B-124858, NOV 21, 1955

B-124858: Nov 21, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Shirley Jones
(202) 512-8156
jonessa@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: THERE ARE BEING ENCOUNTERED MANY QUESTIONABLE PER DIEM PAYMENTS TO PERSONNEL OF THE AIR FORCE FOR TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS WHICH INDICATE THAT THE DUTY PERFORMED MAY REASONABLY BE REGARDED AS MANEUVERS. REPEATED EFFORTS TO RESOLVE THE INTENT OF SUCH ORDERS HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL DUE TO CONFLICTING VIEWS AS TO THE TYPES OF AIR FORCE OPERATIONS WHICH SHOULD BE PROPERLY REGARDED AS MANEUVERS OR SIMILAR ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE DEFINITION CITED BELOW. PARAGRAPHS 4201-6 AND 4250-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT PER DIEM ALLOWANCES ARE NOT PAYABLE FOR PERIODS OF FIELD DUTY. SIMULATED WAR GAMES AND OTHER SIMILAR ACTIVITIES IF BOTH RATIONS IN KIND (INCLUDING FIELD RATIONS) AND QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE.

B-124858, NOV 21, 1955

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

THERE ARE BEING ENCOUNTERED MANY QUESTIONABLE PER DIEM PAYMENTS TO PERSONNEL OF THE AIR FORCE FOR TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS WHICH INDICATE THAT THE DUTY PERFORMED MAY REASONABLY BE REGARDED AS MANEUVERS, SIMULATED WAR GAMES OR SIMILAR ACTIVITIES. REPEATED EFFORTS TO RESOLVE THE INTENT OF SUCH ORDERS HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL DUE TO CONFLICTING VIEWS AS TO THE TYPES OF AIR FORCE OPERATIONS WHICH SHOULD BE PROPERLY REGARDED AS MANEUVERS OR SIMILAR ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE DEFINITION CITED BELOW.

PARAGRAPHS 4201-6 AND 4250-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT PER DIEM ALLOWANCES ARE NOT PAYABLE FOR PERIODS OF FIELD DUTY, INCLUDING MANEUVERS, FIELD EXERCISES, SIMULATED WAR GAMES AND OTHER SIMILAR ACTIVITIES IF BOTH RATIONS IN KIND (INCLUDING FIELD RATIONS) AND QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE, EVEN THOUGH SUCH FACILITIES ARE NOT UTILIZED.

THE WORD "MANEUVER" IS DEFINED IN THE DICTIONARY OF UNITED STATES MILITARY TERMS, AIR FORCE PHAMPHLET 5-1-1, DATED APRIL 1953 AS (1) A MOVEMENT TO PLACE SHIPS, TROOPS, MATERIAL, OR FIRE IN A BETTER LOCATION WITH RESPECT TO THE ENEMY, AND (2) A TACTICAL EXERCISE CARRIED OUT AT SEA, IN THE AIR, ON THE GROUND, OR ON A MAP IN IMITATION OF WAR.

IN JUSTIFYING A REQUEST TO THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, FOR $1,480,000 TO FINANCE 61 AIR COMBAT MANEUVERS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1954, AN AIR FORCE REPRESENTATIVE REFERRED TO THE SUBJECT AS FOLLOWS:

"THIS ACTIVITY CONSISTS OF MANEUVERS AND EXERCISES DESIGNED TO TEST AND EVALUATE THE READINESS AND COMBAT CAPABILITIES OF OPERATIONAL UNITS, INCLUDING THE PROVISION OF TACTICAL SUPPORT FOR GROUND TROOP OPERATIONS, AND TROOP CARRIER AND AIR RESUPPLY OPERATIONS UNDER FIELD CONDITIONS SIMULATING THOSE WHICH WOULD BE ENCOUNTERED IN COMBAT." (PAGE 1776, PART 2, SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS ON H.R. 5969, 83D CONGRESS.)

THE COMMANDER, STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND, RECOMMENDED A NEW DEFINITION OF THE WORD "MANEUVER" IN SUBSTANTIATION OF HIS VIEWS THAT REIMBURSEMENT FOR PER DIEM MUST BE PREDICATED ON CONDITIONS GENERATED BY THE TYPE OF MISSION RATHER THAN ON ADMINISTRATIVE DEFINITIONS WHICH ARE OBSOLETE BECAUSE OF THE ADVANCEMENT IN CONCEPT IN AIR OPERATIONS. (SEE PARAGRAPH 4, PAGE 29 OF UNDATED PUBLICATION BY INFORMATION DIVISION, HEADQUARTERS, STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND, ENTITLED "BACKGROUND OF SAC.")

