Military-A space travel is back after a 2-year hiatus for COVID-19

After more than two years of a COVID-19 pandemic-induced hiatus on available space travel, Defense officials have brought the advantage back.

Space-A allows eligible travelers to travel on military aircraft or under military contract at little or no cost – space permitting.

On Friday, Defense officials issued a memo to the services and the U.S. Transportation Command, lifting all restrictions. The limitations were imposed on Space-A travel on March 21, 2020, to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

This reopening allows Space-A to travel on military aircraft and under contract with the DoD for uniformed service members, retirees, dependents and reservists to travel in and out of the continental United States.

Travel and COVID-19 requirements change frequently and depend on the country of travel. Health screening protocols may still apply to travelers going abroad. Those traveling to a foreign country should check the testing requirements in the Overseas Electronic Clearance Guide.

Although a federal judge overturned the mask mandate for air travel, TRANSCOM ordered the mask requirement to continue until a policy change is received from defense officials, according to the site. Air Mobility Command website.

AMC-operated terminals, units and passenger terminals were to begin accepting eligible Space-A travelers beginning Friday, and units are expected to continue training and other measures to build capacity , according to a memo from Air Mobility Command officials.

Units and passenger terminals are advised to take the necessary measures based on the capacity assessment, to restore full service by May 13.

Travelers should always be flexible, as there is no guarantee that a seat will be available to or from a destination. DoD regulations define the requirements for which passengers have priority.

For more information, including Space-A terminal locations, visit https://www.amc.af.mil/AMC-Travel-Site/. Information is also available at militaryonesource.mil.

In related news, temporary Patriot Express flights will begin operating from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington to Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan, from May 16 to September 30, AMC officials announced. .

The additional government-contracted flights meet increased airlift requirements to support U.S. Forces Japan and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, officials said.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for over 30 years, and co-authored a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book “A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families”. She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Florida and Athens, Ga.