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6th LRS answers its ‘top five’ most frequently asked questions

by Maj. Michael Todd
6th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander

I have been commander of the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron for the past 14 months, but have worked in the squadron since its standup Sept. 9, 2002. During my tenure in the 6th LRS, I've gotten a lot of questions, but several of them have a recurring theme and I thought I'd address what I believe are the "Top Five" in an effort to help us help you.

With that in mind, coming in at number five, "How can I get cargo on a military aircraft?"

Military airlift is restricted to Department of Defense cargo in direct support of military missions. If the cargo meets these criteria then it must be manifested on the aircraft. The Traffic Management Office is your point of contact for this at 828-1800.

The customer must take the cargo to TMO Cargo Movements in bldg. 49, well in advance of the scheduled mission, with a properly filled out DD Form 1149, Requisition and Invoice/Shipment Document, and a Shippers Declaration in the event it's hazardous. The cargo is inspected to ensure paperwork and cargo match. It is then packed, crated, labeled and turned over to the air transporters, who review the documentation, prepare the manifest and load the cargo on the aircraft. The key to getting cargo on an aircraft smoothly is to start as soon as you identify your requirement, but no later than 24 hours prior to the scheduled aircraft departure.

Right behind aircraft cargo, sitting comfortably in position four is, "Hey, my squadron is going down to Raymond James Stadium next week and we want to ride a bus; can I get one?"

The answer to that depends on what you are going to do at the event. 6th LRS provides official government transportation IAW DoD Regulation 4500.36-R and AFI 24-301. These documents provide details on official use of government vehicles. The rules also apply to vehicles rented or leased with government money.

Without printing pages of regulations, the basic rule is that we can provide transportation to and from events where military/civilian employees are officially taking part in an event/ceremony in an official capacity. An example of this is our base Honor Guard team providing military honors at funerals.

In addition to that, we are required to right-size the vehicle. This means that if your group is too small to justify a bus, you will get a smaller vehicle such as a van. As with cargo on aircraft, the key to getting the vehicle you need to meet your official requirement is identifying the requirement early. Your point of contact for this is Vehicle Operations Dispatch at 828-5281.

In the number three spot we have, "I have a mission requirement for a vehicle, how do I go about filling it?"

The Air Force currently has a zero growth policy for vehicles. Generally speaking, what this means is that to gain an authorization for a vehicle one must be given up. Organization leadership must scrutinize the requirement and identify an authorization to give up. This does not mean that new authorizations are never approved. The process is difficult, but strongly justified new mission requirement authorizations are sometimes approved. In either case the process is nearly the same.

Your point of contact for starting this process is Vehicle Management & Analysis at 828-7901. You will be required to fill out an AF Form 601, Equipment Action Request. The justification must contain the directive, project or publication that generated the request. It must also identify the expected utilization information (miles, hours, passengers, equipment, supplies, materials, number of trips, etc.) as well as justify why coutilization will not meet mission requirements.

Additionally, the justification must explain why Vehicle Operations' support will not satisfy the requirement. Finally, a mission impact statement detailing the effect on the organization, wing, or base of not having the vehicle must be included. Vehicle Management & Analysis personnel will then complete the justification by providing a utilization analysis on unit assets and substantiate Vehicle Operations' inability to support the requirement. After these actions are complete, the AF Form 601 will be routed through the 6 MSG/CC and the appropriate major command for final approval/disapproval.

A much related question is "Hey I'm authorized a vehicle but it doesn't meet my mission requirements; how can I get one that does?"

The process to accomplish this is exactly the same as getting an authorization approved, with the exception that the 601 justification needs to focus on why the vehicle you have doesn't meet requirements and how the type of vehicle you are requesting will. In addition, you don't have to give up an authorization to do this.

The number two most asked question is, "When I get airline tickets why can't I fly on the airline I want to?"

The answer to this one is fairly simple and comes straight from Defense Transportation Regulation DoD 4500.9R Part I, Chapter 103, A-2b and AFI 124-101, Chapter 2.5.1 which states, "Uniformed service members and DoD employees on official travel are mandatory users of the General Services Administration Airline City Pair Program."

The City Pair Program is what Bay Area Travel uses to book your reservations, whether your orders are processed through the Defense Transportation System or not. Each year the GSA Federal Supply Service awards contracts for air transportation for travelers on official government travel. The contracts are awarded competitively based on the best overall value to the government. The best value decision is based on considerations of the type, distribution, and number of flights, the average flight time, and the offered price.

This process forms the basis of the City Pair Program. In addition, no matter how many times you change the interim stops in your itinerary, change your date of departure or return or even cancel the trip, there are no fees or penalties under the City Pairs Program. The same cannot be said if the traveler were to make his own arrangements.

If that doesn't convince you, then I've added DoD 4500.9R Part I ,Chapter 102, N-7 and AFI 124-101, Chapter 2.6 which states, "When available, use of the CTO for official travel is mandatory." What this means is if city pair flights are available to your destination, we are required to book you on them.

A version of the number one, most asked question I get is, "Why can't I get my household goods picked up/delivered exactly when I want?"

The answer is you stand a much better chance the earlier you start the process.

When requesting a delivery date, it is essential for personnel to contact their destination Transportation Office Inbound Section immediately upon or prior to arrival. It is critical to provide good points of contact so that you'll be notified when your shipment arrives. A sub-issue is direct delivery, but the same rules apply. Contact information is even more critical, because with a direct delivery you're normally in-transit as your property arrives. Being able to contact you can help ensure the delivery occurs as planned.

You must have a complete delivery address (apartment complex name, building number, apartment number, street address, and zip code) to schedule delivery. Deliveries in our area of responsibility are accomplished Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays. Specific delivery times cannot be scheduled.

According to regulations, the local agent agrees to deliver HHGs to the member/employee or member's/employee's agent within five working days from the date of notification by the TMO if agreed upon by the member/employee. The process for shipments is different.

Military and civilian members must have funded orders to make a shipment of personal property or POV (overseas only). You should contact TMO Outbound as soon as possible to increase the chances of getting the pickup dates you want. The TMO will provide you a briefing on your entitlements and complete all paperwork.

The pickup is scheduled by accessing a list of DoD approved moving companies and contacting the local agent for the company to schedule your pickup. According to IAW DoD 4500.9R 103, the local agent must be given at least 7 working days' notice prior to the pickup date. Once your property is picked up the in-transit time for stateside shipments is about 2 weeks; for overseas it averages about 2 months. Lastly, weight allowances are found in the JFTR/chapter 5 for military members; all civilian are authorized 18,000 lbs.

These are not all the questions I receive, but they are by far the most frequent. I hope this information will help us help you. If you have questions or issues with my squadron that you can't get resolved, please call me at 828-3240.

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