Fort McCoy News April 26, 2013

Officials urge planning early for household moves

BY AMANNI LYLE
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For many military and federal government workers, spring signifies not only flowers in bloom and warmer weather, but also a good time to get the jump on the peak moving season, which typically runs from May to August.

Mitch Chandran, an Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) spokesman, said he encourages military members to request a preferred move date as soon as they get their orders.

Peak moving season, he said, is a moving industry phenomenon in which government moves compete with private-sector moves for the same resources during busy summer months, with peak moves between Memorial Day and July 4.

"The competition (occurs when) transportation service providers try to accommodate government and nongovernment move requests during summer months, (and more) move requests occur within a relatively short amount of time," Chandran said. "The sooner you start the move process upon receiving orders, the better chance you will have to lock in your preferred move date."

Each year, SDDC manages about 520,000 booked household-goods moves per year, of which about 225,000 occur during peak moving season.

John Johnson, SDDC's personal property directorate quality assurance division branch chief, said the moving process should begin with military members contacting their transportation or personal property shipping office to explore their options, including a personally procured move.

A personally procured move is a do-it-yourself arrangement in which a servicemember with orders can opt to move household goods and either be reimbursed up to the government's cost or collect an incentive payment from the government.

In the Fort McCoy community, authorized personnel should visit the website www.move.mil to register for or re-establish the Defense Personal Property System access. Customers also should contact the Personal Property Shipping Office-Minnesota, which is located in Bloomington, Minn., at 952-837-3180, to ask general questions or to get entitlement counseling services. Other personal property information can be accessed at http://www.sddc.army.mil/PP/default.aspx.

While the drawdown in Afghanistan through 2014 will space some moves throughout the year beyond summer, military members moving to another base upon their return from deployment could experience summer congestion in the commercial moving industry, including capacity shortfalls to accommodate requested pick-up and delivery dates, Chandran explained.

But as moving season nears, military members can better ensure smooth transport of their goods by being flexible with move dates, planning for unforeseen circumstances and keeping contact information current in the system.

"Create a personal moving calendar with checklists, phone numbers and links to critical moving processes and information," Chandran said.  This calendar can be created through the 'Plan My Move' website at http://planmymove.militaryonesource.mil.
He also noted that military members must confirm move dates by coordinating with their transportation service provider and completing a pre-move survey.

Incoming members of the Fort McCoy community also are encouraged to contact the installation Army Community Service Center, building 2111, for information about relocation.

Ann Wermer, Fort McCoy Relocation Readiness program manager, said people who arrive at Fort McCoy before their household goods do can check out Lending Closet items such as air mattresses, tables, chairs, kitchen items, vacuums, etc. These items can be checked out for 30 days and the loan time can be extended on a case-by-case basis.

Other services include a sponsorship program that can assist personnel during the relocation to Fort McCoy.

New personnel at Fort McCoy also are encouraged to attend a Newcomer Orientation, which generally is held the second Wednesday of the month. The next one is scheduled for Wednesday, May 1.

ACS also has information about other Army installations to which Soldiers and their Families are relocating.

For more information, call 608-388-3505/2359 or visit the website www.mccoymwr.com.

For more information about the military moving process, call 800-462-2176 or 618-220-SDDC or visit www.move.mil or send an e-mail to sddc.safb.dpshd@us.army.mil.

SDDC's personal property directorate manages the Defense Personal Property Program for the Defense Department.