eGov/Mil Newsletter: July 28, 2017

July 28, 2017

In this Issue:

  • Organizational Restructure for the DOD Personal Property Program
  • Effects of the “Wanna Cry” Virus on Maersk Shipping & DOD HHG Traffic
  • SDDC Continues to Explore the Possibility of Holding PPF in the Scott AFB Area
  • Recent Invoicing Issues in DP3
  • Congress' defense budgeting headed toward 'colossal crackup'
  • Government Watchdog Criticizes FMCSA’s Information Technology Systems
  • DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
  • Emails to IAM are bouncing back? We have a solution!
  • Maersk Line introduces new cyber security measures following Petya attack
  • ELD Provision in Transportation Bill Missing Crucial Support in Congress
  • GOP signals infrastructure bill must wait

Organizational Restructure for the DOD Personal Property Program

On last week’s (July 20, 2017) Peak Season teleconference that the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) holds with the Military Services and the Industry, Lt Col Todd Jensen, Director, SDDC Personal Property, formally announced a new organizational structure for the lead elements involved in the oversight of the DOD personal property program.

A meeting was held on June 5 with the USTRANSCOM Commander and at that meeting a final decision was made to fulfill one of the recommendations coming out of SDDC’s Defense Personal Property Program “Deep Dive”. That recommendation had been to consolidate the organizational structure for the entities involved in personal property at Scott AFB.

As of Oct. 1, 2017, a program consolidation of the key players will stand up. The SDDC Personal Property Directorate, the Defense Personal Property System Program Management Office (DPS PMO) and the USTRANSCOM J 5/4 (Policy & DTR) will be reorganized and consolidated under the USTRANSCOM J 5/4. A full-bird Colonel (O-6) will lead this new Division of the USTRANSCOM J 5/4. This means that the Personal Property Directorate will no longer be part of SDDC.

This change will usher in a completely new command structure for Personal Property. It will bring the program (DP3), the system (DPS) and all policy (DTR) under a single program manager. The new O-6 leading the consolidated structure is Col. Ralph Lounsbourgh. Col. Lounsbourgh was already in place at USTRANSCOM and has now officially stepped into his new role. He will be leading the transition of this organization with the help of Lt. Col. Jensen, Lt. Col. Landrum (DPS Program Manager) and Jim Teague (USTRANSCOM - J 5/4). As indicated, the initial operating capability (IOC) for this group is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2017.

There is a great deal to be accomplished between now and then and Lt. Col. Jensen and Col. Lounsbourgh promised to keep all the stakeholders updated each step of the way.

This is a huge change for the future of the DOD personal property program.

Col. Lounsbourgh participated on the telecon and commented briefly. He believes this restructure will:

  • Allow for streamlining of processes
  • Allow for one voice to speak for the entire personal property program
  • And will only bring positive effects for all stakeholders involved in the DOD Personal Property Program.

This announcement is just the first step in a significant undertaking. IAM will keep the membership updated on each step as we move toward the Oct. 1 IOC for the new organizational structure.

Sources: SDDC & IAM

Effects of the “Wanna Cry” Virus on Maersk Shipping & DOD HHG Traffic

In late June, the “Wanna Cry” computer virus struck many organizations around the globe. One of those infected was Maersk Lines, the world's largest container shipping company.

This virus caused significant problems for Maersk and its customers. Issues with corrupted data caused some issues with locating containers, misrouting of containers and container movement in general.

The recovery process from this virus continues while Maersk works with its customers to bring their operations back to normality.

Because of this issue, many Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) in the DOD program have found that some of their shipments have been delayed or misrouted and missed RDDs and possible Inconvenience Claims have been incurred. These instances are not in any way the fault of the TSPs and IAM has reached out to SDDC seeking relief.

The following message was sent to the SDDC Personal Property Director on July 21:

IAM has had numerous inquiries from IAM DOD TSP members participating in the Defense Personal Property Program seeking relief from both Punitive Action and Inconvenience Claims resulting from the recent “Wanna Cry” Malware attacks. This attack effected organizations all around the world but our particular concern is focused on the attack that effected Maersk Steamship Lines.

The attack happened in late June and according to the July 19 message below to their customers, Maersk is still “on the path to a full recovery.”

The virus attack crippled Maersk’s IT systems and led to shipments being stranded, misplaced, lost, and misdirected. Some TSPs are still trying to locate shipments that had been tendered to Maersk.

All of these issues happened through no fault of the TSPs but they are now forced to deal with the repercussions. 

The DTR indicates that a TSP is not liable for Inconvenience Costs in a number of situations that arise that are not under their control. (see citation below).


DTR Part IV, Appendix B, Section B.13.d

“I am not liable for costs if a delay was caused by natural disasters; acts of the public enemy; acts of the Government; acts of the public authority; violent strikes; mob interference; or delays of Code 5, Code J, or Code T shipments that were caused by the Government and my negligence did not contribute to the delay.”

IAM would ask SDDC to consider this malware attack as an “act of the public enemy.” This is a terrorist act that we believe cannot be viewed any other way. If that is in fact the case, TSPs should not only be held responsible for Inconvenience Claims that result from shipments that have been delayed and also any punitive action that may result due to missed RDDs.

I can share numerous examples of shipments that have been directly affected by these notorious actions.

I ask for you and your staff to review this request as quickly as possible.

Thank you.

