Iraq Upheaval Not Affecting New AFCENT Leave Policy

Air Forces Central Command’s recently revised leave policy is not facing any changes or updates due to the security and threat assessment in Iraq, AFCENT officials said. The revamped policy, released last month, removed imminent danger pay from nine countries in the AFCENT area of responsibility, including all of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and several Central Asian states, as a recognition of changing threat levels and the growth of permitted accompanied tours to many deployed locations. Even though the policy was released only days before the security situation in Iraq rapidly deteriorated, and US troops began to deploy to the country once again, no major updates are planned. “There’s no effort underway to change it,” AFCENT spokesman Lt. Col. Edward Sholtis told Air Force Magazine. He noted wing commanders, or equivalents in the region, are authorized to establish “more restrictive policies that meet the needs of their particular mission and location,” which would cover travel restrictions resulting by changes in force protection measures. Airmen deployed to Iraq, and neighboring Jordan, for example, are not affected by the revamped policy.