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AIR FORCE CONTEND THAT ANY AIR FORCE OPERATIONS WHICH DO NOT INVOLVE AIR SUPPORT OF TACTICAL UNITS OF OTHER SERVICES AT A PREDETERMINED GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION SHOULD NOT BE REGARDED AS MANEUVERS, SIMULATED WAR GAMES, OR SIMILAR ACTIVITIES, BUT RATHER AS NOTHING MORE THAN TRAINING MISSIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF TESTING AND EVALUATING THE PROFICIENCY OF PERSONNEL AND EQUIPMENT. DUE TO THE PRESENT CONCEPT OF AIRCRAFT AS AN IMPLEMENT OF COMBAT, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT ANY AIR OPERATIONS CONDUCTED UNDER SIMULATED COMBAT CONDITIONS, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE OPERATIONS INVOLVE AIR SUPPORT OF TACTICAL UNITS OF OTHER SERVICES WITHIN A DEFINITE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA, SHOULD BE REGARDED AS MANEUVERS OR SIMILAR ACTIVITIES IF BOTH MEALS AND QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE OR COULD BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PARTICIPATING PERSONNEL.

THE CORRESPONDENCE DESCRIBED BELOW ILLUSTRATES THE OPERATIONS WHICH APPEAR TO HAVE ALL THE ASPECTS OF MANEUVERS:

OUR LETTERS OF AUGUST 25 AND DECEMBER 1, 1954, TO THE COMMANDERS OF LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, AND HEADQUARTERS, ASORES AIR TRANSPORT STATION, APO 406, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, RESPECTIVELY, AND REPLIES THERETO RELATE TO TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED BY HEADQUARTERS, 801ST AIR DIVISION (SAC), LOCKBOURNE AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO. THESE ORDERS DIRECT CERTAIN MEMBERS TO PROCEED TO VARIOUS LOCATIONS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF "TESTING DEPLOYMENT PROCEDURES IN CONJUNCTION WITH 'OPERATION LONG STRIDE' AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPLYING WITH OPERATION ORDER NO. 39A-53, 91ST STRATEGIC RECONNAISSANCE WING." THE ORDERS CITE STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND OPERATION ORDERS NOS. 39-53 AND 39A-53 AS AUTHORITY FOR THE DUTY TO BE PERFORMED. THE REPLY DATED NOVEMBER 4, 1954, TO OUR LETTER OF AUGUST 25, 1954, STATES THAT THE DUTY DIRECTED WAS ROUTINE TEMPORARY DUTY TO PROVIDE AIR REFUELING SUPPORT FOR ANOTHER AIR UNIT PERFORMING A NORMAL DEPLOYMENT. INFORMATION AS TO WHETHER MEALS AND QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE WAS NOT FURNISHED. DEDUCTIONS MADE ON VOUCHERS COVERING PER DIEM PAYMENTS UNDER THE ORDERS, HOWEVER, INDICATE THAT BOTH MEALS AND QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE AT GOOSEBAY, LABRADOR. HOWEVER, FROM WHAT WAS STATED IN THE REPLY DATED DECEMBER 16, 1954, TO OUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 1, 1954, IT SEEMS THAT BOTH MEALS AND QUARTERS WOULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR MEMBERS ON DUTY AT IAJES AIR FORCE BASE, ASORES, HAD THE OPERATION BEEN REGARDED AS A MANEUVER.

THE ORDERS REFERRED TO IN OUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 6, 1954, TO THE COMMANDER, FINANCE STATION 330, APO 845, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND REPLY THERETO, DIRECT VARIOUS MEMBERS TO PROCEED FROM LIMESTONE AIR FORCE BASE, MAINE, TO RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE, PUERTO RICO, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUPPORT OF SAC OPERATION "FULL HOUSE" AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTICIPATING IN OPERATION "FULL HOUSE." NOTATION ON THESE ORDERS INDICATE THAT FUNDS RESERVED FOR SAC CBOE OPERATION PLAN 50-1, DATED APRIL 22, 1954, SHOULD BE USED TO DEFRAY THE COST OF THE OPERATION. CERTIFICATES ATTACHED TO VOUCHERS COVERING PER DIEM PAYMENTS UNDER THESE ORDERS INDICATE THAT ALL MEALS, INCLUDING IN-FLIGHT LUNCHES, WERE AVAILABLE TO ENLISTED PERSONNEL AND THAT QUARTERS WERE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES TO BOTH OFFICERS AND AIRMEN, EXCEPT ON NIGHTS WHEN THEY WERE ACTUALLY IN FLIGHT. ALTHOUGH IT WAS STATED IN THE REPLY DATED DECEMBER 21, 1954, THAT MESSING FACILITIES WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE FOR OFFICERS, IT IS PRESUMED THAT IN -FLIGHT MEALS COULD HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE HAD THE OPERATION BEEN REGARDED AS A MANEUVER. INFORMAL ADVICE FURNISHED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AIR FORCE FINANCE CENTER IS THAT OPERATION "FULL HOUSE" WAS NOT REGARDED AS A MANEUVER OR SIMILAR ACTIVITY.

