Summer busiest time to PCS:Traffic management office offers advice for smooth moves

  • Published
  • By David Kellogg
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Summertime for many means time spent with family and travel ... but not always in the form of a vacation. 

This time of year traditionally sees a lot of change of stations, causing many Airmen to pack for more than just a few days off. 

However, Rocky Deaton, 62nd Aerial Port Squadron Traffic Management Office chief of personal property, said families aren't on their own when it comes to ensuring smooth moves. 

"It's always busy [for us] this time of year," said Mr. Deaton. "People try their best to arrange their PCS while their children are out of school." 

Senior Airman Lacey Monroe, a 62nd Aerial Port Squadron personal property specialist, said the first step for those who are about to move to a new base should be a visit to their local TMO personal property office as soon as they receive their PCS orders. The personal property office counsels the Airmen on their entitlements and what the government allows them to take on the move. 

Airman Monroe also said entitlements vary depending on where Airmen are moving, their rank and dependency status. For instance, someone moving to Japan has more restrictions placed on what they can move than if they're going to Italy, she said. 

If Airmen are moving within the continental United States, they are encouraged to make a personally procured move, also known as a "do it yourself" move. In other words, the government pays Airmen to move their own possessions. 

After the TMO office receives an Airman's orders and their paperwork is submitted, the personal property office forwards the information to Fort Lewis' joint personnel office. The Fort Lewis JIPSO office then books the property shipments with a carrier. 

Norm Waters, a transportation assistant at Fort Lewis, said people should take control of their moves. 

"It is your move and you are in charge of it," Mr. Waters said. "Protect yourself by ensuring that the quantity, quality and condition of your property is accurately recorded and noted on the inventories and by any other means available, before the shipment leaves your control." 

Tech. Sgt. Rob Oman, 62nd Aerial Port Squadron, who was scheduled to have carriers move his family's possessions to Germany in July, attested to the importance of Mr. Waters' advice. 

Sergeant Oman and his wife photographed their possessions so they had evidence of each item's condition before the move. They also wrote down the serial numbers of their items in case anything went missing. 

"[Moving] is quite a process," he said. "My wife went through and labeled everything."