Precautions when traveling is key to safety

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

Researching travel restrictions and taking safety precautions is an important factor when planning vacations, Security Forces personnel says.

“Families need to take into considerations the potential dangers and restrictions of certain locations, when planning vacations, specifically those outside the continental U.S.,” said Master Sgt. Erik Trust, 82nd Security Forces Squadron.

There is a heightened level of concern that travelers should be aware of as events of terrorism continue to be carried out, Trusty said.

“The first step is that you speak to the Anti-Terrorism office and your supervision when planning travel outside the U.S.,” Trusty said. “Once you’ve cleared through those channels, research the area you plan to travel to.”

Researching on https://travel.state.gov/ will provide travelers with points of contact at the U.S. Embassy in country, safety and security concerns, local laws and healthcare information.

“Providing your chain of command with your itinerary, to include addresses and contact information, is another precaution we highly encourage,” Trusty said.

Trusty also reminds personnel that certain areas of the globe have been placed under travel restriction by commanders in an attempt to keep service members, government employees and their families out of harm’s way when traveling under official and non-official matters.

One current restriction for Air Education and Training Command members, which includes personnel at Sheppard, is for travel to Mexico.

According to the General Order, set in place by Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, AETC commander, current prohibited activities to Mexico include:

    "a. All non-official travel (leave) to, or through, any portion of Mexico located within 50 statute miles of the U.S.-Mexico border without proper approval.

    b. All non-official travel (leave) to the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Estado de Mexico, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, Nuevo     Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, and Zacateus without proper approval.

    c. Ground travel across the U.S.-Mexico border through a restricted state."

To view this General Order for more details, click here.

Additionally, a directive for restrictions when traveling to and from Canada directs Department of Defense personnel to “eliminate the visible wear of military uniforms or other identifying clothing in public venues unless complying with official travel instructions or other orders.”

The directive also states that “Department of Defense personnel will not wear visible uniforms when utilizing commercial travel means to and from Canada.”

To view all areas of the globe with travel restrictions, go to the Department of Defenses’ Foreign Clearance Guide at https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/fcg.cfm.

During travel, report any attempts of solicitation, by an individual or organization, to the local Office of Special Investigations detachment on base.