THE CONTENTION THAT THESE AND SIMILAR SAC OPERATIONS ARE NOT MANEUVERS OR SIMILAR ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE INTENT AND PURPOSE OF PARAGRAPH 4201-6 AND 4250-3 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS APPEARS TO BE INCONSISTENT WITH OTHER FACTORS. THE MOST NOTICEABLE OF THESE IS THE FACT THAT THE LETTER ORDERS HEREIN PRESENTED STEM DIRECTLY FROM AN OPERATION ORDER ISSUED BY A HIGHER HEADQUARTERS WHICH, AS FAR AS CAN BE DETERMINED, ARE NOT USED FOR ROUTINE TRAINING MISSIONS. THE PURPOSE OF AN OPERATION ORDER AS SET FORTH IN CHAPTER NO. 1, PARAGRAPH 2 OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 30-3 IS AS FOLLOWS:

"2. OPERATION ORDER. OPERATION ORDERS, FORMERLY KNOWN AS COMBAT ORDERS, ARE THE FORMAL STATEMENTS OF A COMMANDER GIVING HIS INTENTIONS AND THE NECESSARY INSTRUCTIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING THEM. THESE ORDERS NORMALLY ARE PUBLISHED TO DIRECT PARTICIPATION IN COMBAT TRAINING MANEUVERS AND ON COMBAT MISSIONS. THEY STATE THE SITUATION, ANNOUNCE THE DECISION AND PLAN OF THE COMMANDER, AND ASSIGN TASKS TO SUBORDINATE TACTICAL UNITS. THE INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS THEY CONTAIN ARE NECESSARY TO THE TACTICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS OF THE ENTIRE COMMAND AND OF EACH TACTICAL UNIT AND REGULATE THE TACTICAL ACTIONS AND OPERATIONS OF THE COMMAND."

FROM THE CONTRACTS AND DISCUSSIONS OF OUR AIR FORCE AUDIT BRANCH, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THERE IS A DEFINITE UNDERLYING FACTOR WHICH FORMS THE BASIS FOR THE AIR FORCE'S MILITANT OBJECTION TO HAVING SAC OPERATIONS REGARDED AS MANEUVERS. SUCH FACTOR APPEARS TO BE THE ADMINISTRATIVE INTENT TO USE PER DIEM AS A MEANS OF INDUCING QUALIFIED PERSONNEL TO REMAIN IN THE SERVICE. ILLUSTRATIVE OF THIS VIEWPOINT IS A STATEMENT BY THE COMMANDER OF MARCH AIR FORCE BASE, THAT A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF SAC AIRMEN DO NOT REENLIST BECAUSE THE PRESENT RATE OF PAY ESTABLISHED FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED SERVICES IS INADEQUATE FOR THE CALIBER OF PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO SAC AND THAT THE LOSS OF PER DIEM FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT A PLACE WHERE BOTH MEALS AND QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE HAS A SERIOUS IMPACT UPON THE MORALE OF AIRMEN WHO HAVE COME TO REGARD SUCH PER DIEM AS A PERMANENT PART OF THEIR MONTHLY PAY AND HAVE PLANNED THEIR FAMILY BUDGETS AND OBLIGATED THEMSELVES ACCORDINGLY. (SEE PARAGRAPH 3, PAGES 10 TO 14, OF AN UNDATED PUBLICATION BY THE INFORMATION DIVISION, HEADQUARTERS, STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND, ENTITLED "BACKGROUND OF SAC.")

WHILE IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT THE AIR FORCE HAS AN UNUSUAL PERSONNEL PROBLEM, ITS ALLEVIATION CANNOT CONSCIONABLY LIE IN PAYMENTS OF TRAVEL PER DIEM IN CIRCUMSTANCES NOT ENTITLING THE PERSONNEL TO SUCH PAYMENTS. PER DIEM IS A REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED, RATHER THAN A MEANS ENHANCING A PERSON'S INCOME.

AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR VIEWS AS TO WHY THE AIR OPERATIONS HEREIN DISCUSSED SHOULD NOT BE REGARDED AS MANEUVERS OR SIMILAR ACTIVITIES WILL BE APPRECIATED.

Nov 25, 2020

Nov 24, 2020

Nov 20, 2020

Nov 19, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here