What authority is a JTF or Combatant Commander acting under when meals are provided free of cost to Airmen in the deployed AOR? I see reference in JTR Ch 4, Part B, Sec 3, 4240, but trying to find something more definitive or clearly written.
I think you mean, what authority does the Combatant Commander have to provide government furnished meals to deployed personnel, while they are still receiving MI&E of some sort, correct?
The good news is you were very, very close to finding the answer through your own research. However, you just didn’t get far enough into the Joint Travel Regulation (or you had a very old version). The latest version has “10/01/14” on the left hand side of the footer, but contains changes through 1 March 2016. You can find a copy here, but beware as it is over 12+ Mb and could take a while to download in the deployed environment.
Chapter 4 was right, but you need to go to Part F:
PART F: REIMBURSEMENT OPTIONS FOR A TRAVELER ON TDY WITHIN A COMBATANT COMMAND (COCOM) OR JOINT TASK FORCE (JTF) AOR, Sections 4600 through 4605. Look at the table on page 4F-4. Note, this will reference you back to the DoD Financial Management Regulations.
Generally, the Combatant Command (or lower level commander if delegated) has much authority in this area in order to ensure operational readiness (which includes morale, safety and security). In general, when government meals or lodging is provided then personnel do not receive full lodging, meals and incidentals.
The tone of your question/background suggests you have a concern with something. We highly suggest you discuss this with your servicing comptroller and finance; they are the ones who have the knowledge on these type matters and can explain some of the terminology used in the JTR and FMR.
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