY 37 U.S.C. 409. SERGEANT GREGORY MOVED HIS MOBILE HOME INTO THE VILLA TRAILER COURT WHICH WAS ON THE BASE HOUSING REFERRAL LIST OF ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE. AN UNDATED LETTER FROM THE BASE COMMANDER ADDRESSED TO ALL MILITARY PERSONNEL RESIDING AT THE TRAILER COURT WAS RECEIVED BY THE MEMBER ON NOVEMBER 30. WHICH WERE ENDANGERED BY UNSANITARY CONDITIONS AND THE HAZARDS OF FIRE AND EXPLOSION. IN COORDINATION WITH THE LOCAL ARMED FORCES DISCIPLINARY CONTROL BOARD (AFDCB) THE VILLA TRAILER COURT WAS DECLARED "OFF-LIMITS" TO ALL ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL. RESIDENTS OF THE TRAILER COURT WERE TO VACATE THE PREMISES BY MARCH 1.

B-175439, AUG 4, 1972, 52 COMP GEN 69

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - MILITARY PERSONNEL - TRAILER SHIPMENT - CHANGE OF DUTY STATION REQUIREMENT THE COSTS INCURRED BY A STAFF SERGEANT INCIDENT TO THE MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSETRAILER WITHOUT A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM A TRAILER COURT DECLARED "OFF-LIMITS" BY THE ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE COMMANDER IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL LIVING IN THE TRAILER COURT MAY BE REIMBURSED TO THE MEMBER, EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS NO CHANGE IN THE MEMBER'S ASSIGNMENT TO CREATE ENTITLEMENT TO THE TRAILER ALLOWANCE PRESCRIBED BY 37 U.S.C. 409, AS THE COSTS RESULTED FROM THE BASE COMMANDER'S EXERCISE OF HIS AUTHORITY, PURSUANT TO REGULATION, IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, AND THE REIMBURSEMENT TO THE MEMBER TREATED AS AN OPERATIONAL EXPENSE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, AIR FORCE.

TO FIRST LIEUTENANT TIMOTHY K. SMITH, DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, AUGUST 4, 1972:

WE REFER FURTHER TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 25, 1972, WITH ATTACHMENTS, FILE REFERENCE ACFFT/7220, FORWARDED HERE BY INDORSEMENT OF MARCH 10, 1972, FROM THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE (CONTROL NO. 72-8), REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION REGARDING THE ENTITLEMENT OF STAFF SERGEANT DONALD L. GREGORY, USAF, TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR COSTS INCIDENT TO THE MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSETRAILER.

YOU SAY THAT ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1970, SERGEANT GREGORY MOVED HIS MOBILE HOME INTO THE VILLA TRAILER COURT WHICH WAS ON THE BASE HOUSING REFERRAL LIST OF ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, SOUTH DAKOTA. AN UNDATED LETTER FROM THE BASE COMMANDER ADDRESSED TO ALL MILITARY PERSONNEL RESIDING AT THE TRAILER COURT WAS RECEIVED BY THE MEMBER ON NOVEMBER 30, 1970. IT STATED THAT IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF PERSONNEL LIVING THERE, WHICH WERE ENDANGERED BY UNSANITARY CONDITIONS AND THE HAZARDS OF FIRE AND EXPLOSION, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 9, AIR FORCE REGULATION 125-11, IN COORDINATION WITH THE LOCAL ARMED FORCES DISCIPLINARY CONTROL BOARD (AFDCB) THE VILLA TRAILER COURT WAS DECLARED "OFF-LIMITS" TO ALL ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. RESIDENTS OF THE TRAILER COURT WERE TO VACATE THE PREMISES BY MARCH 1, 1971.

SERGEANT GREGORY REQUESTED AN EXTENSION OF TIME FOR REMOVAL FROM THE TRAILER COURT; HOWEVER, HIS REQUEST WAS DENIED BY THE BASE COMMANDER ON FEBRUARY 25, 1971, AND ON MARCH 6, 1971, HE MOVED HIS MOBILE HOME TO ANOTHER LOCATION. HE HAS SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR $125.50 FOR EXPENSES SAID TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE RELOCATION, INCLUDING $55 FOR TRANSPORTATION, $8 FOR TELEPHONE INSTALLATION, $7.84 FOR MATERIALS REQUIRED FOR NEW WATER AND ELECTRIC HOOK-UPS, AND $54.66 FOR TRAILER REPAIRS (CONVERSION FROM LP TO NATURAL GAS).

