Last Tour of Duty
A recent case brought to the Federation’s attention highlighted the fact that some personnel may not be aware of the rules governing applications for a Last Tour of Duty (LTD). A recent visit to the Manning Directorate confirmed that high priority is still afforded to meeting requests for LTDs so we thought it might be helpful to summarise the policy.
Why grant LTDs?Firstly, it’s important to understand why LTDs are given a high priority. They are granted, wherever possible within the exigencies of the Service, to enable a Serviceperson to prepare for the transition to civilian life after a career with the RAF. This is not always possible but the aim is to assign the Serviceperson to an area of choice so that they can ease the transition process in terms of finding somewhere to live, new employment where appropriate, and helping any family members to establish themselves in the local community.
Who can apply?Basic eligibility is limited to those serving on the following engagements:
For Officers Those serving on a Permanent Commission and due to leave the Service at their 38/16 or 40/18 Initial Retirement Date or their Normal Retirement Date beyond the 38/16 or 40/18 point, ie at age 55 or later.
For Non-Commissioned Aircrew and Ground Trades Those re-engaged to 22 years or 40/18, serving to age 47, Length of Service 30 or to age 55. Those personnel holding normal paid acting rank, with an expectation of further service on achieving substantive rank, may apply for a LTD but will have their application held in abeyance until they have either accepted or declined the offer of further service, having completed the appropriate Command and Management training.
How long and where?The minimum acceptable tour of duty is normally 13 months although personnel returning from overseas with less than 13 months to serve may be considered for a LTD.
An applicant for a LTD assignment is to be specific about their preferred destination. The first choice is to be a particular county where established vacancies exist in the individual’s current rank and branch/trade. Once the applicant is registered on JPA, Manning will arrange, if practicable, a LTD assignment within 50 miles or 1½ hours travelling time of the requested location.
It is unlikely that Manning will be able to meet every applicant’s first choice of LTD assignment. Acknowledging this limitation, personnel may give 2nd and 3rd choices on JPA which are outside the 50 miles/1½ hours travelling time radius of their first choice.
Personnel may apply for a LTD overseas but must provide evidence of an intent to settle in the overseas location and will only be assigned to an overseas LTD if is it considered to be in the Service interest.
Will I be moved again?Successful LTD applicants are not normally assigned from their location of choice but a future tour of duty/assignment may be occasioned by promotion, establishment changes, or to meet some urgent requirement of the Service.
What happens if I am not successful?If an applicant has not successfully obtained the assignment of choice by the beginning of the 13th month prior to their exit date, the application will be deemed to have lapsed. In such circumstances, there may be an entitlement to relocation expenses for his/her final move on exit.
What is the application procedure?Personnel apply for a LTD by the following methods:
Officers & NCA Through JPA Self-Service by amending their JPA Preference category to read LTD. Applications can only be within 4 years of Normal Retirement Date or Initial Retirement Date but applications made later than this will be considered where possible.
Ground Trades Personnel Once an individual enters their last 4 years of service prior to exit, but not later than 13 months at time of assignment, they are to amend their JPA Preference Category to read LTD.