With the busy 2013 Peak Moving Season now over, the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's Personal Property Directorate, transportation service providers and moving association representatives met to conduct their bi-annual Personal Property Forum Oct. 29 near Scott Air Force Base.

William Budden, SDDC's deputy to the commander, opened the forum by welcoming industry and thanking them for all they do in support of the Defense Personal Property Program, or DP3.

There were about 200 household goods moving companies in attendance along with leadership from International Association of Movers and American Moving and Storage Association.

Also at the forum was the new Personal Property Director, Navy Capt. Aaron Stanley, which he took the opportunity to meet representatives who manage the movement of over 520, 000 personal property shipments for Department of Defense each year.

Forum topics included 2013 Open Season, TSP Authorities; a breakout session for one-on-one discussions with individual Personal Property teams; the Defense Personal Property System, or DPS and the Systems Response Center. A question and answer period followed each briefing.

Stanley said this Open Season, whereby new providers were added to the network, was a challenging one, and the first conducted under DP3. This effort provides companies who have not previously moved DOD shipments with the opportunity to participate and add their capacity to the program. This year's open season closes Nov. 29 and the directorate is expecting to have another open season in 2014.

"We held our first Personal Property Forum in 2009," said John Johnson, SDDC's branch chief for the Personal Property Directorate Quality Assurance Division. "The partnership we've developed during program implementation, through these types of meetings and forums have significantly contributed to the many positive adjustments made to the program over the last several years. This forum is an excellent vehicle for the open exchange of ideas."

Air Force Lt. Col. Gina Prevett, program manager for DPS, provided a briefing on the latest system updates and addressed challenges and courses of action to solve them. TSPs voiced concerns about invoicing downtimes that occurred during recent system outages. Prevett briefed details of the invoicing challenges and stated her team was working with vested partners to resolve them as quickly as possible while putting measures in place to prevent future occurrences.

The next event in the planning cycle is to publish the solicitations in preparation for the annual rate filing in February 2014 which will be followed by another busy summer peak moving season.
The next personal property forum is tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2014, at which time SDDC will address peak season projections and the latest DP3 updates.