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My wife and I are finally planning our honeymoon to Europe after putting it off for over 2 years. I have heard of hopping on a C17 out of charleston but but other options are there? What are the ins and outs of it? Our leave starts 9 Aug.. is it realistic that we would be able to hop on space a that day?

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I am by no means an expert, but I have traveled Space-A a few times. From what I learned, never count on getting to go anywhere on any given day. A friend and I took a hop to CA from Offutt a few years ago, found an outgoing flight our first try, getting back was another story, took us almost a week and still had to buy a comm. ticket from Scott to Omaha. The only fairly sure flights are Medivac flights, and those are only sure for the start and end destination for each day. Make sure you have lots of time planned to get back. Buy those Space-A travel help books, call ahead to the bases and ask the guys running the PAX how likely they think it is to get hops going where you want. As soon as you get into a base, register yourself at the PAX to get as early of a date as possible to help make sure you get a seat coming back. Most of all, be flexiable and enjoy being wherever you are. If you do, you'll have a great time, if not, you'll always be frustrated because things will not work as planned. Flights will be canceled and you'll have problems, so just have fun wherever you are while you're waiting.

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Also ditto ENJJPT2B. I've never used Space A, but my wife has used it three times from England to the States. She's only been denied once trying to go there (got her flight the next week), but twice coming back she couldn't get a flight. It wouldn't have been a huge deal except that they can't tell you whether you'll have a seat until the day of and you must physically be in the airport for them to tell you - which was a five hour drive from where she was. Both times she ended up trying one more time, then buying a commercial ticket.

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Chicken

Try this site: http://spacea.info/

It is not a military site, but it does link to the official sites of the major hubs here in Europe (Ramstein, Rhine-Main and Mildenhall) and has best gouge you'll find for Space-A.

Also heed the advice above, it is all good. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. I am on my fourth European assignment, and am currently in Belgium at SHAPE (NATO). I also was born in Germany and grew up in Europe as a kid. I can provide lots of free advice, but you get what you pay for! (just kidding!).

Cheers! M2

[ 31. March 2004, 00:11: Message edited by: MajorMadMax ]

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Guest C-21 Pilot

Take a look at this website, it should answer all of your questions.

www.military.com/Travel/TravelPrivelages/0,13396,,0.html

After clicking the link, it may not direct you to the right spot.

If so, go to www.military.com

1.) Go to the "TRAVEL" tab up on top

2.) Middle of page, click on "FLY VIRTUALLY FOR FREE"

Hope that helps

[ 15. July 2004, 13:34: Message edited by: C-21 Pilot ]

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Guest skipplet

Is it hard to get onto a space-a flight if you're in ROTC?

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If you are contracted, you are allowed. all you need is a military ID and a paper from your Det that says you're "on leave". Of course you don't get leave, but it's just a paper you need. You will be the lowest priority for getting seats, but the same catagory as the majority of passangers. There are a few good books out there you should get before trying it, it can be a little tricky sometimes (also some good websites- just do a google search). I did it twice as a cadet, it was a blast both times, just make sure you have some extra money (and time) in case you get stuck somewhere.

[ 02. September 2004, 22:46: Message edited by: ENJJPT2B ]

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Guest C-21 Pilot

For further information, look for the DOD 4515.13-R, which is the Air Transportation Regulation, which defines who's eligible for Space-A travel.

I know for a fact that ROTC cadets can travel and like the other guy said, you'll be priority 6 (lowest), but I'm almost positive that you can only travel during the summer months when there is no school in session AND you PAS signs a travel letter.

Again, look for the reg on line. It'll define what paperwork you need as well.

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Guest HueyPilot

I've done Space-A twice. First time was great, but it was a simple hop (MXF-BLV on a C-12). Second time was a horror story, but wasn't really due to the USAF.

Before I get long-winded, here's the moral of the story: Never ever show up to an AMC port hoping to get to Germany, with a 10-day travel window, the day before a tropical storm hits the base.

My wife and I left the kids at my mom's house, as she could watch them for a little over a week while we went on vacation. The idea was to drive to Dover so we could get a direct flight to Ramstein. I checked SMS (a TRANSCOM program that shows flights scheduled) and DOV was averaging about 2-3 flights a day to ETAR (Ramstein), most of which were C-5s that can carry 70-some odd pax.

