For those of you with government motor vehicles in your units and yes, your unit purchased car or golf cart is considered a government motor vehicle, I have a question for you. Are you aware of what constitutes official use and misuse of these vehicles? The same statute that restricts the use of military air resources for official use (Title 31 U.S.C. Section 1344, Passenger Carrier Use) also restricts the use of GMVs.
Just as military air assets are carefully controlled because of their high value, government vehicles are closely controlled because of their easy accessibility, high visibility and potential for misuse.
Most of us are aware that we can use a GMV for work-related travel, but many may not know this includes transportation to and from Air Force scheduled appointments. If you have to go to the Physical Health Assessment office, urinalysis testing or even the dentist, you can use a GMV to get there and back to work.
However, if you decide to stop by the Shoppette, base exchange, commissary or check your post office mail box to or from the appointment, the trip is no longer considered official use and constitutes a misuse.
The same rules apply to attending retirements, promotions, awards ceremonies, dedications, funerals, going home for any reason or any other similar function. In these instances it is not appropriate to use a GMV. Additionally, unless incident to the performance of official duty, you may not use or park GMVs at commissaries, base exchanges (including all concessions), bowling centers, officer and enlisted clubs, gymnasiums or any nonappropriated funds activity such as the golf course, or rod and gun clubs.
It should also be noted that although the AFI is clear as to what can be official or unofficial use of a GMV, there are some exceptions to the rule.
A fire truck may park in front of the fitness center without having responded to an emergency because on-duty emergency response personnel are authorized to take emergency response vehicles to on-base dining facilities and the base gymnasium including firefighting vehicles, security forces vehicles and ambulances. However, these exceptions are not automatic. Units with emergency response vehicles are required to submit annual justification to the 56th LRS for coordination and approval by the fighter wing commander.
This exception also applies to GMVs being used by TDY personnel visiting Luke. They are authorized to do certain things or go to places with GMVs that permanent party personnel cannot. These authorizations include but are not limited to travel between work places, lodging, eating establishments, church, installation bowling centers, on-base clubs and gymnasiums. However, even if TDY, this authorization does not include clubs off base, parties in someoneâ€™s home or places not considered reputable even if they serve food.
Lastly, unauthorized use of GMVs results in unnecessary expenditure of funds and public criticism. Transportation by a Defense Department motor vehicle shall not be provided when the justification is based solely on reasons of rank, position, prestige or personal convenience.
Although the major goal of vehicle operations is to provide quality support, commanders, vehicle operators, and the base populace must know vehicle use restrictions and what constitutes official use. Just like many other responsibilities that Air Force members have, they are also asked to report misuse when observed by calling (623) 856-6866 with the time, location and vehicle registration number.
This article is not inclusive of all misuse. For more information, call vehicle operations at the above number or refer to AFI 24-301, Chapter 3.