Posted: 12/30/2002 12:14:32 PM EDT
My second time over here ('93-'96) I MAC'd back to the States on midtour leave, and it was TOO easy.
The benefit we have serving over here is we can take Environmental Morale Leave, or EML. This is a travel status beat only by those travelers on emergency leave. So you basically have top priority for travel.
The Air Force had made a change back then that really helped if you just needed to go to an end destination, and not just visiting wherever they take you. The change was once you signed in at your origin, unless you missed your layover, you were booked all the way through. No need to sign-up at each stop like they used to do.
You've got to be flexible though because of the scheduling, aircraft types & accommodations, and the terminal accommodations.
But this is what I did .... I walked into the Osan Airbase MAC (now AMC) passenger terminal with leave/EML form and gym bag in hand. I told the AF guy that I didn't know how the system worked, and that I needed to get to Travis AFB.
He told me that there was a C-141 leaving for Yokota AFB in Japan in two hours that I could get on.
There were only six of us on the -141, so I was laid out on the strap seats.
At Yokota the C-5 going to Hawaii wasn't leaving for about twelve hours. No problem, since the terminal is carpeted, with showers, and is open 24 hours. Everybody slept on the carpet.
On the C-5 there were about 30 of us and 70 seats. I pulled armrests out and was able to lay down on that flight too.
Had a 17 hour layover in Hawaii, so I linked up with a Navy guy and we split a BEQ room, $6 a piece. We also rented a car from the Hickam terminal for $25 and took a short sightseeing trip.
The C-5 to Travis AFB was about full, but still comfortable.
Didn't pay anything anywhere.
Was a great experience for me!