USTC J9 COVID-19/Stop Movement Call (19 May)

May 20, 2020

J9 held their COVID-19/Stop Movement call with the Services and industry representatives Tuesday. The session was led by Lt Col Lowery, with inputs from VADM Mewbourne, Rick Marsh, Danny Martinez and Kim Johnson.

 

The meeting kicked off with Lt Col Lowery stating that as of now, there is no change to the Stop Movement Order from SECDEF.  As it stands, the order is still in place until 30 June.  Near the end of the telecon, USTC’s Deputy Commander, VADM Mewbourne, stated he expected this week to see the SECDEF delegate Health Protection (HPCON) status to local commanders. When the pandemic began, DoD issued HPCON Charlie status to all installations.  Soon, based on conditions in the local area, commanders will set their own status.  This is significant in terms of setting the conditions where more moves are possible.  As VADM Mewbourne stated last week, he thinks the first steps to reducing the Stop Movement order is for more installations to reduce their HPCON status from Charlie to Bravo.  Once that happens, more moves will follow.

 

VADM Mewbourne stated that we should not expect we turn moves back on like a light switch.  He expects a more localized return to normal based on conditions in each area.

 

Other notes from the call:

 

  • The Stop Movement Placemat in the future will be uploaded to a link on move.mil/sme, as opposed to being sent to attendees via email.  USTC has had a few problems getting the placemat out via email and so will load it each week in move.mil/sme.
  • The placemat suggests that DoD is holding close to 30% of pickups compared to the three year average.  Data for week 19 shows pickups at 30.7% of the average, and as of the meeting time, week 20 had grown to 28% of the average.  As more data is loaded in DPS, those numbers may continue to grow. 
  • USTC also provided their latest attempt to provide industry a demand model for the rest of 2020.  USTC will continue to refine the data to give industry the best look at future demand.  Rick Marsh stated the demand for the rest of the year is large.  He has signaled to the Service’s Personnel Community that 9,000 shipments per week is the right number.  Marsh stated the Services have asked for a higher number than 9,000, so that should give industry a sense that the demand is there for 2020 once the Stop Movement order is lifted. 
  • J9 referenced an issue raised last week during a call, where a TSP was awarded a shipment but the award data in DPS is blank.  They’ve learned that issue is related to Special Solicitation shipments awarded and pulled back. They will have guidance coming out on those shipments in the near future.
  • J9 will also provide information or tools for expediting processing of the 10% Adjustment.
  • J9 also stated they’ve been asked about the scenario for how the 10% Adjustment works in a scenario where the shipment is pulled back and then re-assigned to the same TSP.  Some have asked whether you can bill for the 10% for each shipment?  J9 stated they’d be getting more guidance out on this scenario, but the TSP would not be allowed to bill on the re-awarded shipment.  We’ll be looking for more information on this topic.
  • IAM asked for clarification on the Health Protection Protocols form as to whether DoD has decided whether the form is to be given to the member, kept by the movers, or both.  The response kicked off a long discussion with very little definitive guidance.  The first answer by J9 was that the form is intended to be given to the customer; and that the TSP’s are encouraged to keep a copy, but there is no requirement to provide the form retroactively to anyone.  The industry can keep a copy, but there is no overall requirement to do that.  It was essentially stated, no one will be coming back to the TSP to get a copy of the form.  HOWEVER, the Marines stated the Commandant of the Marine Corps is requiring the form to be given to the local transportation office 24 hours in advance of a crew coming to the residence.  And it was also noted that some Marine installations were requesting a copy of the signed form 48 hours in advance, and some wanted the form from the TSP after the move was completed.  These additional requirements were counter to J9’s initial guidance.  VADM Mewbourne ended the conversation on this topic stating that what USTC put out was minimum guidance, which does not preclude a Service from making additional requirements.  He said it’s about safety, but the plan also has to be executable.  There would seem to be some portions of the Marine requirement that are not executable.  We’ll have to see if the Marine requirements evolve.  It appears the Air Force, Army, and Navy are operating in compliance with USTC’s intent.  And the Marines are taking their own stance on how the form is to be used/handled, completed. 
  • With regard to the health protection protocols form, one JPPSO stated they’ve received feedback that in some instances, the crew member names on the form were illegible.  They asked for the names to be printed clearly.
  • The DPS staff gave a quick update.  As of right now, DPS appears stable.  No major issues.  The one thing that has caused problems recently on the Service side is TEAMS access for local nationals.  The Navy stated it could become a work stoppage issue in the near term if not fixed.
  • IAM raised the concern that we had heard some complaints of customers requiring extensive cleaning by crews.  Rick Marsh reiterated that the intent is “common sense cleaning” of high touch areas, not an extensive process.  He stated USTC’s FAQs will address this specific question.
  • One final note from last week’s call, Air Force PPA asked that TSPs focus on updating DPS with pickup data in a timely fashion.  When discussing current and past week pickups and future projections, it was noted that the data is lagging.  One of the reasons for the data lag is that TSPs are not updating DPS in a timely manner, therefore the data on the placemat is not accurate.  PPA asked for TSPs to focus on this so the entire network could get a more accurate sense of current and future workload. PPA stated TSPs have asked for extra effort from the JPPSOs for processing invoices and working canceled or rebooked shipments, and as a reciprocal effort, DoD needs help from TSPs to get data uploaded in DPS within the time requirements.