World travel background

As we enter the holiday season, many are planning adventures across the globe, whether it be to visit family, see the world, or just catching some much needed rest and relaxation. As a member of the federal government, Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) employees are welcome to take foreign travel both for official business as well as for personal reasons; however, there are some steps all employees must take before they take off on their next adventure.

“If employees are looking to travel overseas, they must reach out to their Department Security Coordinator (DSC) prior to leaving to begin the process,” said NNSY Foreign Travel Manager Lisa Lafitte. Per DOD Directive 4500.54G Foreign Clearance Guide (FCG), this instruction governs what is required for government employees in order to be able to travel to a foreign country. More information is available at https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/fcg.cfm on requirements for countries or COCOMs.

“The Foreign Travel Office acts as the liaison for the Geographic Combatant Commander (GCC) Clearance Office — and we help to ensure everyone is set and ready to go so that employees are taken care of before they travel. We handle these requests not only for NNSY but also for the Naval Foundry and Propeller Center (NFPC) in Philadelphia and Nuclear Regional Maintenance Department (NRMD) Kings Bay in Georgia,” said Lafitte. “Requirements are not going to be the same for each country. Some places require additional training and briefings while others do not. However, it’s important for all employees to report their travel to include itineraries to ensure they are able to travel to the areas in question and ensure that if anything happens while they are overseas, they are in the system and able to reach out to the COCOM to receive assistance. This includes having an updated Isolated Personnel Report (ISOPREP) and making sure all permissions are in place.”

If an employee travels overseas and misplaces their passport or an incident happens, reporting their travel and ensuring everything is in place so the COCOM can assist them as quickly as possible.

“Our team works hard to assist in these endeavors, working with employees every step of the way to get them situated for their travel,” said Physical Security Branch Head Mike Morse. “It’s imperative that employees let their DSCs know as soon as possible, no later than 30 days in advance of the planned travel. Sometimes emergency services are needed and we’ll work with you in that regard; however, we need time to ensure all actions are completed and areas of interest are accessible for travel. There are some areas that are restricted access, which will require special permission from the SES as well as the COCOM overseas before travel can be authorized.”

Lafitte added, “The DSCs are the first lines of defense and an integral part in following the FCG and getting employees prepared. They can share the current status of countries with employees and go over everything the employee needs to complete prior to meeting with us. In addition, employees can visit state.gov for additional information on country status for travel. The DSCs are also trained frequently on the local requirements as well as instructions across the Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure they have the tools available to assist you as needed.”

Timeliness is key to ensuring there are no hold-ups going into both official and personal travel. Once the reports are finalized ahead of time, everything is entered into the database to ensure employees are accounted for. If any changes occur to the itinerary, for example adding another location country to travel during your trip, please be sure to work with your DSC following your travel to update your itinerary.

“We want to make sure our employees are safe and secure during travel at all times,” said Morse. “If all the steps are completed, we’ll be able to get you to your destination as quickly as possible. Should anything occur, you’re set up and ready to get assistance with that COCOM. If you have any questions, please reach out to your DSC or the Physical Security and Antiterrorism Department (Code 1121) and we’ll do our best to assist.”

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