Vehicle misuse, reports up for FY

Airman 1st Class Kerry Solan-Johnson
Kaiserslautern American

Vehicle operations flights are now cracking down on government vehicle misuse in the KMC after a spike of misuse reports since the beginning of the fiscal year.

The reports revealed a significant misunderstanding and disregard of government vehicle operation guidelines.

“People are taking government-owned vehicles to Burger King, personal appointments or home,” said Tech. Sgt. Justin Levesque, 435th Vehicle Readiness Squadron, operator records and licensing NCO in charge. “Granted, there are some people who just aren’t informed and see another GOV at Burger King and follow suit, thinking it is OK. But there are a handful of people who know better and figure they won’t get caught.”

Sergeant Levesque added that there are groups, such as security forces or those TDY, who are authorized to visit the base exchange and other locations in their GOVs.

Vehicle misuse is punishable under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice and those who abuse GOV privileges may soon be looking at stiffer penalties.

“Punishments now include pulling a unit’s vehicle for 30 days. We can extend this as long as 120 days,” said Sergeant Levesque. “At their discretion, unit commanders can choose administrative action including loss of a stripe.”

Vehicle operations officials are mostly concerned with the extra money misuse is costing the government.

“Extra mileage creates an increase in fuel and maintenance costs,” said Master Sgt. Timothy Glenn, 435 VRS vehicle operations supervisor. “(Misuse) shortens the life span of the vehicle.”

Sergeant Levesque credited the reporting program’s anonymous reporting policy with many of the investigations into misuse, as well as many people knowing of someone reported for misuse.

“We’ve had a snowball-effect with reports,” said Sergeant Levesque. “The more they are reported, the more people are aware and looking out for offenders.”

People who have questions about making “official use” determinations can contact their vehicle control officer for clarification. To report a potential misuse, people are asked to provide the date, time, vehicle description, registration number and location of the possible offense to Operator’s Records and Licensing at 480-5534.