VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
With the peak season for permanent changes of duty station already well underway, the Traffic Management Office is supporting military families through the moving process.
Peak season is the time of the year when there is a spike in military personnel in PCS status. For passenger travel, it usually starts from early May and runs through the end of September.
“TMO is the forefront of all logistics to relocate personnel and eligible dependents along with their belongings,” said Staff Sgt. Immanuel Miguel, 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron personal property NCOIC. “We do our best to counsel each customer regarding their entitlements and options to ensure a smooth transition. It is our job to reduce the burden we all face during a move by helping the member stay focused on their duties, their families, and out-processing responsibilities.”
TMO provides a variety of tips to ensure military PCS movement is executed with care and precision. One way to ease the transition process is to contact TMO soon after receiving orders or a letter in lieu of orders.
“We recommend personnel who PCS to contact our office as soon as they receive an assignment notification, even if they do not have orders,” said Miguel. “We assist in determining entitlements, types of options, and planning the member’s move. The sooner you start working with your local TMO, the greater your chances of getting your desired pack and pick up date, or travel date.”
Even with careful planning and preparation, there can be a variety of roadblocks that can stand in the way of a potentially painless move.
“Last year, Personal Property moves had issues with Transportation Service Provider drivers cancelling at the last minute or showing up without enough space in their van,” said Miguel. “When that happens, the remaining property has to be taken to a local warehouse where it waits for the next available line haul driver.”
Another common issue is blackout dates, a time period when over saturation causes TSPs to no longer accept any shipments.
“These are normally declared about three weeks prior and historically occur between June 15 and July 15,” said Miguel. “The high volume of movement during the peak season can cause shipment delays arriving at destinations or missed delivery dates. When these issues come up, we do our best to make sure we communicate with providers to make the completion of your move as smooth as possible.”
Additionally, there can be issues that arise when traveling to overseas locations with pets.
“For passenger travel, the biggest problem we encounter is booking members who are traveling overseas with pets,” said Miguel. “There are a limited number of vacancies available on all military supported aircraft, and these vacancies are booked on a first come first serve basis. For commercial airline; depending on the type of breed, only a few carriers will accept pets. Even though you may have a confirmed reservation for your pets, it is imperative that travelers understand that the airline has the right to refuse pets during check in. TMO does not have any control over the carrier’s policy, so we suggest members contact the airline as far in advance as possible and clearly specify their needs to avoid these issues.”
Regardless of any problem that may occur during a PCS, the TMO staff is dedicated to providing the smoothest transition for all personnel and their families.
“Knowing at the end of the day that I personally help someone with their move to the next chapter in their life and start over at a new location is why I like doing this job,” said Senior Airman Akia Carter, 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron personal property counselor. “I was born to do this.”
For more information, contact TMO at 606-0902 or visit their office at building 11777, room C-103.