Air Force Reserve consolidates travel authorizations, reimbursements to Defense Travel System

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Shelton Sherrill
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force Reserve Command is transitioning to a single travel management system, the Defense Travel System, also known as DTS. This transition will consolidate all commercial travel arrangements for AFRC members into a single system.

“Currently Reservists’ travel orders can end up in two separate systems,” said Haley Smith, 403rd Wing Financial Services Officer. “With the upcoming changes members will create all travel authorizations in one system, DTS, (with the exception of basic military training, deployments, and permanent change of station), and easily book reservations, request partial payments, and file their vouchers all in one system. The biggest change for members will be (Air Reserve Order Writing System) will no longer generate an authorization in DTS. The member will be responsible for creating the authorization when travel is approved by their unit.”

The current system for Reserve Citizen Airmen travel is a multi-step process. First, travel orders are issued through the Air Reserve Order Writing System. Once the authorization is created and approved, the traveler can begin incurring expenses. After the travel has been completed, the member submits a voucher to request reimbursement for the expenses incurred.

“The purpose of this consolidation is to eliminate the confusion on what travel system needs to be used and when,” said Smith. “The change will also allow groups to have better oversight and control of their travel funds and program.”

The new system will solely use DTS for travel authorization and reimbursement. This will streamline the process for members and make it easier to track expenses. This also changes the way travel orders are created.

Previously, travel orders were created by the Authorizing Official (AO). The new changes allow members to create their own travel orders or to request assistance from the Organizational Defense Travel Administrator in DTS.

To further streamline the process, AFRC is reducing the number of orders modifications (MODs) required and need for command support staff approval. MODs will no longer be needed to change locations, length of stay at locations, or rental cars. These changes will still need to be approved or coordinated with the AO or the Travel Reviewing Official. A MOD will only be needed if the total number of travel days is changed.

“This change is important to Airmen because it will allow members to access and become familiar with one system for all things travel related. It will also streamline the reimbursement process,” said Smith. “The new process will allow members to quickly file vouchers when returning from travel. This will help alleviate financial hardship on members who are waiting on MODs to be processed and needing Government Travel Charge cards to be paid off or needing per diem money from traveling. (Reserve Travel System) usually pays out vouchers in 3-4 weeks. DTS can pay vouchers in 3-4 days.”

The transition to DTS was scheduled to be completed Oct. 1, 2023. To ensure members are prepared for the changes, AFRC will be providing training to members. The 403rd Wing Financial Management Office Travel Section provided training to reservists in September. For more information on the transition to DTS, please contact the 403rd Wing FM travel section.