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Program allows deployed Airmen to save pay

McChord Air Force Base, Wash. -- Airmen can now put their money to work while deployed by enrolling in an interest-accruing savings program. 

The Savings Deposit Program allows military members deployed in combat zones to deposit all or part of their pay into a Department of Defense savings account up to $10,000. Interest accrues on the account at an annual rate of 10 percent. 

According to the DOD, currently all countries involved in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom are designated SDP areas -- including Afghanistan and the entire Persian Gulf region. 

"The program isn't new, but a lot of Airmen are still unaware of it," said Airman 1st Class Leona Handfield, a PCS technician with the 62nd Comptroller Squadron. 

Servicemembers can begin making deposits on the 31st consecutive day in the designated area. 

Although eligibility to make deposits terminates on the date of departure from theater, interest will continue to accrue up to 90 days after redeployment. 

"It's giving you an opportunity to do something good with your money while you're deployed," Airman Handfield said. 

Active duty members may make deposits by cash, personal check, traveler's check, money order or allotment and may only be designated in five dollar increments. 

Airmen interested in joining the program may enroll with finance representatives at their deployed locations, Airman Handfield said.