FEBRUARY 10, 2020 – As members of the North Carolina Air National Guard draw closer towards the end of the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft conversion, one phrase seems to echo throughout the local military community; Space A Travel.
Space A (Availability) Travel is permitted travel aboard U.S. Military aircraft for military members and possibly their dependents, on or off duty, when excess capability allows.
“Currently there is no Space A due to the conversion and construction,” said Senior Master Sgt. Raymond Graves III, 145th Airlift Wing air transportation superintendent, “There’s no safe way to process passengers in the current infrastructure.”
As the conversion began in 2017, the news traveled fast that Space A travel would be a possibility. The base has received an influx of calls and emails regarding the availability of such a program.
“I believe with the current population, within a 100 mile radius of the base, our Space A Travel program will be one of the busiest in the Air National Guard,” said Senior Master Sgt. Graves III.
The projected completion time-frame for the Space A Travel program is Summer of 2021.
Space A Travel isn’t for everyone and it’s not always a guarantee.
“In the past, Space A flights could be ‘out and back’ trips. Now, with our change in mission, they’re mainly driven from Air Mobility Command tasking and requirements which means we will go to different locations that we’ve never been able to reach stateside/non-stateside,” Said Senior Master Sgt. Graves III. “The members flying Space A will need to be aware that they will have to compete for return seats via the Air Mobility Command system.”
Currently, members of the active, guard, and reserve armed forces can fly through the Space A Travel program provided they have the proper documentation which includes but is not limited to the following; common access card, Department of Defense Form 1853, and an Air Mobility Command Form 140.
Retired military members may also fly through the Space A Travel program with a common access card and and an Air Mobility Command Form 140, which, are only good for 60 days from the date of turn in.
The North Carolina Air National Guard is currently working on a Space A Facebook page as well as an informational phone number to call once the project is near completion. The current e-mail for Space A Travel through the 145th Airlift Wing is firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I believe the Space A Program will have a huge, positive impact for the retiree community,” said Senior Master Sgt. Graves III, “I believe this will also be a positive impact for the 145th Airlift Wing, as we can give back to the ‘Ones who have served before us’.”
For more information regarding the Space A Travel Program, please click the link below.
Story by Staff Sgt. Laura Montgomery
145th Airlift Wing, Public Affairs North Carolina Air National Guard