For all personnel assigned to forts Wainwright and Greely, the government pays to ship personal property, household goods and one privately owned vehicle, plus travel to the state. If shipping a POV at government expense, a member may still be authorized to drive to the new duty station, because driving falls under a travel entitlement and shipping a POV falls under a shipping entitlement. The following information will help you prepare for the move.
On receipt of orders to Alaska, contact your local transportation office. Start planning your move well in advance. Shipping your personal property to Alaska normally takes 30 to 40 days, depending on how much you have and where you ship it from.
Your grade and whether you are serving an accompanied or unaccompanied tour determine the maximum HHG weight allowance. Exceeding your weight entitlement could cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars, so estimate the weight of your goods carefully before shipping. A good rule of thumb is 1,000 pounds per room, excluding bathrooms, but including basements and garages.
Alaska is also considered an administrative weight-restricted area for single unaccompanied Soldiers in grades staff sergeant and below, sergeant first class and above residing on post, and officers residing on post. Look up administrative weight limitations in the Overseas Consignment Guide or contact your local transportation office.
You can transport personal property in two ways: a government-contracted move or a Do-It-Yourself (DITY) move. For a DITY move, the government pays military personnel 95 percent of the cost for a contracted move.
The origin transportation office must preapprove DITY moves or partial DITY moves. These moves are subject to federal and state taxes (28 percent) off the top.
The government also pays for a baggage shipment, but keep in mind that the weight of the baggage shipment counts against your maximum weight allowance. Some members, especially if they take leave en route, simply combine their property into a single shipment.
If you choose the single-shipment option, you may request at the originating transportation office that the government temporarily store most of your belongings and deliver only essential items until you receive quarters. At the time of pickup, be sure to designate the items for “partial delivery” and note authorization on your government bill of lading.
The government will also place any property you leave behind in nontemporary storage for the duration of your overseas tour. Ask your transportation office to discuss the Overseas Consignment Guide instructions for your new overseas duty station.
In lieu of household goods, you can ship your mobile home, but the process can be frustrating and expensive. The government reimburses shipping costs based on your authorized maximum HHG weight in accordance with JFTR, Vol. 1, Chapter 5.
Excess weight is extremely costly, and you may be required to modify your mobile home to enter the state. The base lacks mobile home lots, and space is scarce in nearby communities. Direct any questions about this difficult process to the transportation office or call the Alaska Department of Transportation, Weights and Measures Section at 907-341-3200.
SPONSORS AND TRAVEL
Apply for a sponsor and concurrent travel for family members before leaving your present duty station. In most cases, your sponsor will authorize travel if housing is available. At that time, also determine the status of any dependents since the government won’t pay for new or unauthorized dependents or their property.
For more information, contact your local transportation office.
Here are some suggestions to consider before shipping your household goods to Alaska:
- Normally, the departing duty station authorizes nontemporary storage.
- Large, oversized or overstuffed furniture or workbenches longer than 7 feet 6 inches may not fit in quarters.
- Unless in two parts, queen-size box springs may not fit up the stairways. Two-piece king-size beds will, but very large dressers won’t.
- Avoid freezers larger than 17 cubic feet.
- TV antennas generally aren’t needed.
- Government quarters include a washer and dryer, a stove and a refrigerator, but no drapes.
- Avoid such liquid items as canned foods and drinks from October through May because they will freeze and rupture if left in an unheated area.