HILL AIR FORCE BASE — If you work at Hill Air Force Base and have plans to travel to Paris in the near future, you’d better hope your tickets are refundable.
In light of this month’s coordinated terror attacks that killed at least 129 people and wounded more than 350 in Paris, the Department of Defense has announced all of its employees — military and civilian — are prohibited from traveling within 31 miles of the French capital until further notice.
The directive was handed down by the United States European Command and the restriction applies to all U.S. military personnel, DOD civilian employees, contractors and command-sponsored dependents and family members.
Micah Garbarino, spokesman for Hill’s 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs office, said employees at the base had been notified of the instruction.
“The information from (EUCOM) has made its way down through the command channels,” he said. “(Base) employees have received the notification.”
The restriction applies to all unofficial travel to Paris, and includes a 50-kilometer radius around the city.
DOD employees traveling to other parts of France will face additional security measures before being allowed on their trips. The EUCOM directive also dictates that official travel and emergency leave travel to areas in France outside of the 50-kilometer Paris radius will require approval from the first general officer or flag officer. For civilians, approval must come the first senior executive in an individual’s chain of command.
The restrictions also apply to cruise ship trips to French shores. Garbarino said the restrictions don’t apply to military personnel who are assigned to diplomatic posts in France or to individuals who have commercial airline connections there. Those who do have airline connections will be required to stay in secure areas of airport terminals.
“This is a precautionary measure to keep personnel and families safe in light of the recent attacks,” a statement from EUCOM said. “This is also an effort to help minimize tourist traffic at the borders in France, and, particularly, in Paris as the French authorities continue their investigation.”
EUCOM said that DOD employees with special travel situations, like a family emergency, must work with their chain of command for a possible waiver on the policy.
On Nov. 18, EUCOM said the restrictions are indefinite.