ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Army Sustainment Command has an important role in what Department of Defense officials and the U.S. Transportation Command describe as a measure to improve moving household goods for military personnel and civilian employees supporting the military.

As part of its ongoing transformation of installation Directorates of Logistics operations from Installation Management Command, ASC and its Army Field Support Brigades are becoming directly involved in transportation activities.

"One aspect of DOL activities coming under our control is transportation of personal property," said Diane Wadsworth, a member of ASC's DOL Transformation Team.

The recently announced DOD change consolidates 151 Personal Property Shipping Offices into 11regional Joint PPSOs. "Plans call for an Army-led JPPSO at Fort Belvoir, Va., and three other JPPSOs that will fall under ASC's transportation operations," Wadsworth said.

Wadsworth was quick to point out installation Personal Property Processing Offices will continue personal counseling and inspect in- and out-bound shipments to verify quality customer service. The Defense Personal Property System, or DPS, at is still an option for automated processing.

According to a US TRANSCOM news release, the JPPSOs will handle back-office processing for moves, including booking household goods shipments with commercial movers. These back-office function consolidations should be transparent to customers and their families.

"PPPO counselors and quality control inspectors will be focused on improving customer service and will still be available to assist with moving needs," said Jim Teague, transportation specialist, Transportation Policy and Initiatives Branch, Strategy, Policy, Programs and Logistics directorate, USTRANSCOM.

TRANSCOM reports the consolidations are set to begin in 2012. Once complete in 2016, JPPSOs for the continental United States, including Alaska, will be located in the following key geographical locations: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.(USA); Colorado Springs, Colo.(USAF); Chelmsford, Mass.(USAF); Fort Belvoir, Va.(USA); San Antonio(USAF); Jacksonville, Fla.(USN); and San Diego(USN).

Overseas shipments including Hawaii will be handled at Pearl Harbor;
Yokosuka, Japan; Yongsan, Korea; and Grafenwoehr, Germany.

Transportation officials expect the consolidation will save millions of dollars over the next 10 years by reducing redundant functions and overall operating costs, and allow for standardized and more efficient business practices across DOD.