The PCS process of moving service members on PCS orders around the world is a small part of what US Transportation Command currently does. Many at TRANSCOM will state that this should not be a part of their mission set as they are designed to move war fighting capabilities and support systems.
Transcom is one of ten unified, functional combatant commands which conducts globally integrated mobility operations to provide enabling capabilities in order to project and sustain the Joint Force in support of national objectives.
You could argue that service members on PCS orders is part of sustaining the joint force. As service members retire, leave the service, and join, the military has to move people around in order to fill those gaps within its ranks to ensure every unit is at their man power capacity should the need to deploy arise.
With TRANSCOM already utilizing a force of service members, DoD civilians, and commercial partners with their wide array of trucks, trains, rail cars, aircraft, ships, information systems and structures, to move war fighting and sustainment systems, it only makes sense that moving service members and their HHGs would a function of TRANSCOM under the scope of sustaining the manpower force.
However, TRANSCOM believes that this small department that they manage should not be theirs to handle. Their solution to this is to award a PCS contract to a single move manager system to handle the 450,000/year moves and to remove the DoD from the process.
Let’s agree now that military housing and PCSing are two different beasts, but we can pull some similarities from both. Years ago, the DoD thought it would be a good idea to privatize the housing industry, a “let the experts do what they do, and it only makes sense to let a housing company run this”. Have you seen what is happening with housing? Removing the DoD from the process allowed the housing companies to hold tenants hostage in their homes by providing little to no maintenance, bandaid fixes that cause health problems, allowed the companies to pad their wallets, and took control and authority away from the military chain of command and garrison commanders.
In this new plan that Transcom wants to move to, we’d be again removing the DoD from a process that impacts every service member at least once.
Not only that, but with the rate that Transcom is moving on this program that was announced only a few months ago, they want to award a contract to a company before this year is over. It makes me wonder what is the rush to have this program in place with no type of market or cost research being done, and really – whose wallet is getting padded in this process.
I have yet to see TRANSCOM provide anything that would show us how moving to this privatization of the moving process would not lead to the same results we have now with the move process and would in fact be the “fix all” solution that they claim it to be.
Actions speak louder than words, show is this will work, Transcom.