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Relocating? You have options

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Individuals relocating during a permanent change of station, separation or retirement have three options available to them once they receive orders.

Those options are a household goods move, a personally procured move, or a non-temporary storage. Airmen may elect one or any combination of the three for their move.

What is a HHG move?

An HHG is when a government contracted transportation service provider performs full packing, loading, transporting, unloading, placement, and debris removal.

The shipment is covered by Full Valuation Insurance. A claim will be required to repair or replace damaged or lost items. It's important to submit claims as early in the relocating process as possible. During peak season - May through September - many TSPs are saturated with a high volume of requests, resulting in delay of pickup and/or delivery of goods.

What is a PPM?

The personally procured method allows members to arrange transportation of their property when they have an entitlement to ship or store HHG.

A member can use any privately owned vehicle, direct hire or rental of a conveyance - with or without operator - to move household goods. Reimbursement of actual costs or monetary allowance is limited to what it would cost the government to move the actual weight shipped and/or stored and must not exceed the member's maximum authorized weight allowance.

Members are reimbursed 95 percent of what the government would have paid if a contracted TSP was utilized or actual cost incurred up to the government constructed cost. Receipts are required for authorized expenses as they are tax deductions and calculated into the final payment. Members have several options to transport property including a rental truck, personally owned vehicle, contracted TSP, freight service, or any combination thereof.

Freight services such as portable shipping containers are not available in Rapid City or Ellsworth, however, members may utilize similar services offered by non-traditional means.

Customers are allowed three business days from origin to destination to load and unload the trailer. Transit times average between two and five business days. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages when utilizing non-traditional shipping methods so it's important for Airmen to educate themselves prior to choosing a shipping company.

What is NTS?

NTS is long-term storage of household goods in lieu of transportation. This type of move includes necessary packing, crating, unpacking, uncrating and transportation to and from the place of storage.

Property will be stored in a warehouse in Rapid City until delivery is requested. Length of storage is determined by an Airman's orders. Members who PCS to another duty station will have a longer timeline for storage. If they elect to do a NTS, they will not be able to request delivery until they have a permanent address.

This option is most suitable for members who are separating or retiring and have not decided on a location, are having a home built, or will not be ready to receive their property within 90 days of arriving at their destination.

Tips

No matter which option a member chooses to use, there are some things that can be done to help their move go as smoothly as possible.

- Start the process early. This means getting orders as soon as possible and then coming to the Personal Property Office. The sooner a member can get everything started, the better the chance of getting all the requested dates.

- Stay in contact with your TSP. As soon as a member is assigned a TSP, or contracts with one for a PPM, it is in their best interest to keep in contact with the company. Provide your TSP with good contact information, such as a cell phone number and email address, that will be checked frequently.

Additionally, as soon as you have a delivery address, update the TSP. TSPs can provide the most up-to-date status of the shipment and let you know if there are delays.

- File an Inconvenience Claim. If a member has elected to do a HHG shipment through government contract and their goods aren't delivered by the required delivery date, the member can file an inconvenience claim through the TSP to reimburse essential expenses like cookware or bedding. If you have an established delivery address and your stuff does not make it by your RDD, the inconvenience claim process is key.

Not only does this help offset the costs you incur getting beds, pans, and other essentials, it also helps the Air Force figure out which companies are not holding up their end of the deal. These companies can actually lose their government contract if there are enough complaints.

For more information on how to prepare for an upcoming PCS, call the 28th LRS Traffic Management Office at (605) 385-6597.