NEWS | April 11, 2012

Get ready for peak PCS season

By Capt. Douglas Todd 437th Aerial Port Squadron Traffic Management Flight commander

Almost 65 percent of all Department of Defense household goods moves are performed during the summer peak season (May 15 - Sept. 30). Unfortunately, many service members that moved during last year's peak season experienced some dissatisfaction with the process. Their complaints focused on two main areas:

· The Transportation Service Provider could not accommodate preferred dates and/or did not handle property with care.

· The Defense Personal Property System often locked up and screens were slow to load.
Moving is stressful and any issue that impedes the move process places a burden on the members and their families.

Unfortunately, some moving problems are beyond the control of the DOD, such as a shortage of private sector truck drivers and an increase in private sector moves.

However, there are areas where DOD has made improvements, ranging from simple things such as easier to find Personal Property Processing Office customer service numbers to more technical fixes like improved DPS performance.

Since last peak season, DPS has gone through many changes and upgrades in order to improve the moving experience. The web pages were changed to make the system more user-friendly, the speed and functionality of the system has been upgraded to decrease lock-ups and improve processing times and the claims module has been redeveloped to enable easier navigation and faster claims completion.

While this year may see some of the same uncontrollable problems such as driver availability, we expect the system improvements will greatly enhance the overall experience for DOD members. Below are some helpful tips to reduce stress and make your move a successful one:

· Visit www.move.mil, review the "IT'S YOUR MOVE" pamphlets and other informative information under the "DOD Service Members and Civilians (DOD)" section.

· Contact one of the two Joint Base Charleston PPPOs, the "Transportation Office" as soon as you have orders.

· If you self-counsel, be sure to bring the required paperwork into the PPPO as soon as you complete the counseling.

· If you do self-counsel and encounter problems with the system, contact the DPS helpdesk at 1-800-462-2176, option five. If you have entitlement questions contact the PPPO.

· Provide both primary and alternate move dates and be flexible with these dates.

· Provide a valid e-mail address and phone number so that you may be readily reached throughout your move.

· Remember to obtain and keep numbers and points of contact from the TSP conducting your move and keep in contact with them throughout the move.

· Contact the PPPO immediately if your TSP doesn't initiate contact within 10 days of primary pack and pick up dates or if they do not arrive on the projected move day.
· Contact the PPPO for questions prior to your move, contact your TSP with questions after your property has picked up. If your TSP does not satisfy you, contact the responsible Joint Personnel Property Shipping Office listed in DPS.

· Once your move dates are requested, don't assume they are set. Move dates are not confirmed until your TSP has contacted you and confirmed the dates.

 · Never schedule a pickup on the following days:
      Closing date of a residence
      The last day of residency in an apartment or the day of termination of a lease
      The day a cleaning crew is to start cleaning

Another move option to consider is performing a Personally Procured Move. These moves allow service members to control their own move dates and avoid any delay between arriving to a new assignment and receiving their personal property. Members are also reimbursed 95 percent of the cost of a government move.

In order to have a successful move you need to be engaged and start planning your move as soon as you are notified. Along with the tips above, the PPPO is available and ready to answer any questions you have ... give them a call.

Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, Personal Property Processing Office
DSN: 673-2261, Commercial: 963-2261
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

JB Charleston - Weapons Station, Personal Property Processing Office
DSN: 794-7577, Commercial: 764-7577
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.