Travel Guide F.A.Q.

Click on a question to see the answer.

 

1. Can I shop at the Base/Post Exchange at my foreign destination?

That depends! For the latest, detailed information on eligibility to shop at the Base/Post Exchanges at overseas locations, please see this webpage: http://www.aafes.com/exchange-stores/overseas/

2. Can I shop at the Commissary at my foreign destination?

That depends on your status (active duty, dependent, retired etc.) and the location. Please refer to the following website for detailed, up-to-date information on Commissary shopping at foreign locations:

https://www.commissaries.com/documents/contact_deca/faqs/authorized_shopping_outside_us.cfm

3. Do you have an alphabetical list of the two-letter country codes used on this website?

The following foreign country two-letter abbreviations are taken from ISO 3166, prepared by the International Organization for Standardization:

AC-Ascension Island

AE-United Arab Emirates

AF-Afghanistan

AG-Antigua & Barbuda

AN-Netherlands Antilles

AR-Argentina

AU-Australia

BA-Bosnia & Herzegovina

BB-Barbados

BE-Belgium

BH-Bahrain

BO-Bolivia

BR-Brazil

BS-Bahamas

BZ-Belize

CA-Canada

CL-Chile

CO-Colombia

CR-Costa Rica

CS-Kosovo (Serbia & Montenegro)

CY-Cyprus

DE-Germany

DK-Denmark

DO-Dominican Republic

EC-Ecuador

EG-Egypt, Arab Republic of

ES-Spain

FM-Federated States of Micronesia

GA-Gabon

GB-United Kingdom

GR-Greece

GT-Guatemala

GY-Guyana

HN-Honduras

HT-Haiti

ID-Indonesia

IE-Ireland

IL-Israel

IO-British Indian Ocean Territory

IT-Italy

JM-Jamaica

JO-Jordan

JP-Japan

KE-Kenya

KG-Kyrgyzstan

KR-Republic of Korea

KW-Kuwait

KY-Cayman Islands

KV- Kosovo

MK-Macedonia, (Former Yugoslav

Republic of)

NI-Nicaragua

NO-Norway

NZ-New Zealand

OM-Oman

PA-Panama, Republic of

PE-Peru

PH-Philippines, Republic of the

PT-Portugal

PW-Republic of Palau

PY-Paraguay

QA-Qatar

SG-Singapore

SN-Senegal

SR-Suriname

SV-El Salvador

TD-Chad

TH-Thailand

TR-Turkey

TT-Trinidad and Tobago

US-United States

UY-Uruguay

UZ-Uzbekistan

4. Do you have an alphabetical list of the two-letter U.S. state, possession, and territory codes used on this website?

AK-Alaska

AL-Alabama

AR-Arkansas

AZ-Arizona

CA-California

CO-Colorado

CT-Connecticut

DC-District of Columbia

DE-Delaware

FL-Florida

GA-Georgia

HI-Hawaii

IA-Iowa

ID-Idaho

IL-Illinois

IN-Indiana

KS-Kansas

KY-Kentucky

LA-Louisiana

MA-Massachusetts

MD-Maryland

ME -Maine

MI-Michigan

MN-Minnesota

MO-Missouri

MS-Mississippi

MT-Montana

NE-Nebraska

NC-North Carolina

ND-North Dakota

NH-New Hampshire

NJ-New Jersey

NM-New Mexico

NY-New York

NV-Nevada

OH-Ohio

OK-Oklahoma

OR-Oregon

PA-Pennsylvania

RI-Rhode Island

SC-South Carolina

SD-South Dakota

TN-Tennessee

TX-Texas

UT-Utah

VA-Virginia

VT-Vermont

WA-Washington

WI-Wisconsin

WV-West Virginia

WY-Wyoming

US POSSESSION/TERRITORY ABBREVIATIONS

AS-American Samoa

GU-Guam

MH-Marshall Islands (includes Kwajalein Atoll)

PR-Puerto Rico

UM-Wake Island

5. Do you offer a tool to compare the different time zones around the world?

Yes. Please see the Standard Time Conversion Table linked below:

Standard Time Conversion Table

 

6. How can I check on the safety of foreign countries while traveling?

Unfortunately, travel to a foreign country can potentially expose the military traveler to dangers relating to civil unrest, terrorism, criminal activity, etc. The U.S. State Department maintains an “Alerts and Warnings” website to advise the traveler of current conditions that may warrant traveler caution or even cancellation of planned travel to a foreign location.

A Travel Alert is issued for short-term events that the State Department believes the traveler should be aware of before traveling to a foreign location. This may include strikes, demonstrations or disturbances, health alerts for outbreaks of disease or an elevated risk of terrorist attacks. These are usually short term and are canceled when the events triggering the alert have passed.

