Space-Available Travel (Space-A Travel)

Army National Guard: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet



Space Available (Space-A) travel allows authorized passengers to occupy Department of Defense (DoD) aircraft seats that are surplus after all Space Required (Space-R) passengers have been accommodated. Space-A travel costs nothing but is allowed only on a non-mission interference basis.

As of 9 Jun 2015, in recognition of the sustained efforts of Spouses and dependent Children of deployed military members, the Department of Defense (DoD) policy on Space-A for dependents of deployed members is being updated to reflect the recommendation of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission Recommendation Assessment. Effective immediately, dependents of military members deployed for 30 or more consecutive days are authorized to travel Space-A on DoD aircraft in Category IV. This change will be incorporated into DoD Instruction 45 15.13R, "Air Transportation Eligibility," which is currently under revision.


When not on drill or active duty status, Army National Guard Soldiers who are entitled to retired pay at age 60 (gray area retirees) may fly within the CONUS and directly within/ between the CONUS and Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa (Guam and American Samoa travelers may transit Hawaii or Alaska). Dependents are not authorized to travel Space-A with these members. However, once the retirement age of 60 is reached and member is receiving retirement pay, no distinction is made between members retired from the Reserves/Guard and members retired from active duty. Dependents of these retirees are authorized to travel Space-A when accompanied by the sponsor.

Benefit Highlights:

Space-A Travel is a privilege (not an entitlement) that accrues to Uniformed Services members as an avenue of respite from the rigors of Uniformed Services duty.

Unaccompanied Dependents of Deployed Military Members

Effective 9 Jun 2015, reservations will only be made for unaccompanied dependents of deployed military members, including Reserve and Guard personnel, when the deployment order is for at least 30 consecutive days, are authorized to travel Space-A, unaccompanied in Category IV. This includes Navy personnel assigned to a deployed ship with Permanent Change of Station orders. This authorization is only valid for the duration of the deployment period of the military member.

Space-A travel is authorized to/from Continental United States (CONUS) and Outside Continental United States (OCONUS) locations, and within/between OCONUS theatres. All travel will be on a noninterference (non-reimbursable basis).

Eligible dependents may sign-up for Space-A travel no earlier than 10 days prior to the military member's deployment. In addition, dependents are eligible to commence travel effective on the first day of the military member's deployment. Space-A travel must be complete by the last day of the military member's deployment.

Eligible dependents must present to the air terminal personnel a verification letter signed by the member's commander verifying the member's deployment. The documentation must be in the dependents' possession during travel.

Dependents of Soldiers that are not deployed may only travel Space-A to or from non-CONUS destinations when accompanied by their sponsor.

Active duty Soldiers, National Guard Soldiers (drill, federal and state active duty) and Reserve Soldiers on drill status traveling under circumstances including (but not limited to) official Permanent Change of Station (PCS), Temporary Duty (TDY), or Temporary Additional Duty (TAD) orders are eligible for Space Required (Space-R) Travel.

Space Required (Space-R) Travel:

Space Required travel includes transportation on aircraft that is operated by an activity financed through the Transportation Working Capital Fund (TWCF); it also includes transportation on other DoD aircraft when reimbursement is appropriate in accordance with Chapter 9 (Support to Foreign Governments and Alliances), travel orders, Invitational Travel Orders (ITO), and other forms of travel authorization or approval.

A Soldier must have in his or her possession a travel order/authorization, and identification card published or issued by an approving authority.

Emergency Leave
Once a Soldier's emergency leave is approved, he or she will be provided Government-funded emergency leave for movement between CONUS and overseas, within overseas areas, and between overseas areas. The following options will be provided in the order listed to meet the traveler's time-sensitive requirements: 1) Government-funded travel on previously scheduled DoD aircraft; 2) Government-funded commercial transportation when DoD aircraft are not reasonably available.

Leave between Consecutive Overseas Assignments
Soldiers traveling with leave taken between consecutive overseas assignments are eligible for Space-R travel, as are their command-sponsored Family members.

Command-Sponsored Family Members
Command-sponsored Family of Soldiers are eligible for Space-R travel when issued official travel orders under conditions similar to the circumstances for which emergency leave could be granted to the sponsor.

Unmarried authorized Family members of Soldiers stationed overseas are eligible for space-required travel if they are full-time students under 23-years old attending a school in the US to obtain a secondary or undergraduate education.

Authorized Family members of a Soldier permanently stationed overseas are eligible for Space-R travel if they are students attending a DoD-operated seven-day-a-week dormitory school.

Schoolchildren who are authorized Family members of a Soldier and are participating in various interscholastic activities for which transportation is authorized from appropriated funds under DoD instruction are eligible for Space-R travel.

Non-Command Sponsored Dependents
Non-command sponsored Family members of Soldiers are eligible for Space-R travel when they are issued official travel orders under conditions similar to circumstances for which emergency leave could be granted to the sponsor.

Non-command sponsored dependents of Soldiers acquired in an overseas area during the course of a Soldier's current tour of assigned duty in that area who are not otherwise entitled to transportation at Government expense are eligible for Space-R travel.

Close blood or affinitive relatives who are permanent members of the household and dependent upon a Soldier when he or she is authorized transportation of Family members at Government expense are eligible for Space-R travel.

Not more than two Family members (without regard to command sponsorship) of a Soldier who is seriously ill or seriously injured and hospitalized either in the CONUS or overseas are eligible for Space-R travel.

Additional Information:

For more information, please visit the Space Available and Space Required webpage maintained by the U.S. Air Force:

Document Review Date: 30 July 2015