The Navy has approved a special provision granting hardship duty pay to sailors and marines who are deployed beyond 220 consecutive days, service officials said.
The newly established Hardship Duty Pay, effective as of Wednesday, will pay sailors and Marines an extra $16.50 per day when they are operationally deployed beyond 220 consecutive days. Overall, the amount is not to exceed a monthly rate of an extra $495, Navy officials said.
"The Navy and Marine Corps' unique ability to provide and maintain a global presence is made possible by the hard work of our Sailors and Marines," Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said in a written statement.
The proposal was approved by the Defense Department for two years following Mabus' approval of the measure earlier this summer.
"For some time now, these men and women have met the significant demand for our forces without waver. As the need for our presence continues, Hardship Duty Pay - Tempo (HDP-T) is an important effort to further compensate our Sailors and Marines for their willingness to take on extended deployments and for the frontline role they continue to play in keeping our nation, and our world, safe," Mabus added.
The new pay program will impact sailors and Marines currently deployed in the Arabian Gulf following the ongoing bombing effort against the violent militant group known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
For units currently deployed, like the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and George H. W. Bush Strike Group, consecutive days prior to Sept.17 will count when determining eligibility for payment. Payment will not be made for deployments that concluded before Sept. 17, Navy officials said in a statement.
"Quite simply, this is meant to compensate sailors and marines for extended deployments. The Bataan Ready Group went over 221 days yesterday and the Bush Strike Group will go over 221 days next week. This is something the Secretary of the Navy and the CNO (Chief Naval Officer) worked very hard for on behalf of sailors and families,” said Cmdr. Christopher Servello, spokesman for Navy personnel.
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