A Travel Warning is a more serious caution and should encourage the traveler to consider avoiding any travel to the foreign location. Examples of events triggering a Travel Warning are unstable governments, civil war, ongoing intense criminal activity or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. These warnings remain in place until the situation changes; some have been in effect for years.

U.S. State Department Travel Alerts and Warnings may be found at the following website: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings.html.

We strongly urge all travelers to review these Travel Alerts and Warnings prior to planning travel to any foreign destination. If traveling Space-A, your Space-A Passenger Service representative may also be able to advise of any safety concerns regarding travel to your planned foreign destination.

The U.S. State Department also offers a program called the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This is a free service that allows travelers abroad to inform the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate about details of their trip. This will allow the traveler to get information from the embassy about safety conditions in the destination country. It also enables the embassy to contact you in case of an emergency, natural disaster, civil unrest or family emergency at home. Travelers may sign up for STEP at the following website: https://step.state.gov/step/.

7. How do I convert military time to standard time and vice versa?

Please see the right side of the chart linked below to convert military time to standard time and vice versa:

Military Time Conversion Chart

8. I see 3 and 4-digit codes used throughout this website to identify airports. Do you have a list indexing those codes to the corresponding airports?

Yes! Please click one of the links below to access our 3-digit (IATA) code airport index or our 4-digit (ICAO) code airport index. Each provides an alphabetical listing of the codes and what airport they represent.

Three Digit Airport Code Index (IATA Codes)

Four Digit Airport Code Index (ICAO)

9. I’m having trouble understanding the unfamiliar format of some of the overseas commercial phone numbers on this website. Can you explain how they work?

Telephone numbers preceded by a C- are commercial telephone numbers. (If you have questions about the military DSN phone system, please return to the FAQs for more information on the Defense Switched Network phone system.)

The commercial phone number listings on this website contain detailed telephone numbers and prefixes for dialing from a civilian telephone to a military telephone (where this capability exists). All commercial telephone number formats listed assume that the call is being placed from a commercial telephone in North America from a civilian, commercial system (as opposed to DSN).

 

For example, the telephone information section for Ramstein Air Base in Germany looks like this:

Main installation numbers: C-011-49-6371-47-1113, DSN-314-480-1110. All telephone information sections for Germany and for most installations in other countries with civilian to military dialing capabilities follow this same basic pattern.

The main civilian number breaks down as follows: the first set of numbers (011) is the international dialing access number for North America; the second set of numbers (49) is the country code for Germany; the third set of numbers (6371) is local area/city code within Germany; the fourth set of numbers (47) is the civilian to military conversion number; and the last set of numbers (1113) is the line or extension number.

IMPORTANT: All local area codes in Germany and several other countries in Europe begin with a “0”which is not used when dialing into the country (except Italy) but must be added if dialing within the country. In Germany, if you are within the boundaries of the local area code, you will not need to dial the local area code (6371) when dialing a civilian number or a defense number. Dial the military conversion number (47) and the military extension when dialing from a local commercial telephone.

Note: When placing overseas calls, one should dial slowly, particularly pausing where we have placed a hyphen in the telephone number, i.e. 011- (pause) 49- (pause) 6371- (pause) 47- (pause) 1110. Also, when dialing a fax number, press your pause button (refer to your manual for instructions) anywhere we have placed a hyphen in the fax number.


10. Is it true that DOD Civilian Retirees may be authorized access to MWR activities, such as RV Parks, Campgrounds, etc?

Yes, in some cases, and when specifically authorized by the installation commander. Please see the document linked below for more details:

DOD Civilian Retiree ID Cards


11. Map Legend

Please click on link below to access Map Legend

website-map-legend

12. What do I need to know about foreign clearances when traveling?

Foreign clearance relating to Space-A travel is outlined in the DOD Electronic Foreign Clearance Guide located on the Internet at https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil. However, due to security concerns, accessing this publication requires a government login that is only available to DOD employees, DOD contractors, and active-duty U.S. military. Space-A travelers are therefore strongly encouraged to contact the Passenger Service representative at their planned Space-A departure installation for up-to-date requirements regarding clearance requirements (passport, visa, etc.) for their planned foreign destination. All military travelers may also review the following Pentagon website for passport and visa requirements by country: https://passportmatters.army.mil/Requirements/Visas.aspx


13. What is the DSN Phone System and how is it used?

DSN is the Defense Switched Network, which is, among other things, the DOD worldwide telephone system. DSN telephone numbers can only be dialed from one DSN telephone number to another telephone on the Defense Switched Network. Civilian phone systems cannot send or receive calls to or from a DSN phone.

