HAWAII — When the U.S. Army announced earlier this year they are implementing a requirement that 100% of household goods (HHG) shipments are to be inspected for quality assurance, the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade (AFSB) began working on how best to fulfill the new requirement. While in search of the best long-term solution, the 402nd assembled a team of senior non-commissioned officers (NCO) and junior officers, borrowed from other commands, to conduct HHG inspections from June through the end of September. “Three Soldiers came from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC), four Reservists were mobilized by the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program Support Brigade (LOGCAP SPT BDE) and two Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division rotated in/out for a one month assignment,” said Captain Michael Miller, a Reservist mobilized tasked with coordinating the inspectors for the 402nd AFSB.
The HHG QA Inspection team has been augmenting the work of the Navy Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO) to achieve the 100% inspection requirement. While the Soldiers did have experience with their own PCS moves, they weren’t familiarized with the other end of the inspection process. As a result, the team received extensive training from the JPPSO. Additionally, the Soldiers from the LOGCAP SPT BDE received training at Rock Island Arsenal, IL prior to arriving in Hawaii.
Sergeant First Class Sabrina Nededog, a Special Operations Officer from the 8th TSC was pulled in to be an inspector this summer. “I’ve really enjoyed my time as an inspector and assisting Soldiers and their families with their moves. I’ve been in the Army for 19 years and only had an HHG QA inspector two or three times,” she recounts after a recent home inspection. “I get thanked all the time by the families I work with. Having an inspector present can mitigate the potential for their belongings to be damaged during the move.”
In addition to ensuring the government is getting the appropriate service from the transportation service provider (TSP) by performing spot checks and speaking with the service members, their families and TSP to ensure that everything is transpiring in accordance with all applicable rules and guidelines, the inspectors are often able to provide guidance to the service member and their family on what to expect regarding their HHGs during the move. “It wasn’t until I was trained to be an inspector that I learned what exactly to look for during a move to ensure my belongings were packed appropriately,” says SFC Nededog. Although this information has already been provided to the service member during their pre-move counseling, it’s a lot to take in and can be overwhelming, especially for Soldiers on their first or second move. “I’ve sat through many pre-move counseling and never fully comprehended the process of a HHG move as well as I do now.”
Moving during the COVID-19 pandemic has provided families with a new set of challenges. As such, home inspections now include ensuring all parties are following DoD, CDC, and local COVID guidelines. These guidelines include movers showing any flu-like symptoms will not partake in the move, all parties must wear a mask at all times and maintain six-feet of distance when possible, and when the movers are finished, they sanitize high-touch surfaces, such as doors, door frames, and counters.