eGov/Mil Newsletter: May 4, 2018
In this Issue:
- Personal Property Prototype Update
- Registration for Annual Meeting
- USTC 2018 Fall Personal Property Forum
- Foreign National Access to DPS Changes
- Transcom head warns of cyber risks to civilian infrastructure
- Air Force Provides Process to Vet Converted Lots
- DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
- Here’s why a ‘perfect storm’ may greet movers during this year’s peak PCS season
- Carriers, Shippers Working to Meet Demand for Freight Hauling
- Military seeks faster cyber acquisition turnaround
- New Campaign Highlights Education Challenges Caused by Military Family Moves
U.S. Transportation Command (USTC) send out invitations in mid-April to 200 TSPs asking them to participate in the initial testing of the Personal Property Prototype which is still scheduled to roll out on June 1. USTC indicated that of the 200 invites, 97 opted in, 13 opted out, and 90 did not reply at all to the invitation. Those that did not respond were considered to have opted OUT, so there will be 97 TSPs participating in the initial stages of the Prototype testing.
Those Prototype testers will be participating in 53 channels which have been selected for the initial test. Those channels are located either within or between the JPPSO-North Central (Colorado Springs, CO) and JPPSO-South Central (San Antonio, TX) areas of responsibility (AOR). This means that, at least at the start of the Prototype testing, almost all of the military shipments moving in the Prototype will be for Air Force personnel.
One key NEW piece of information is that while USTC says they are holding to the June 1 start date for the initial testing for the Prototype, they have indicated that on June 1 the only shipments being tested will be Personally Procured Moves (PPM). This means that the industry will not be involved in the initial testing of the Prototype. It looks like PPMs will be the initial “guinea pigs” in Prototype testing. Only after PPMs have moved successfully via the Prototype will true DP3 shipments (and industry) become involved in the testing. We are not 100% sure how long it will be after the June 1 rollout that industry will get involved but based on the USTC feedback, I do not see DP3 shipments being booked in the Prototype until late June/early July. Stay tuned for further details.
TSPs opting to participate in the initial phase of the Prototype must understand that the two systems, DPS and the Prototype, are NOT connected in any way. They will operate independently. When the test is initiated, Blackouts that are currently in DPS will not transfer over to the new systems. Each system will operate independently. TSPs will be able to Blackout any DPS channels that are also involved in the initial phase of the Prototype while leaving open those same channels in the Prototype. However, if a Prototype channel is Blacked out, a TSP is also then required to have that same channel also Blacked out in DPS.
Also, USTC and the Defense Digital Services (DDS) team has distributed information regarding the initial framework for the Application Programming Interface (API) that will be used to move data between the Prototype and TSP IT systems to a group of TSPs. USTC and DDS are still accepting feedback on the API and entities are encouraged to provide that feedback as soon as possible.
The use of Digital Certificates, which are currently required for TSPs to access DPS, will no longer be required in the Personal Property Prototype. Two-factor authentication is the process that will be utilized for industry to access the new system. A working model for this process was recently unveiled during some breakout sessions at the American Moving & Storage Association conference that took place April 8-10. The process is still in draft form so a number of questions remain as to how this process will actually work.
As we close in on the start of the test period a number of issues still remain in question:
- Invoicing questions are abundant.
- Helpdesk support for the prototype - will that be in place?
- How will Blackouts will be handled?
- Handling of Best Value Scoring (BVS) in two systems is a question that has not yet been fully addressed.
- What industry User Roles will be available?
For TSPs that are not involved in the initial test period there will “on ramps” made available periodically until ALL TSPs are participating in the new system.
TSPs must remain vigilant and continue to provide feedback to USTC, DDS and IAM as issues and concerns arise. The initial rollout for the Prototype is less than four weeks away and although USTC has indicated they plan to take a “crawl, walk, run” approach to this rollout, industry needs to ensure that its ideas and perspectives are included from the start, rather than trying to play catch up.