When dialing a DSN telephone number from CONUS to CONUS, the 312 is not required and should not be dialed. When dialing into the following geographic areas using the DSN system, the following area code prefixes must be used:

317 (Alaska)                     312 (Canada)                    313 (Caribbean)

312 (CONUS)                    314 (Europe)                    315 (Pacific)

318 (Southwest Asia)

The phone number listings on this website contains defense telephone numbers and prefixes whenever available. All telephone number formats listed assume that the call is being placed from CONUS for DSN. For example, the DSN telephone information for Ramstein Air Base in Germany looks like this: Main installation number: DSN-314-480-1110. All telephone information sections for Germany and for most installations in other countries with DSN dialing capabilities follow this same basic pattern.

The DSN area codes are not used when dialing from the same area code, e.g., the DSN area code of 314 (Europe) is not used when dialing to a DSN number in area code 314 (Europe) from another telephone with an area code of 314 (Europe).

NOTE: For more detailed information on the DSN telephone network, and a global directory of DSN phone numbers, please visit the following website: http://www.disa.mil/Network-Services/Voice/SBU-Voice/Directory.


14. What is the Julian Date Calendar and how does it work?

Military organizations often refer to a given date using the Julian Calendar instead of the standard Gregorian calendar we are all used to. To see how the Julian calendar works, and to convert any date to a Julian date (and vice versa), please refer to the document linked below:

Julian Date Calendar Conversion Chart


15. Who are authorized to patronize military RV Parks, Campgrounds, and other MWR activities?

In very general terms, military ID-card holders are authorized to patronize these facilities. In some cases, DOD civilians, active or retired, may also be authorized to use MWR facilities. For more detailed and in-depth guidance, please see the documents linked below:

MWR Authorized Patronage

MWR Authorized Users Table

Info on DOD Civilian Retiree ID Cards

It is the guest’s responsibility to verify all policies prior to arrival.  Eligibility can vary based on mission requirements & vacancy rates.  Some installations require a background check at the installation visitors center.  Eligible veterans may be denied entry if the background check reveals felony convictions, felony arrest warrants, or other types of derogatory information related to criminal history or terrorism. 

 

As of January 2020, more veterans & caregivers have eligibility for Military Exchanges, Commissaries, & MWR Recreation Activities.  The Department of Defense has expanded commissary, exchange & MWR retail eligibility to Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war, all veterans with service-connected disabilities (0-90%), & individuals approved & designated as the primary family caregivers of eligible veterans under the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. Answers to FAQ can be found here:https://download.militaryonesource.mil/12038/MOS/Factsheets/expanding-access-fact-sheet.pdf


The DoD, VA & the Department of Homeland Security have collaborated to implement Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code, for those who are eligible for this benefit.  The facilities that are open to newly eligible patrons are Commissaries, Military Exchanges, & MWR Facilities. Those who are 100% Disabled Veterans are already eligible for these benefits with their DD Form 2765.


If you are a newly eligible veteran (or caregiver) who does not currently have any other affiliation with the military services that provide access to installations, you will need to obtain a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) that will get you access to your privileges.  These are veterans who are eligible solely under Section 1065 of Title 10, United States Code (Purple Heart recipients, former POWs, veterans with 0-90% service-connected disability).  You must obtain a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) from Veterans Affairs to facilitate DoD & Coast Guard installation privilege access, & it must display the eligibility status (“PURPLE HEART”, “FORMER POW”, “SERVICE CONNECTED”).  Visit https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhic for information & the process.  Only eligible veterans who have been issued a VHIC from the VA can present their VHIC to gain entry to DoD & Coast Guard installations, & have access to commissaries, exchanges, & MWR retail activities.

It is important to note that each location's eligibility guidelines will vary, and as always, we recommend contacting the specific location to verify eligibility before making reservations, as some locations will not issue a refund if you are ineligible to stay.


16. Why are some phone numbers on this website preceded by C-, while others are preceded by DSN-?

Telephone numbers preceded by a C- are commercial telephone numbers. Telephone numbers preceded by DSN- refer to telephone numbers on the Defense Switched Network. Please return to the FAQs for more information on using the commercial and DSN phone numbers appearing on this website.


17. Will I be able to shop at the post/base Commissary and Exchange at my foreign destination?

That depends on your status and the specific location! Please see the charts linked below for shopping privilege information at commissaries and exchanges located at foreign destinations:

Overseas Commissary Shopping Privileges

Overseas Exchange Shopping Privileges