Deliveries of household goods for military members who have already completed their move should go on as scheduled, despite coronavirus-related permanent change-of-station (PCS) changes, officials said Tuesday.
The Pentagon on Friday ordered a 60-day global stop movement for military members and their families preparing to travel on PCS orders. Those who had already started their move were ordered to complete their travels, while those who had household goods previously packed but had not yet started travel, as well as those who were awaiting a pack-out, were ordered to delay.
But the order sparked widespread confusion among personnel as to the status of in-progress moves and how families can retrieve their belongings.
An update Tuesday from the U.S. Transportation Command (Transcom), which manages all military moves, said that deliveries are to continue as scheduled, and moving companies are to pause all pack-outs.
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"The advisory directs moving companies to take no action on scheduled pick-ups or pack-outs of household goods until they confirm with the Personal Property Office responsible for the shipment that it should continue. Impacted customers with scheduled pick-ups and pack-outs should be contacted by their provider to inform them of the delay of their pick-up or pack-out," the new release states. "Deliveries of household goods, unaccompanied baggage, and non-temporary storage lots should continue as scheduled."
Officials said pack-out waivers are available for military members who no longer have housing due to lease termination or home sales. Those same service members and families can also get housing support from the chain of command they're leaving, if needed, Pentagon officials said, including possibly covering move expenses on their Government Travel Card (GTC). Families should get prior approval to use the card for those expenses, they said.
"DoD will use all means available to assist service members who were impacted by COVID-19," DoD officials said in guidance issued late Friday. "Approved reimbursable travel expenses are authorized to be placed on the government travel card. Please contact your chain of command for assistance."
-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.