Registration for Annual Meeting
Registration and hotel reservations are open for all members. Exhibit booth and sponsorship sales are currently only open for governing members and will open for all members on May 9. Discount codes for YP members were sent out last week. If you have not received yours, contact Margaret Kerr. Act now to ensure your attendance and book your hotel room with the group discount code. Download the IAM Mobile 24/7 Mobile App from the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store.
Editor’s Note: Though no firm date has been set for the fall Personal Property Forum (PPF), U.S. Transportation Command recently issued the following Advisory which is already requesting proposed discussion items for the event.
IAM has expressed our concerns to USTC that since the fall PPF is considered a “Post Peak Season” forum, how can significant discussion items be determined before the official start of Peak Season? We are also concerned that industry has only been given a two-week period during the start of the busy time of the year to provide topics. At the very least we have asked that the period to provide topics be extended by an additional two weeks.
We are currently waiting on a response to our request from USTC.
IAM encourages the membership to respond as quickly as possible to the Advisory with any topics you believe should be discussed at the PPF, as there is no guarantee that the response period will be extended or delayed.
USTRANSCOM Personal Property Advisory #18-0069
Date: 3 May 2018
From: USTRANSCOM, Personal Property Division (J4-H), Scott AFB, IL 62225
To: All Military Service Headquarters Representatives, Worldwide Personal Property Shipping Offices (PPSOs), Personal Property Processing Offices (PPPOs), and DoD Approved Personal Property Transportation Service Providers (TSPs)
Subject: 2018 Fall Personal Property Forum (PPF) - Request for Topics
1. USTRANSCOM J4-H is in the planning stages of this year’s Fall PPF, with a projected two-day forum in the third or fourth week of September. The first day will follow a similar structure to the 2018 Spring PPF, with large group sessions in the morning and breakout sessions in the afternoon. The second day of the forum will be split between a leadership-only forum and small group training sessions (which are in support of the Defense Personal Property Program’s (DP3) Training Initiative). Topics for the breakout sessions on day 1 and training sessions on day 2 will be developed based on your input.
2. We seek your feedback on what topics should be discussed, who you would like to interface with and what training topics will provide the most value to your organization. Please email your requested breakout sessions/training topics to firstname.lastname@example.org by close of business on 18 May 2018. This will allow our staff to review your input, gain approval of topics and secure requisite facilitators and/or trainers.
3. Official invitations and additional information announcing the details of the 2018 Fall PPF will be sent at a later date. This advisory is only a request for topics.
4. This message was approved for release by the Chief, Personal Property Division, USTRANSCOM J4-H.
Sources: USTC & IAM
One big issue that has been flying somewhat under the radar is the fact that the exception for Foreign Nationals (FN) to access DPS without a Digital Certificate has been removed.
Previously FN were able to use the old methodology of a UserID and Password to access DPS through the Electronic Transportation Acquisition (ETA) portal. However, that process has been eliminated as of April 1. This means that if FNs do not already use a Digital Certificate to access DPS the process to obtain one is now even more of an uphill climb.
USTC did not provide the industry official notification that the exception was being removed on April 1. All messaging regarding the change went through The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s (SDDC) G-3 (Freight Directorate) and the personal property community was not included in any of the information flow.
In order to obtain a Digital Certificate, all FNs must first be vetted by an Approved DOD Employee (ADE). The issue is that many locations do not have ADEs in place or ADE’s have been instructed that they can only approved FNs that either have a “.mil” or a “.gov” email address. Thus, there is no one currently available to vet FNs, which means FNs have no way to obtain a Digital Certificate.
Right now, it appears that the only available avenue that allows even an indirect route for FNs to access DPS is through an EasyDPS tool called AgentLink. IAM has communicated with Enterprise Database Corporation, the developer of EasyDPS and AgentLink, and it appears that the AgentLink tool is a FREE product that, through linkage with EasyDPS, allows agents to continue work on behalf of TSPs in DPS via EasyDPS. TSPs and their agents should contact EasyDPS for more detailed information on this product.
