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ARLINGTON, Va. — Airmen who have deployed for at least 12 months out of the past 36 can soon start taking additional leave authorized by Pentagon officials back in April.

Beginning Jan. 19, active-duty airmen who have spent more than a year in Iraq or Afghanistan will get one to four extra days of leave for every additional month they have deployed, according to guidelines issued Dec. 31 by the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

The Air Force is not crediting any deployed service earlier than Jan. 19, 2004. But for deployments after that time, leave accrues as follows:

l One day per month for total deployment time between 12-17 months;

l Two days per month for 18-23 deployed months;

l Four days per month for 24 months or more.

In addition to Iraq and Afghanistan, airmen who have deployed as part of certain theater units that conduct operations in either country but are actually based elsewhere — in Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Kyrgyzstan — also qualify for the leave.

The new guidelines for the program, formally known as Post-Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence (PDMRA), apply only to active-duty airmen.

The National Guard Bureau plans to issue separate PDMRA instructions to its members at the end of February, spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke told Stars and Stripes on Thursday.

Officials at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command could not say when PDMRA instructions will be issued.

“The command is reviewing the policy and will release the information as it is finalized,” Capt. Rickardo Bodden said in a Thursday e-mail to Stripes.

The Air Force is the last service to develop PDRMA guidelines. The Marine Corps issued instructions for its members in July, followed by the Navy in August and Army in October.

The program sprang from a Jan. 19, 2007, memo by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that directed “recognition” for servicemembers mobilized more frequently than the Defense Department’s goal of no more than one year out of three for active members, and one year out of five for reservists.

Because each service deploys its members differently, each service was told to develop its own program guidelines.

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