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Servicemembers, retirees, and their families have a new way to fly on the Gulf Coast and it’s all free. You heard it right — free.

After months of planning, the first Space-A flight departed Hurlburt Field for Las Vegas, Nevada this month.

Space Available Flight, better known as Space A or military hops, is a unique privilege provided to servicemembers, retirees, and their families. Under the Space-A program, eligible passengers can fill unused seats on military aircraft at no cost.

MC-130 aircraft are parked on the Hurlburt Field flight line and aircraft fly overhead.  (U.S. Air Force/Special to The Pulse)

According to Hurlburt Field officials, Space-A Travel is a privilege offered to active duty and reservist service members, retirees and dependents as an affordable option for leisure travel plans. Members looking to fly through Space-A must be on leave at the time of sign up and will be processed through security just as a commercial airport would.

Hurlburt Field leaders decided to launch the popular service after demand deemed a need for establishing a passenger terminal.

“After a manpower study, the 1st SOLRS air transportation shop was deemed both an aerial delivery shop and a small terminal, officially making Hurlburt a Space-A supported base,” said Master Sgt. James Tompkins,  superintendent of air terminal and aerial delivery at Hurlburt Field.

With the high-operations tempo of the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt, one of the busiest wings in the Air Force, Hurlburt leadership recognized that Space-A was a way for Air Commandos and families to make plans simpler and better the lives of Airmen.

“Colonel Palenske has said if it’s going to improve our Airmen’s lives and not going to be a negative factor let’s go ahead and do it,” said Lt. Col. John Klohr. “It’s a way of saying ‘thank you for your service’.”

Flights this month have already included destinations such as Spain, Africa, and Germany, but officials said there are no guaranteed recurring flights to any one destination.

For now, members can monitor the Hurlburt Field Passenger Terminal Facebook page below to see Space-A opportunities within 72 hours of departure.

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