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Navy Provides Departure Support for Family Members in Japan

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

A little girl hides behind her father's legsWASHINGTON (NNS) — The Navy announced on March 19 that dependents living on the Japanese island of Honshu have been authorized to depart and will be eligible to receive entitlements and allowances as required by their circumstances.

“Our Sailors and their families need our support,” explained Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, chief of naval personnel. “We must not waiver in our commitment to them during this difficult time.”

To assist families evacuating Japan, the Navy will provide entitlements and allowances to those eligible for their transfer to the approved safe haven, which the Department of State has designated as anywhere in the continental United States. Families wishing to evacuate to Hawaii or Alaska may be approved on a case-by-case basis by Principle Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) (PDUSD(P&R)) via Navy’s Pay and Benefits (N130) office.

Command and non-command sponsored dependents are authorized transportation back to the United States. Other entitlements and allowances command-sponsored dependents may be eligible for include:

1. Per Diem: Transportation expenses and travel per diem are authorized from the time the family departs through the time they reach their selected safe haven.

2. Escort Allowances: Travel and transportation allowances are payable to a person who travels under an official travel authorization as an escort for a dependent who is incapable of traveling to the safe haven alone, due to age, physical or mental incapacity, or other extraordinary circumstances.

3. Household Goods (HHG) Shipping Allowances: Unaccompanied baggage and HHG needed for the dependent’s comfort and well-being may be transported at government expense.

4. Personally Owned Vehicles (POV): Although shipment of POVs is not authorized as part of this evacuation, a $25/day, per family, local travel allowance will be authorized to partially off-set the expenses incurred for required local travel at the safe haven.

5. Pet Transportation: Families are authorized transportation to the safe haven of up to two common household pets (to include quarantine fees). Animals such as horses, fish, birds, various rodents and others are excluded due to size, exotic nature, shipping restrictions, host country restrictions and or special handling difficulties.

6. Housing Allowances: Sailors whose dependents are evacuated will continue to be paid their dependent housing allowance while they remain in private sector housing at their permanent duty station.

7. Family Separation Allowance (FSA): Sailors will be entitled to FSA once their family evacuates.

The allowances listed above are not all inclusive and do not contain all the stipulations required to receive them. For questions regarding allowances, travel advances or travel vouchers, Sailors should contact the Travel Processing Center-Hampton Roads, VA (TPC-HR) to obtain information specific to their circumstances by calling (866) 239-0303 or by sending a fax to (866) 708-6985.

An additional concern is access to medical care for dependents in Japan, and following their evacuation. TRICARE Overseas Prime beneficiaries impacted by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan may be unable to access their usual sources of medical care and pharmacy services.

Telephone and internet disruptions may further limit beneficiaries’ ability to contact International SOS, the TRICARE Overseas Prime contractor, to arrange referrals.

To compensate, TRICARE is establishing a waiver of the usual referral requirements in order to ensure access to health care and medications, and to prevent enrollees from incurring point of service charges.

This waiver is effective from March 11, 2011 until midnight on June 30, 2011, with the option for extension based upon an analysis of the situation at that time. For more information, visit www.tricare.mil/tsunami.

Financial and medical well-being are important factors in ensuring our dependents’ successful departure from Japan.

The disposition of their personal possessions is also of concern. Due to the temporary nature of this evacuation, families submitting claims now to the Office of the Judge Advocate General for lost or damaged property may be doing so prematurely.

However, if they believe a claim is warranted at this time, they are asked to visit www.jag.navy.mil for more information.

Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) will open an accessibility event in the Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS) for Navy members affected by this authorized departure.

All Sailors or family members who are in need of assistance should utilize the NFAAS support site at https://www.navyfamily.navy.mil to ensure the Navy can track and assess support requirements for all parties affected.

For more information on Navy support for the authorized departure, read NAVADMIN 093/11 at www.npc.navy.mil.

For more information from the chief of naval personnel, visit www.navy.mil/cnp.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.

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