Commentary

October 19, 2012

Follow rules when driving government vehicles

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — People drive their privately-owned vehicles to and from their homes, to work, or to run errands around the installation every day. There are also people who drive government-owned vehicles daily on the installation to keep the mission going whether it is to refuel aircraft, deliver parts from the flightline, or to drive distinguished visitors on tours of base facilities.

When someone uses a government vehicle to drive a family member somewhere, drive back and forth between home and work, or for other unofficial uses, it is considered GMV misuse.

There are rules and guidelines designed to help ensure the authorized and proper use of government vehicles.

Users must answer five questions to determine when a government vehicle can be used:

• One — is the purpose of the trip official?

• Two — does the request have the potential to create a perception that will reflect unfavorably on the Air Force or cause public criticism? In other words, can it be justified to a taxpayer?

• Three — will the request impact mission requirements?

• Four — is commercial or Department of Defense scheduled transportation available? Remember, the Air Force does not provide transportation support that competes with commercial services.

• Five — if provided, is government vehicle transportation the most cost effective method of satisfying the requirement?

A government vehicle can be either an Air Force-owned vehicle or a leased vehicle, and both follow the same rules. Additionally, there is a 100-mile radius called the permissible operating distance to support operations around Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases, and the Nevada Test and Training Range as well as a few designated sites within the radius to meet mission requirements. These are the only places people are allowed to drive a government vehicle when traveling on official business.

People who need to travel outside the POD must formally request approval through the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Operations Element before driving outside the 100-mile radius.

Since Nellis AFB supports numerous exercises, there are a large number of people on temporary duty here. These people could be billeted off base at a hotel or casino. This is the only time it is legal to drive a government vehicle to a casino — otherwise it’s not allowed. People on TDY here can also take government vehicles to the shoppette, commissary and gym.

People assigned to Nellis and Creech AFBs or the NTTR are not permitted to take a government vehicle to these locations, nor can they park a government vehicle at the park-and-ride while not in use.

Security forces and the fire department have some flexibility due to their 24/7 emergency response responsibilities. They are allowed to use their vehicles to purchase items at the shoppette, the Exchange, or fast food restaurants. They are not allowed to use the drive-thru windows while on-duty.

People with questions about a government vehicle parked at a location which does not appear to be official can call the 99th LRS Operator Records and Licensing Office. When calling in, provide the plate number, color, vehicle type, make, and model. The LRS will investigate to determine if it is authorized use.

If you ever have any questions or concerns about the official use of a government vehicle, call operator records and licensing at 652-2291.

 




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