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US Armed Forces Forbid Soldiers from Visiting Region, Including ‘Israeli’ Entity
By Staff, Agencies
Men and women serving in the US Armed Forces are restricted from travelling on leave to places included in the United States Central Command Area of Responsibility [AOR], which include the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories, The Times of ‘Israel’ reported.
On September 8, 2021, exactly one week after ‘Israel’ was officially moved into CENTCOM’s AOR, the Command published updates to its guidance on travel, signed by Chief of Staff Major General Patrick D. Frank. The revised Central Command Regulation 55-2 states that “unofficial travel into the USCENTCOM AOR is not authorized.”
According to the previous iteration of the document from June 9, 2020, unofficial travel — which includes leave — to countries in the AOR needed only permission from the first O-6 in the applicant’s chain of command. An O-6 is a captain in the US Navy and a colonel in the other branches of the US military.
Approval was almost always granted.
Under the new restrictive guidance, servicemen and women do have the option of appealing for emergency approval from their component commanders, senior flag officers at the rank of general and admiral. However, that process is highly unlikely to be approved. Requests must be made 30 days in advance, a requirement that flies in the face of most emergency circumstances.
There is the possibility of providing written justification for last-minute requests. But even if the necessary commander approves the appeal, the CENTCOM Theater Travel Coordination Cell, generally civilian employees who do not know the soldiers, can override that approval.
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