The response that IAM received from SDDC indicated that “We'll need to work with our lawyers and USTRANSCOM (DTR implications) on this.”

IAM will continue to monitor the situation and will remain engaged with both SDDC and USTRANSCOM. Any new information will be communicated to the membership as soon as it becomes available.

Sources: SDDC & IAM

SDDC Continues to Explore the Possibility of Holding PPF in the Scott AFB Area

The SDDC has determined that the Fall Personal Property Forum (PPF) will be held in the Scott AFB area on Sept. 19. However, SDDC still has not yet announced the exact location for this year's meeting.

We have been told that an announcement will soon be forthcoming as all that remains is for the contract to be signed with the facility.

IAM will update the location details as soon as they are made available.

Sources: IAM & SDDC

Recent Invoicing Issues in DP3

On the most recent (July 27) SDDC Peak Season teleconference the recent invoicing problems through DPS were discussed by the DPS Program Management Office.

The DPS PMO briefed that there really have been two separate issues. One was with pushing invoices from DPS to Syncada and the other dealt with movement of invoices in the other direction, Syncada to DPS.

The first issue was resolved by resetting a password in GEX. GEX is an intermediate system between DPS and Syncada. The password is required to be reset annually and it took a while for the DPS PMO to determine that was the issue. DPS is trying to move away from the use of passwords to avert an issue like this in the future. They are moving to a public key infrastructure, which is a certificate-based authentication process.

The second issue surfaced the week of July 17. Invoices were not moving out of Syncada back to DPS. The DPS PMO said this had to do with “single bad characters” used in the codes used to move the invoices. One bad invoice can cause a “waterfall” effect that backs up many invoices. The PMO is working to rectify these bad characters being used to code these invoices.

The DPS PMO is now aware of these issues and hopefully the industry will not see a repeat of these situations.

Sources: DPS PMO, SDDC & IAM

Congress' defense budgeting headed toward 'colossal crackup'

The U.S. House on Wednesday took up a defense appropriations bill that proposes tens of billion of dollars in new spending for the Pentagon. The problem is it breaks budget caps set in law.

Read More

Government Watchdog Criticizes FMCSA’s Information Technology Systems

A government watchdog has issued a searing review of some of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s most critical information technology systems used to monitor the safety of motor carriers.

Read More

DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes

SDDC Weekly Peak Season Teleconference Slides – 7/27/17

August 1, 2017 Traffic Distribution Lists (TDL) are not posted in DPS

Army to Establish New Brigade at Fort Benning, GA

IAM has learned that the U.S. Army will be establishing a new “Security Forces Assistance Brigade” of about 400-500 soldiers at Ft Benning, GA in the coming months. This could possibly lead to destination capacity issues at Ft. Benning, as these troops will be coming to Ft Benning at approximately the same time.

SDDC has asked the Association to provide possible solutions/alternatives to try and avoid issues with destination services and SIT.

This unit may be deploying shortly after they are formed at Ft. Benning, so there are significant questions regarding the sizes of the shipments that will actually be associated with these moves.

IAM welcomes any comments/suggestions from the membership.

Receive SDDC Personal Property Updates by email

IAM has offered industry news updates by email for about three years. Now you can receive personal property updates from the U.S. Army's Surface Deployment and Distribution Command in your email. Sign up at IAM's website now. Alternately, if you just want the regular RSS feed, you can have that as well. Contact Carl Weaver.

IAM Military News and Resources Page

The IAM Military News and Resources page provides military-based information in an easy-to-navigate tabbed format. In addition, IAM is linking to SDDC Personal Property updates and categorizing them by topic. Currently, on the SDDC website, these updates are hard to find and are organized chronologically – not a very user-friendly way to display information. This new system on the IAM site should make it easy for IAM members to easily find the important information they need. Contact Carl Weaver with questions.

Sources:  IAM, US Army & SDDC

Emails to IAM are bouncing back? We have a solution!

From time to time we hear from members that our email server bounces messages back to them. We assure you that it is never personal, and is an automated process. All the same, it can be frustrating, especially if you are not in the USA and have to call internationally to get something resolved. We have another solution. If your emails bounce, let us know at so we can fix the problem and restore normal communications. Contact Carl Weaver.

Maersk Line introduces new cyber security measures following Petya attack

Nearly four weeks after the container line’s systems were attacked by the Petya virus Maersk continues focus on full recovery of its customer service operations. The line has introduced new undisclosed security measures it said in an update to customers. “In response to this new type of malware, we have put in place different and further protective measures. Due to confidentiality we cannot share details on these measures at this stage,” Maersk said.

Read More

ELD Provision in Transportation Bill Missing Crucial Support in Congress

A provision in a House funding bill that would delay implementation of electronic logging devices for carriers that serve the agricultural sector faces an uphill battle and drew immediate criticism from the trucking industry. Language in the same bill that would pre-empt state laws for meal and rest breaks for truckers faces a clearer path forward, however, as it already has backing in the Senate.

Read More

GOP signals infrastructure bill must wait

The timing and fate of President Trump’s infrastructure plan may depend on whether the GOP enacts major tax reform — a task that could prove challenging amid the struggle to pass a healthcare bill. Republicans are signaling that a massive rebuilding package, which has long been one of Trump’s top priorities, will most likely have to wait on the sidelines until lawmakers overhaul the tax code.

Read More