IAM continues to dialog with USTC but it appears that the decision to remove the exception for Foreign Nationals is outside of the USTC purview and they have little influence to help reinvigorate the previous exception.
Sources: USTC & IAM
Transcom head warns of cyber risks to civilian infrastructure
Air Force Gen. Darren McDew, head of the U.S. Transportation Command, told lawmakers at that the commercial companies the military depends on to move troops and material are too vulnerable to cyberattacks.
The Air Force Personal Property Activity Headquarters (AF PPA) is now the single resource for “converted” Air Force shipments that were originally awarded by an Air Force Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO).
Agents needing to make inquires on Non-Temporary Storage (NTS) or Storage-in-Transit (SIT) shipments converted to member’s expense the AF PPA is now the “one-stop-shop” for all inquiries.
The AF PPA will help with access to contact information for service members if agents have not been able to contact them regarding their goods and will also be able to determine if individuals are still in the service. This will help with ensuring that agents are compliant with the rules associated with the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
The process and form that the AF PPA would like agents to utilize for requesting help with this process can be found at PPA HQ Request for SCRA Process.
Very few agents have taken advantage of this seamless process since it was implemented a few months ago. The AF PPA is willing to assist with both current conversion and old lots that have been sitting, unpaid, in warehouse for some time.
Take advantage of this process to either help make contact with servicemembers or to ensure compliance with the SCRA.
Sources: Air Force & IAM
USTC Begins Peak Season Teleconferences with Industry and the Military Services
U.S. Transportation Command has started holding weekly Peak Season teleconferences with the industry associations, the military service headquarters and many of the transportation offices.
The teleconferences will take place every Thursday morning through mid-August. If IAM members have issues they would like to recommend be discussed during these calls please provide the topics to IAM’s Senior Vice President Charles White at Charles.White@iamovers.org no later than close of business on Wednesday, the day before the teleconference.
Each week USTC will provide a slide deck in advance of the call and those slides will be posted on the IAM website. Week 18 slides are now posted.
Air Force Identifies Eight Special Interest Areas for 2018 Peak Season
The Air Force Personal Property Activity, in consultation with the three Air Force JPPSOs, has released their list of Special Interest Areas for 2018 Peak Season.
Transportation Service Providers should review these “interest areas” very closely and share this information with their agents.
The interest areas typically highlight the issues that the Air Force JPPSOs feel are in need of improvement by the industry and that they will focus their Quality Assurance actions on.
TSPs should ensure they are enacting operating procedures to comply with these interest areas.
Regionalization Update for April 1
- CNNQ assumes responsibility of Fort Stewart, GA (CHAT) BGAC assumes responsibility of Fort Knox, KY (FAAM)
- Rota Spain (UNNL) assumes responsibility of Lisbon, Portugal (ULNC)
- Yokosuka, Japan (QENQ) assumes responsibility of Singapore from MLNQ
Receive SDDC Personal Property Updates by email
IAM has offered industry news updates by email for about four 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, USTC
Here’s why a ‘perfect storm’ may greet movers during this year’s peak PCS season
As the busy military moving season nears, some experts are concerned that issues in the moving industry, and stiff competition for trucks and movers, may combine to create a “perfect storm” for service members making permanent change-of-station moves.
Carriers, Shippers Working to Meet Demand for Freight Hauling
Carriers and shippers are adjusting to an environment where rising freight rates and a driver shortage are bumping up against an expected drop in capacity now that soft enforcement for truck drivers to record their on-duty status using electronic logging devices has ended, compelling the industry to work hard to prevent disruption in the movement of goods.
Military seeks faster cyber acquisition turnaround
The U.S. military is employing a mixture of procurement contracts and innovative
practices to speed up the acquisition of defensive and offensive cyber technology as the volume and intensity of cyber attacks and threats against government agencies — both civilian and Defense — continues to rise.
New Campaign Highlights Education Challenges Caused by Military Family Moves
Permanent relocations of military families often create significant inconsistencies in the classroom for young children, who move far more often than their peers. A new campaign by the National Military Family Association highlights these issues—while arming families with information.