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DoD changes leave, liberty policy

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Airmen can now carry up to 75 days of annual leave: This from the Department of Defense and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008.

"Prior to this policy, Airmen were limited to 60 days of leave per year," said Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Sanders, 42nd Military Personnel Flight superintendent. "If they had accrued more leave than that, the MPF had to submit a justification to the Air Force Personnel Center, and that justification had to be approved by AFPC for Airmen to keep the extra leave."

The chief said the additional leave was often the result of deployments, when the fiscal year ended before members had the opportunity to take the leave.

He also said that most people only "bust their leave" allowance by four or five days, so the DoD is allowing an additional 15 days, which should cover a majority of those situations.

Chief Sanders also said a lot of paperwork goes into submitting the justification to AFPC, and the new policy will improve the workload for base MPFs.

"If you are in this situation, your Leave and Earning Statement is going to show that you have lost those extra leave days," the chief said. "Don't worry. The Defense Finance Accounting Service simply hasn't caught up with the new law yet. The Air Force is aware of this, and the leave will re-appear in your November Leave and Earning Statements.

"If you haven't seen it by December, come see us, or contact your unit leave personnelist."

Chief Sanders said the change will extend through fiscal '09 into 2010, or for the next two fiscal years. Details on what will happen after that period will be distributed to Airmen if and when further changes to the leave and liberty policies are enacted into law.

For more information, or questions about the change, contact the 42nd MPF leave point of contact, Staff Sgt. Quinton Smith, at 953-1116.