B-231956, Dec 6, 1988

B-231956: Dec 6, 1988

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A member of the Armed Forces who is stationed in the continental United States but whose home of record is outside the continental United States is entitled to travel at government expense only on the portion of his trip between the nearest international airport which provides a direct flight overseas and his emergency leave site. Ulloa - Emergency Leave Travel: Your file Z-2865434 is returned. This is in response to the Army's appeal of a Claims Group settlement which approved the reimbursement of CW2 Frank C. Whose home of record is Guam. Was stationed at Ft. When he and his family were authorized to travel to Guam on emergency leave by Order 180-61 dated September 17. He was provided with tickets for himself and his family for travel from Los Angeles.

B-231956, Dec 6, 1988

MILITARY PERSONNEL - Travel - Emergencies - Commercial carriers - Travel expenses - Reimbursement DIGEST: In case of emergency leave, a member of the Armed Forces who is stationed in the continental United States but whose home of record is outside the continental United States is entitled to travel at government expense only on the portion of his trip between the nearest international airport which provides a direct flight overseas and his emergency leave site.

CW2 Frank C. Ulloa - Emergency Leave Travel:

Your file Z-2865434 is returned. This is in response to the Army's appeal of a Claims Group settlement which approved the reimbursement of CW2 Frank C. Ulloa for plane tickets he purchased while on emergency leave. For the reasons stated below, his claim should be denied.

CW2 Ulloa, whose home of record is Guam, was stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas, when he and his family were authorized to travel to Guam on emergency leave by Order 180-61 dated September 17, 1986. He was provided with tickets for himself and his family for travel from Los Angeles, California, to Guam and return. His orders stated that his travel within the United States was not to be at government expense. He purchased tickets for flights from El Paso, Texas, to Los Angeles and return and seeks reimbursement for that expense.

Under the authority of 37 U.S.C. Sec. 411d (b)(2) (Supp II 1985), in case of emergency leave a member of the Armed Forces who is stationed in the continental United States but whose domicile is outside the continental United States is entitled to transportation at government expense from the international airport nearest his permanent duty station to the international airport nearest his emergency leave site.

Paragraphs M5800 and M7301 of Volume 1 of the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) provide that round trip commercial transportation may be provided to a member and the member's dependents incident to the granting of certain emergency leave when the member and dependents have to travel from a point outside the United States to an emergency leave site in the United States. Additionally, a member and his dependents stationed inside the United States who have a domicile outside the United States may be granted round trip commercial transportation to the leave site outside the United States. In the case of a member stationed inside the United States the transportation is provided from the international airport nearest the member's location at the time of notification or the international airport nearest his duty station to the international airport nearest the emergency leave site and return. 1 JTR para. M5800-4 and 1 JTR M7301 (4).

Due to misunderstandings over the term "international airport", the Deputy Chief of Staff of Personnel, Deputy Chief of Staff of Logistics, and Military Personnel Center issued a joint message in July 1985 which clarified that term. For a member on emergency leave, the message stated that "international airport" referred to the airport at which he "clears customs and or boards a flight directly to the overseas area." The term was further clarified in March 1986 by the Per Diem Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee. The committee's message stated that "international airport" referred to the "closest international airport which provides a flight directly (non-stop) to an overseas area." order for the government to be responsible for providing transportation, according to the message, the flight cannot make any further stops within the continental United States after the member boards.

Army Regulation 630-5 reflects the above regulations. Appendix C of 630- 5 defines "international airport" in the same way as the above messages. A chart in appendix C which describes a member in CW2 Ulloa's situation breaks down emergency leave travel expenses into the segments which are to be at government expense and those for which the service member is responsible. Since the airport nearest to Ft. Bliss which provides direct flights to Guam is Los Angeles, the government is responsible only for that part of CW2 Ulloa's trip from Los Angeles to Guam and return.

When the Army provided tickets for CW2 Ulloa and his family from Los Angeles to Guam and back, it provided the maximum travel benefit to which he was entitled. Travel within the United States was his responsibility. Accordingly, his claim should be denied.

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