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News in Brief

Published: 02:02PM April 10th, 2014

JBLM Directorate of Emergency services: Base joins statewide crackdown on distracted driving

JBLM Law Enforcement began participating Thursday in the first ever “Nationwide Distracted Driving Crackdown” national enforcement campaign during April — Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The slogan of the national campaign is “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”

Law enforcement officers across Washington state are cracking down on distracted drivers. Through Tuesday, the high visibility enforcement efforts will target motorists who are observed driving distracted — talking on hand-held cell phones, sending text messages, and otherwise not paying attention to the road while driving.

A 2013 UW Medicine Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center study of drivers in Washington found one in 10 drivers using a cell phone or texting behind the wheel. All extra patrols are part of Target Zero-striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030. For more information, visit www.targetzero.com.

Maj. Jay Cash, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Provost Marshal

Department of the Air Force: Air Force early retirement mixup victims allowed to retire

WASHINGTON — A limited number of Airmen who received notice that their previously approved applications for early retirement had been declined will be given the option to retire if they still desire to do so, officials announced Tuesday.

“We are aware that some Airmen received erroneous (temporary early retirement authority) approvals and were subsequently notified of the inaccuracy,” said Lt. Gen. Sam Cox, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “We regret any potential hardship this created, but we have looked into the specifics of each individual case and are following up with the Airmen impacted by the error... Where there are mistakes, we will make it right.”

When identified, the Air Force Personnel Center will personally contact any Airman who may have received an erroneous message.

Air Force Personnel Center has reviewed the handling of the more than 5,000 TERA applications to ensure proper assessment and discovered less than 20 were inaccurately processed. If Airmen discover an error in an application or approval, they should work it through the chain of command. AFPC will respond to any issue highlighted through command channels.

American Forces News Service

Department of Defense: DOD pays tribute to children during Military Child Month

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department believes military children serve their country alongside their service member parents, DOD’s director of the office of family policy/children and youth said.

When military children serve, they make sacrifices when parents are deployed, through frequent moves, starting new schools and making new friends on a continuing basis, Barbara Thompson said in a recent interview with The Pentagon Channel for the Month of the Military Child that’s being celebrated in April.

“We feel it’s important for the nation to know that military children also serve their country,” she said.

To honor military children for their sacrifices, DOD has planned April activities from installation-based fairs, parades, and literacy and art events, she said.

Thompson emphasized that April also is Child Abuse Prevention Month, calling it “a social responsibility for all of us to make sure children are safe and their well-being is protected.”

Terri Moon Cronk, American Forces Press Service

Department of the Air Force: Air Force granted expanded active duty waiver authority

WASHINGTON — The Air Force Personnel Center has been granted expanded waiver authority to waive some active-duty service commitments for Airmen interested in transferring to the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard, or to apply for voluntary separation under the FY2014 force management programs.

The expanded waiver authority allows AFPC to waive up to 36 months of advanced flying training including instructor and qualification training, ADSCs, up to 36 months of Air Force Institute of Technology ADSCs, up to 24 months of medical residency training ADSCs, and up to 48 months of medical special pays and bonuses. The full list of waiver authorities is available on myPers.

The expanded waiver authority also applies to the Palace Chase program, which affords Airmen, both officers and enlisted, the opportunity to continue their service in the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard.

Additional voluntary windows for TERA are being opened to allow Airmen to apply under this expanded waiver authority.

Debbie Gildea, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs