[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     April 08, 2011
Armywide News

BRAC actions add to busy DoD summer moving season

By Elaine Sanchez, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With a busier-than-usual military moving season about to kick into high gear, officials are asking servicemembers to book their moving dates early and to keep flexibility in mind when doing so.

The military moved more than 230,000 shipments last summer alone, and this year officials are expecting even more due to the base realignment and closure (BRAC) process, said John Johnson, chief of the personal property branch for the Army’s Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. The command is the lead agent for the Defense Department’s Personal Property Program.

Johnson said he’s expecting an additional 10,000 moves this summer due to BRAC. This moving cluster can create a backlog for officials, Johnson said. On average, the military moves about 600,000 shipments a year, and more than a third of those moves take place over the summer.

Johnson said a system redesign is in the works, but in the meantime, he recommends that people watch the video posted on http://www.move.mil, which explains in detail how to navigate the online claim system.

Officials also have directed training efforts at moving experts, Johnson said, including the introduction of a webinar series that covers the storage and transit process for personal property shipment offices and carriers.

Among efforts to increase capacity, officials now allow carriers to use portable movement storage containers similar to those used for commercial shipments, Johnson said. In the past, he explained, the military required household goods to be moved in “loose loaded” or in wooden crates with specific dimensions. However, in the commercial sector, carriers use multiple types of containers.

“We’re now allowing carriers to use what containers they normally use to move military members,” he said. By doing so, he added, officials hope to increase the capacity of carriers qualified to conduct military moves.

People need to book moves early, particularly if they want to lock down a holiday weekend. And, above all, he said, they should remain flexible on dates.

When people are notified of a move, Johnson said, the first stop should be their local personal property shipment office, and then the Move.Mil website.

Military OneSource also offers Families a host of online moving resources, including “Plan My Move,” which features a moving calendar and travel and arrival checklists, and “Military Installations,” which links Families to information about their new base and the local community.

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