More Delays to PCS Move Reform
When a military member gets orders to relocate to a new base, the Department of Defense picks up the tab for the move. The military’s system for managing those moves once included the online platform Move.mil, but that system was taken over by the Moving Your Personal Property Landing Page on MilitaryOneSource.mil.
But introducing that system has been fraught with problems, and there are now more delays in the DoD’s efforts to reform the military household goods shipping process.
A new contractor (HomeSafe Alliance) was meant to take over responsibility for permanent change of station household goods moves starting in September 2023. But the rollout has been fraught with problems, including a lawsuit challenging the contract.
That suit was resolved, and there have been a few technical issues along the way, prompting the latest delay. Now, DoD officials don’t expect the new PCS system to roll out until sometime in 2024. What’s holding up the DoD and HomeSafe Alliance from moving forward?
What PCS Reform Was Meant to Accomplish
Military Times notes that, as a PCS contractor for U.S. TRANSCOM, “HomeSafe Alliance will pull together a network of moving companies from across the industry and coordinate military moves and warehouse services, integrating functions currently performed by more than 900 commercial movers.”
The idea is to streamline operations and place a single entity responsible for completing household goods shipments for PCS moves. Under the old system, there was a patchwork of service providers and difficulty maintaining oversight of them, reporting complaints, etc.
Related: Active Duty Military Benefits
Brief History of DoD PCS Reform
When the Department of Defense announced reforms to its household goods shipment processes, placing responsibility for all moves under a single contractor, it announced the first PCS moves under that contractor would happen in 2023.
U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) issued a press release in March of 2023 announcing “a phased launch of personal property shipments moving under the Global Household Goods Contract (GHC) in September of 2023.”
The plan, worth nearly $18 billion, was designed to correct long-time problems with PCS moves, including lost or damaged household goods, missed deliveries and pickups, and issues with individual movers.
There was a contract with TRANSCOM and HomeSafe Alliance (following resolution of the lawsuit by a third party mentioned above) and plans were made for a September 2023 start to the new system.
App Integration Problems
But Military.com reports problems with user apps for household goods shipments are causing further delays. TRANSCOM developed a new platform called MilMove, and HomeSafe Connect is the app developed by the contractor. At press time, there are issues with both. That’s a serious issue for TRANSCOM because MilMove is meant to replace the Defense Personal Property System.
TRANSCOM issued a press release noting issues with how the two systems interact. Those issues are largely responsible for the most recent delays, with one TRANSCOM official noting, “Our work with HomeSafe Alliance is helping us confirm our systems and operational processes are fully integrated and tested before we launch into peak moving season of 2024.”
At the time of this writing, there have been no PCS moves scheduled under the new system, and while TRANSCOM and HomeSafe have both committed to starting those moves in late 2023, chances are good that the first actual PCS moves under HomeSafe won’t happen until 2024.
The original plan for switching to the new system involved a nine-month rollout. At press time, that is currently in its 12th month.
Once HomeSafe begins handling PCS moves, it will not be on a global basis, at least not at first.
PCS moves in the earliest days of the new system must “qualify” for the new approach. If they qualify, they are invited to sign up for HomeSafe Connect. More widespread availability is expected to be phased in rather than happening all at once.
Related: Active Duty Military Benefits
About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.