Fort Sill, Okla. - Did you know, although many military and Department of the Army civilians travel on official business, not everyone is aware of the military air flight option.
Let's say you were just notified that your commander will be traveling to Fort Leavenworth, Kan. in two weeks to attend a conference.
Your first course of action is to check airline flight schedules and determine which schedules and flight costs meet DoD contract standards. You take into consideration that to fly commercially, the commander will drive his or her personal vehicle to the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport, check in and undergo luggage and personnel screening prior to boarding a flight bound for the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
After arrival, the commander will then travel to a different terminal via the Skylink transportation system and board another aircraft bound for Kansas City Mo. International Airport.
Upon further investigation, you learn that commercial airline service isn't available at Sherman Army Airfield at Fort Leavenworth. Therefore, once the commander arrives at Kansas City, he or she will rent a vehicle and drive to Fort Leavenworth, about 20 miles away or a 30-minute drive. The trip back to Fort Sill will be in the reverse order.
One of your co-workers mentioned MILAIR flights and you discover that militaryaircraft can operate into Fort Leavenworth. You soon learn that a Joint Air Logistics Information System validator is located at Fort Sill's Henry Post Army Airfield.
After contacting the Fort Sill JALIS validator, you discover that operational airlift missions are requested through unit authorizing officials, passed to the local installation validators for approval, then forwarded to the Operational Support Airlift Agency. After requests are checked and screened at OSAA, they are electronically forwarded to DoD's Joint Operational Support Airlift Center at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The JOSAC centrally schedules Operational Support Airlift requests and then assigns these as MILAIR missions to separate DoD services for execution.
The DD Form 2768, Military Air Passenger/Cargo Request, is used to request official travel for military and DoD civilian personnel. After receiving a properly completed DD Form 2768, the local installation JALIS validator uses a computer program to input the MILAIR request into JALIS. If a military aircraft and crew is available, the MILAIR mission will be assigned and notification will be sent to the individuals requesting the mission. That MILAIR mission will be flown at zero cost to Fort Sill.
During Fiscal 2009, Fort Sill units saved about $146,000 by using MILAIR travel. The overall success rate for MILAIR missions submitted by Fort Sill was about 72 percent during Fiscal 2009. This figure was lower than in previous years.
Valuable time and energy can be saved by using MILAIR transportation. MILAIR passengers can travel from a military-to-military installation, bypassing commercial airports and the time consuming screening process and airport transfers.
However, there are drawbacks to MILAIR travel. Since Fort Sill no longer has a flight detachment, all aircraft must fly in from another installation. There are crew rest factors involved and many times the return leg will be flown by another unit other than the one that flew the first leg.
Rather than keep an aircraft idle at a location, the crew may be directed to continue to another destination to perform a different MILAIR mission.
Aircraft occasionally have maintenance issues and back up aircraft may or may not be available. Severe weather may also be a hindrance to a MILAIR mission. So with these issues in mind, backup commercial flight reservations/plans should always be made.
The primary factors affecting the success rate are the availability of aircraft and crews for the date and time of the MILAIR request. By remaining flexible in your arrival/departure date and time, the chances of your MILAIR request being satisfied by JOSAC are greatly increased.
The Military Air Passenger/Cargo Request, DD Form 2768, can be accessed through the Web link, http://www.apd.army.mil/. Click on "DD Forms" and locate DD 2768, which is in PDF-fillable format. The Fort Sill JALIS validator is Wayne Guffy, Henry Post Army Airfield operations officer, and can be contacted at 442-6160 or via e-mail at email@example.com.