Air Force

July 5, 2012

Managing your move: TMO breaks down moving myths

Airman 1st Class Austin Harvill
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The summer season encroaches each and every day. Changes of command, farewell picnics and moving trucks mark this transitional time frame. However, do not fret — the Airmen at the Traffic Management Office are there to ease the stress during the moving process.

Staff Sgt. Eva Simmons, 633rd Logistics Readiness Squadron traffic management specialist, explained the process of moving, both do-it-yourself and otherwise, June 12 at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

“There are essentially three types of moves: permanent change of station, home of record move and home of selection move,” said Simmons.

Airmen who need to move household goods from their residence prior to enlistment to their first duty station qualify for a home of record move. Retiring Airmen may move from their final duty station to any location in the continental U.S. with a home of selection move.

Both of these moves share the same process as a normal PCS. Simmons went through each and every step of a PCS, giving the more important details.

After getting paperwork for a PCS, first-time movers will be briefed along with those separating, retirees and individuals with a power of attorney. Once completed, movers must estimate the weight of their household goods. Simmons suggested 1,000 pounds per room as an estimate. Afterwards, a moving contractor will be sent to the house on a pre-determined date.

For those with less goods and more manpower, a do-it-yourself move, also known as a personal property or “DITY” move, may be more worthwhile.

Much of the paperwork needed for a PPM is identical to that used in a normal PCS, however applicants must also fill out a do-it-yourself and counseling checklist and obtain a travel voucher. Movers must weigh their vehicles empty and full for the traffic management office. As a rule of thumb, Simmons suggests keeping all receipts from travel expense as they may be tax exempt.

Simmons also suggested that prospective movers make an appointment with TMO three weeks ahead of the move, and she pointed out that those wishing to move during the peak season should make an appointment two to three months in advance instead of three weeks.

It sounds simple on paper, but stories abound on troubled moves. Airman 1st Class Alexis Pearson, 439th Supply Chain and Operations Squadron grounds support specialist, had to navigate around a dual-service marriage and an infant while she processed out of Langley.

“It was definitely unique,” said Pearson. “The dual-service made the process a little slower.”

Pearson’s husband, a multi-launch rocket system driver at Fort Eustis, Va., was given orders in April to Fort Lewis, Wash. Pearson applied for orders and proceeded to process through TMO as much as possible. Pearson is scheduled to leave Langley July 16. This is the first move for the whole family.

“Without orders, a lot of the paperwork couldn’t be completed,” Pearson said. “My husband also needed to provide paperwork for me, and that took some time.”

Pearson has all of the necessary paperwork almost completed, and is still waiting for orders to finish the necessary steps. As for her child and her items, Pearson isn’t worried.

“My son won’t have his baby bouncer or his toys, and he loves those things,” she said. “But I am confident that all of my items will be safe, so he can have them later.”

Pearson suggests to other movers that they fill out as much of the paperwork as possible as soon as possible to expedite the process once orders have arrived, especially with a spouse in the military as well.

For more information, or to get started on a move, contact your local inbound or outbound TMO.




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(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant)

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