FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Before having large furniture and bulky items shipped overseas for a permanent change of station, or PCS, move, Soldiers should first visit the Fort Campbell Transportation Personal Property and Passenger Travel Office to ensure their arrangements are the right fit.
“We always recommend service members, as soon as they get their orders, to either come in or call, and that way we can assess what their next step is going to be and go over the options and type of shipments they are entitled to on those orders,” said Carri Barnes, personal property supervisor for the Personal Property Office.
With peak PCS season getting underway, specialists at the Transportation Office, inside the Soldier Support Center, 2702 Michigan Ave., are eager to help service members take some of the stress out of moves.
Although only first-time movers are required to attend briefings, Barnes said many Soldiers would benefit from the staff’s expertise and counseling tailored to their specific needs, especially if they have not moved overseas before. Those who have moved in the past but could use assistance can stop by the office with their orders, call to obtain guidance or have a packet of information emailed to them so they can self-counsel their move online.
Several different types of moves are available, depending on orders and whether the Soldier will be accompanied by his or her Family members.
OCONUS moves take time
Soldiers who live in the barracks will likely have different needs than one who is packing up a home and having some belongings stored, some sent by ship and some sent by air, said Shayna Wallace, transportation specialist and outbound counselor.
Soldiers moving overseas while their Families stay behind are also entitled to have Family members moved to the location of their choice in the United States. Wallace gives briefings for first-time movers and specifically breaks down the differences between moves outside the continental United States, or OCONUS and within the continental United States, or CONUS.
“We break down the types of shipments because with overseas moves, they get a few more options on types of shipments than they would with a standard stateside move,” Wallace said.
Because OCONUS moves take longer, with household good shipments taking 60 to 75 days to reach destinations, Barnes suggests Soldiers moving overseas get started making arrangements and prepping for movers ahead of time.
“They have to be organized and it is up to them to do that,” she said. “It is something we can counsel them on and encourage them to do, but it is really important on these OCONUS moves that they are organized.”
That starts with picking which types of shipments they will require and are entitled to on their orders.
Wallace said most household goods shipped overseas will be packed by movers provided by the government and put on a ship. All packing materials and manpower are provided. Even items packed in boxes by their owners may be removed and repacked because of liability issues.
She said owners should be sure to separate items they want to have sent express by air, or unaccompanied baggage, which should include necessities not to exceed the weight they are allowed.
Some items allowed for expedited shipment include strollers, clothing, computers, televisions up to 32-inches, uniforms, linens and toys, dishes, CPAP machines, coffee makers and voltage transformers.
Unaccompanied baggage may not include major items of furniture, appliances or valuable items, unless they are essential to the health and welfare of the Soldier or Family members.
Other household goods will be packed and sent separately, and each will be handled separately so several groups of movers may be required to visit the home. That means being available to allow multiple movers access to the home at different times.
Some household goods may be stored by the government in non-temporary storage near Fort Campbell. Although Soldiers may have the option of having most items shipped overseas, Wallace said she encourages them to consider having some items stored because they could be unnecessary overseas or take up too much room.
“Washers and dryer hookups are going to be different,” she said. “King sized beds are not always going to fit the doorways to get into their living quarters. A lot of times they want to take everything, but we always encourage them to do the non-temporary storage because you may not be able to fit everything over there that you could here in the U.S.”
It’s also unlikely that they will find self-storage businesses nearby, as they would in the U.S.
Peak PCS season typically begins in May and lasts throughout the summer.
Because there are so many options, Wallace and Barnes urge Soldiers or their designated person with power of attorney to contact them as soon as possible, so they can avoid making costly mistakes. For more information, call 270-798-7151.