IT APPEARS TO BE THE MEMBER'S OPINION THAT SINCE UNTIL ORDERED TO LEAVE THERE HE RESIDED AT AN APPROVED TRAILER COURT SATISFACTORY TO HIM, THE CLAIMED EXPENSES RESULT FROM HIS OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS AND, THEREFORE, HE SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THEM.

YOU ASK WHETHER THERE IS AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM. FORWARDING YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION, THE CHIEF, PAY AND TRAVEL DIVISION, DIRECTORATE OF ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE, HEADQUARTERS STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND, INDICATES THAT WHILE HE IS AWARE OF NO PROVISION FOR MOVEMENT OF A HOUSETRAILER FROM ONE TRAILER COURT TO ANOTHER COURT IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE IN ORDER SINCE RELOCATION WAS NOT BY THE MEMBER'S CHOICE BUT RESULTED FROM ORDERS OF HIS COMMANDING OFFICER.

SECTION 406, TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, PROVIDES THAT A MEMBER OF A UNIFOMED SERVICE WHO IS ORDERED TO MAKE A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR. SECTION 409, OF THE SAME TITLE, INDICATES THAT UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED AND IN PLACE OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OR PAYMENT OF A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE, A MEMBER OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO SUCH TRANSPORTATION, UNDER SECTION 406 MAY TRANSPORT A HOUSETRAILER OR MOBILE DWELLING WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, ALASKA, OR BETWEEN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND ALASKA. ACCORDINGLY, PARAGRAPH M10002-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS LIMITS TRAILER ALLOWANCES TO MEMBERS OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, PROVIDING CERTAIN OTHER CONDITIONS EXIST.

CONSEQUENTLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF A CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, NO TRAILER ALLOWANCES ARE PAYABLE. SERGEANT GREGORY SERVED AT ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE BOTH PRIOR AND SUBSEQUENT TO THE RELOCATION OF HIS HOUSETRAILER; AS THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE IN HIS ASSIGNMENT THERE IS NO ENTITLEMENT TO TRAILER ALLOWANCES.

AIR FORCE REGULATION 125-11, MARCH 12, 1965(ARMY REGULATION 15-3, DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY REGULATION 5725.1, BUREAU OF PERSONNEL INSTRUCTION 1620.4, MARINE CORPS ORDER 1620.1, COMMANDANT INSTRUCTION 1620.1), IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE OCCURRENCES DESCRIBED, PRESCRIBES UNIFORM POLICIES AND PROCEDURES AND PROVIDES GUIDELINES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT, OPERATION, AND COORDINATION OF AFDCB ACTIVITIES FOR THE ELIMINATION OF CONDITIONS INIMICAL TO THE HEALTH, MORALS, AND WELFARE OF ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL. THE REGULATION STATES THAT "OFF-LIMITS" ESTABLISHMENTS OR AREAS ARE DESIGNATED BY COMMANDERS TO ASSIST IN MAINTAINING DISCIPLINE AND SAFEGUARDING THE HEALTH, MORALS, AND WELFARE OF MILITARY PERSONNEL (PAR. 9A). ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL ARE PROHIBITED FROM ENTERING "OFF-LIMITS" ESTABLISHMENTS OR AREAS (PAR. 9B).

THE COMMANDER OF ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE BY ISSUING THE "OFF-LIMITS" ORDER TO RESIDENTS OF THE VILLA TRAILER COURT IN EFFECT REQUIRED SERGEANT GREGORY TO REMOVE HIS HOUSETRAILER FROM THE PREVIOUSLY APPROVED TRAILER PARK. NECESSARILY, IN MAKING THE TRAILER READY FOR TRANSPORTATION, MOVING IT TO ANOTHER LOCATION, AND INSTALLING IT AT THE NEW SITE SO IT COULD BE OCCUPIED AS A DWELLING, HE INCURRED EXPENSES FOR GOODS AND SERVICES WHICH WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REQUIRED IN THE ABSENCE OF THE REMOVAL ORDER.

AS SUCH COSTS WERE INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE BASE COMMANDER'S EXERCISE OF HIS AUTHORITY IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, THEY MAY BE PAID AS INCIDENT TO THE OPERATION OF THAT FACILITY AND CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, AIR FORCE. SINCE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES SERGEANT GREGORY HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO PAY THE REQUIRED COSTS FROM PERSONAL FUNDS, HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE NECESSARY EXPENDITURES. SEE 51 COMP. GEN. 12(1971), COPY ENCLOSED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND IF OTHERWISE PROPER, PAYMENT MAY BE MADE ON THE BASIS INDICATED.