I had a friend who did this earlier in the year and he spent 12 hours waiting in the terminal...not bad. I got there on a Saturday, and the base was closed...not just the AMC terminal, but the BASE. A tropical storm was headed for Dover. All the Freds had been evacuated, and all flights were stopped. That night the storm passed, and all it really did was rain and some light gusting winds.

Next day around noon, the pax terminal opens. Great. I go in, and check in, and ask when the next flight to ETAR is. Sometime around 6-7pm...a C-141 from Wright-Pat. Great. I then find out that a C-5 that was outbound the day before broke, stranding 70 pax, all of whom were ahead of me on the list.

No Fred flights until 1AM, as they were still away at the evac airfields. There were two Fred flights that night...one at 1AM, the other at 3AM. Aside from that, there was a C-17 inbound for ETAR, and another C-141 around 9pm as well.

My plan was to be in Germany by Tuesday, so we could visit for a few days and get back to the terminal by Friday. Things got interesting...the C-141 landed, and released zero seats. Weird.

The C-17 landed and released zero seats because the deployed C-17 unit was doing a crew swapout...there were about 30 or so flight suits on that jet. The next C-141 landed...again, no seats released. I went up and asked the terminal guys to ask the crew why two C-141s from the same unit didn't have ANY seats to release. He called, and the crew said they were full with Space-A pax from Wright-Pat.

Being an OSA guy, I was mad because we ALWAYS had to download the Space-A pax and bring them to the terminal to be re-manifested for the next leg. Now these clowns can just sit on the jet on the ramp and bypass all that?

Anyways, there was still the two C-5s, and both had 70-something seats tenative. By midnight, we were getting excited because it looked like my wife and I might get on that jet, considering some of the previous planeload that broke had left and flown commercial. Then they announced that the C-5 mission had slipped 24 hours. Ok, no getting upset yet...there's another one at 0300. Around 130 AM, they announce the 0300 jet had also slipped 24 hours.

And the only flight to ETAR on Monday prior to the midnight C-5 misisons was another freaking C-141 from Wright-Pat. So, best case, we'd get on Fred around 0100 on Tuesday, it's an 8 hour flight, that's 0900, and then you have a 5 hour time change, so that's 1400 in Germany. And that's assuming the next jet doesn't break.

So at that point we gave up, got a room and spent our vacation around the DC/Annapolis/Baltimore area.

Like I said, avoid the mix of USAF bases and tropical storms. That alone cost us about a day and a half of waiting.

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Guest 62E

Went to Japan in August this year from LAX. Pretty easy, no problems whatsoever. One stop up in Seattle and then on to Yakota. Spent a week and half exploring Tokyo and the coast with a buddy and had a blast...even got to climb Mt. Fuji.....The flight there and back was on a commerical ATA jet too! I guess the USAF buys a certain amount of commerical flights from carriers...

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I was reading the Space A website today, and need clarification...

from the website

http://public.amc.af.mil/Library/SPACEA/24....htm#Categories

Category 5 – Permissive TDY (Non-House Hunting) Students, Command Sponsored Dependents.

Dependents (children) 18-23 years of age blah blah blah

Command-sponsored dependents stationed overseas with their sponsor are permitted to travel unaccompanied to and from the nearest overseas military academy testing site blah blah blah

Command-sponsored dependents of Uniformed Services members accompanied or unaccompanied who are stationed overseas

I have a friend who is in Guam on an unaccompanied remote. His wife would like to fly out Space A to see him. Is she considered a command sponsored dependent?

I was always under the impression that a command sponsored dependent was one who accompanied the member to the overseas location

Thanks for the help

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I was under that impression as well, but the website makes it sound otherwise. My wife took Space A travel several times from our base in England back to the states (a little different because she was with me), but she had to get a command-sponsored letter from the commander each time saying she was authorized to travel Space A. The orderly room folks type the letter up, so tell your friend to ask them.

