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Old 11-26-2008, 12:26 PM
 
338 posts, read 867,332 times
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My sons will be graduating their Tech schools in Dec(18) and supposedly allowed to take leave before goin to their first duty stations. My question (since this is a first for our family) is it normal for them to be given so little time to book flights home? They tell me they havn't been able to make arrangements yet because dates they can depart are not official yet.Will they always have to make last minute arrangements to travel? And if anyone can explain the best way(at the end of the leave) for them to get to their first duty station. Can they go back to the Tech school base and leave from there or will they have to cough up the money to travel from home ?I heard the Airforce will reemburse travel but One is going to Japan so you can see why I'm concerned. Thanks for listening to a bewildered mom!
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Western Bexar County
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debvic View Post
My sons will be graduating their Tech schools in Dec(18) and supposedly allowed to take leave before goin to their first duty stations. My question (since this is a first for our family) is it normal for them to be given so little time to book flights home? They tell me they havn't been able to make arrangements yet because dates they can depart are not official yet.Will they always have to make last minute arrangements to travel? And if anyone can explain the best way(at the end of the leave) for them to get to their first duty station. Can they go back to the Tech school base and leave from there or will they have to cough up the money to travel from home ?I heard the Airforce will reemburse travel but One is going to Japan so you can see why I'm concerned. Thanks for listening to a bewildered mom!
Boy, it's been a LONG time since I was in AF Tech School. Back then (1973) the AF gives you PCS (permanent change of station) orders and with them you go to the travel section on base and they'll arrange for your trip overseas. When I went to Japan, I went out of Travis AFB, but I'm not sure if the AF still uses that base or may use a civilian airport instead. Anyway, make sure he arrives for the flight about 4 hours early or more. The AF also provides advance travel pay and per diem (food and lodging), or they can collect the money at their first duty station. Some of this might have changed since I retired 10 years ago.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:05 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
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It's been a long time for me too, but when I graduated Tech school in Texas with orders to PCS to Alaska, the Air Force made the travel arrangements and paid for the ticket to my home of record (NH) which also was my place of enlistment. I used up some leave and then flew to Alaska with my wife and kid. All arrangements, tickets, fees were covered. I do remember some guys who wanted to travel on leave to other locations prior to reporting to their assigned duty station had to make their own arrangements and pay for that. At the time travel tickets on base could be gotten through SATO (probably called something different now). Travel on orders as described before was handled through the military pay and travel branch. I can't imaging this has changed. Uncle Sam has quite a few years experience sending tens of millions of folks and their dependants all over the world.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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For your son going to Japan, the Air Force will make sure he has his flight to Japan at set before he goes on leave. He will be able to depart from his leave location. Unfortunately assignments can change right up to the last minute so that is why they wait to make up travel arrangements.
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:43 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
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When I got out of tech school in 2001 I was also headed to Japan. My home of record was Memphis, Tennessee and my tech school was Keesler AFB, MS. Anyway, my orders were very short notice and I was scrambling to try and get my arrangements made with the military to Japan so I couldn't set anything in stone until that was done. Once that is done, you have a few options:

1. Go home on leave, visit friends and family, and then go back to your tech school where transportation will be provided for you depending on how you've arranged things with the military.

or

2. Go straight from tech school to your next duty station (which doesn't seem like an option in this case).

or

3. Do what I did. I was booked to leave Biloxi, MS and catch a connecting flight to Dallas and then Seattle and then Houston and then Narita (long day of travel ) Instead, my parents picked me up at tech school, drove me back home, I celebrated my homecoming, and the day my connecting flight was supposed to leave Dallas I flew from my home to Dallas and caught the connecting flight. It cost a little extra money but it worked out rather well.
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:53 PM
 
338 posts, read 867,332 times
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Thanks for the advice, Two 19 yr olds don't communicate everything in detail! It sounds like we'll just have to wait for the next briefing before they can make any travel arrangements. But boy thats cutting it close for travel this time of year.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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Debvic, there's nothing I can add to the good info above. Unfortunately, I don't have a better answer than "The USAF does what it needs to do" And that means that sometimes members have to "jump thru the hoop" and make last-minute changes to travel plans. In the old days, you used to have to report to one of the Military Airlift Command (now called "Air Mobility Command") bases on the West or East Coast, depending on where you were going overseas. Now, it's a lot easier because you fly on charter flights from many airports across the country. So getting to their "port calls" will be a lot easier. Hope the holidays with your sons are wonderful!
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Western Bexar County
3,823 posts, read 13,347,445 times
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Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
Debvic, there's nothing I can add to the good info above. Unfortunately, I don't have a better answer than "The USAF does what it needs to do" And that means that sometimes members have to "jump thru the hoop" and make last-minute changes to travel plans. In the old days, you used to have to report to one of the Military Airlift Command (now called "Air Mobility Command") bases on the West or East Coast, depending on where you were going overseas. Now, it's a lot easier because you fly on charter flights from many airports across the country. So getting to their "port calls" will be a lot easier. Hope the holidays with your sons are wonderful!
That reminds me of my first flight overseas at Travis. The bus service from SF Airport changed from hourly to every other hour, so I had to wait and then showed up about half hour past reporting time for the flight that wouldn't take off for another 3 hours. Anyway, I had to catch the "milk run" on a C-141 the next day. Flew to Hawaii, Guam, Japan, and then finally to Okinawa. Took 24 hours in all to get there. From then on I always reported extra early for my flights.
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:35 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,415,020 times
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Reading many of the above posts I guess I was always lucky to be able to travel commercial and avoid military hops. Not that there is anything wrong with flying on a hop, but it was better in my case to leave from regular airports. It will not work for overseas PCS, but CONUS including Alaska you can also travel by POV which adds travel days to your leave enroute and can provide a cost effective way to see places in the country you may otherwise never have the chance to see. Regarding orders/assignment changes, it happened to me as well. I swaped out Biloxi (Keesler)for Elemdorf AFB and had a great adventure for myself and family. There was no hassle and all arrangements worked out well. I guess I have been very lucky and I might add also have never been bumped, had an unscheduled layover, or lost baggage in over 31 years of travel. Also want to add for military families travelling commercial, check to see if there are USO centers at the airports you will be travelling through. The facilities and folks there are really great and for layovers they provide a nice comfortable secure environment. I had occassion this summer to use the one in Charlotte, NC and was very impressed.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Living in Paradise
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Have him talk to the SATO office and see if they can provide an option. As long as the ticket is not more from the leave location this can be worked. Or you can pay the difference...just an idea....
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