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Toro, was that a command sponsored letter or EML orders your wife had to get?...two different things. If it was an accompanied tour then she should have been able to use Space A without authorization. Command sponsorship is on your original orders sending you somewhere, if his wife is command sponsored then she should be on his orders to Guam, although I doubt she would be if it was a remote tour. EML orders just bump you up to CAT 2 with sponsor, CAT 3 without...at least I think thats right. It's been awhile since I've traveled Space A

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EML (Enviromental Morale Leave) orders are given when you are at an overseas location...that being said, some places considered overseas don't have EML orders...I believe Alaska is one of them. EML orders are given in conjuction with your regular leave, you can have them typed up by your orderly room...what EML orders do is get you to a higher CAT for Space A when traveling FROM an overseas location...not TO an overseas location, although when traveling back overseas you can sign up Space A at the higher CAT that got you to the states....

SO...about your friend in Guam. His wife, if not command sponsored is considered a dependent only. If you read a little further down that website, it says:

Where and when can my family members travel with me?

Answer: Except EML, Emergency Travel, and Command Sponsored Category V, family members must be accompanied by the sponsor to fly Space A. Family members may travel to/from and between overseas locations but not within the CONUS unless manifested on domestic leg segments of international travel.

Looks like he'd have to fly back and travel with her if they wanted to use Space A.

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Originally posted by Mambo:

Toro, was that a command sponsored letter or EML orders your wife had to get?

It was command sponsored - I'd never heard of an EML before this thread. I think the letter put her on about the 4th or 5th level of ranking. With the exception of emergency leave, I doubt a dependent traveling on Space A would get bumped up to level 2 - that's the same level of official business travel.

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Guest C-21 Pilot

The regulations that govern Space-A travel is the DoD 4515.13R (Air Transportation Eligibility) and the AMCI 24-101.

DoD 4515.13R Air Transportation Eligibility

Just a few notes:

EML is given at all overseas locations except Hawaii and Alaska.

EML will get you CAT 2. If you leave a OCONUS base CAT 2, you go back CAT 2.

You are eligible for EML 6 months after arriving on station. You are not eligible for EML 6 months prior to PCS.

You are authorized 2 EML's per year, non cumulative.

You will receive EML from your Commander's Support Staff. If they have never heard of it, educate them on the above regulations.

Also, dependents are now allowed to accompany their sponsor inside the Conus on Space-A. While flying C-21's at Offutt, we flew many families from Andrews to C-Springs. This policy changed about 2 years ago on a test basis - and I don't think that website was updated.

Best bet...call the local terminal and read up oin this incentive.

[ 13. December 2004, 13:51: Message edited by: C-21 Pilot ]

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My wife has taken several trips into and out of Baltimore Washington International (BWI) from England (RAF Mildenhall). Here's some things to note (keep in mind some of these things may be USAFE specific) -

- We had to have an authorization letter from our commander - It was a blanket letter that authorized you to travel Space A. When you submitted that to the terminal, you were eligible to travel for something like six months before renewing the letter.

- The date you sign up for Space A puts you on a priority list. I don't remember the exact priority listing, but it goes something like this -

- Emergency Leave/TDY - Priority 1

- Normal TDY - Priority 2

- PCS - Priority 3

- Permissive TDY - Priority 4

- Space Available - Priority 5

You cannot 'reserve' a spot on the plane with Space A and be guaranteed a spot, you have to put your name on the list then show up the day of the flight and see if there are any seats. Due to FPCON stuff, they generally won't speculate if there will be available seats over the phone. Once you arrive, all the Priority 1-4 passengers are ticketed. After those seats are filled, they start to fill the remaining seats with Space A passengers based on how long you've been on the list. Where this can suck is if you staying in NC (like my wife was) and have to drive five hours to BWI for a Space A flight only to be told there are no seats and you'll have to try again next week. Twice she ended up buying her own commercial ticket.

- Due to all the PCS traffic in and out of BWI, it's probably one of the more difficult spots to fly Space A from. However, as PAB mentioned, BWI is nice due to the fact that the Southwest hub is there and they have inexpensive fares to get you many places in the US.

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This doesn't answer your question but I have one to add to it. Can scholarship cadets travel Space-A? I know we'd be on the bottom of the list but is it even possible or just active duty?

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This doesn't answer your question but I have one to add to it. Can scholarship cadets travel Space-A? I know we'd be on the bottom of the list but is it even possible or just active duty?

Google is your friend, looking the regulation up yourself is usually far quicker and sometimes more accurate than asking a cadre member when looking for a basic overview of a program. Read Chapter 5 in AFROTCI 36-2012 for a basic explanation of how the program works.

Edited by wev162

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Revival:

Anybody know the procedures for traveling Space A while awaiting EAD? I know as a cadet you need ID and DD Form 1853. I assume I fall under Cat 6 for reservists, and will need the DD Form 1853, but who do I get to sign it? I am technically under the control of ARPC, but my AFROTC Det still has some of my paperwork as well.

Basically I am just trying to hop an a C-17 at CHS and go somewhere...I don't really care where.

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Anybody know the procedures for traveling Space A while awaiting EAD? I know as a cadet you need ID and DD Form 1853. I assume I fall under Cat 6 for reservists, and will need the DD Form 1853, but who do I get to sign it?

This question was brought up a while back on the Pepperd forum (to search the archive and see the posted schedules you have to be a member). The short answer IIRC was your old detachment commander. If that works, definitely post back. I'll be commissioning in December and have a base about 5 minutes from my house, and would love to spend all those months waiting for EAD hopping across the country.

Reservists & cadets are stuck CONUS and American territories. The plus side to that is Hawaii, Guam, Alaska, and the Virgin Islands are included in that. I know for a fact CHS and McEntire go to St. Croix all the time (PM me for details).

Also, make sure you sign up at other bases so you can get back home. http://www.takeahop.com/signup/ makes it real easy. Just put down a whole ton of bases (you can do the process more then once since the site just emails your info to the respective AMC terminals) to keep your options open. Have fun and as always PIREPS/SITREPs are appreciated..

Edited by tomh220

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Damn this is getting frustrating.

I have been told by ARPC that AFPC should sign the Form. AFPC says my gaining unit at Columbus should sign it. Charleston Passenger Terminal says they aren't sure if I am allowed to fly Space A. I was also told by one Amn that all I need is my orders with my RNLTD and an ID.

Well, I guess I am going to keep calling, I will let you guys know what the real story is if I ever get anywhere.

EDIT:

Apparently I'm partially retarded, I never thought to actually just search for the reg myself until now. Sure enough, here is the answer "37 VI Newly commissioned ROTC officers who are awaiting call to extended active duty. Travel is authorized within and between the CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories."

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Revival:

Anybody know the procedures for traveling Space A while awaiting EAD? I know as a cadet you need ID and DD Form 1853. I assume I fall under Cat 6 for reservists, and will need the DD Form 1853, but who do I get to sign it? I am technically under the control of ARPC, but my AFROTC Det still has some of my paperwork as well.

Basically I am just trying to hop an a C-17 at CHS and go somewhere...I don't really care where.

1) Get the 1853 signed by your Det. It doesn't have to be your CC, just a verifying official (ie: personnel NCO etc)

2) Show up to CHS with your form and military ID (cadet or 2LT reserve ID if you've already commissioned)

3) Be flexible

I flew from Charleston-Dover-Travis-Hickam on my first Space A while waiting to EAD (precommissioning). Later that year, I flew from CHS-Travis-back for a ski trip to Tahoe after commissioning but while waiting to EAD. Charleston is a great place to fly from. It used to be really good for flights but they have been sending more flights out of Dover in the last few months. Check www.pepperd.com message board (flight schedules) for fights out of Charleston and all over the world. Truly an invaluable resource. Let me know if you have any more questions and HAVE FUN! I'm jealous!

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I'm looking to try and take a trip to Europe here in a couple months. Anybody have tips on traveling Space A?

Might want to check Wright Pat in Ohio. I heard they fly C-5s out of there to east coast for P/U, then on to Germany.

If you don't want military air, then BWI or Norfolk NAS are your best bets since those are the only two spots I know of for regular AMC Rotator flights.

Check Norfolk flights here (from .mil) http://www.airtermnorva.navy.mil/Flights.htm

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