Two Navy Personnel Command news releases put out less than five hours apart offered reassurance that the service has addressed problems that could affect those making permanent change-of-station moves ... though the timing isn’t great.

Peak military moving season begins in mid-May, so many families with PCSes in their future will be making arrangements in earnest as the spring arrives. On Feb. 8, the Navy put out two notices involving items that may have, at the least, added confusion to those plans.

First, the service announced that nearly 5,000 sailors had received notices in error stating that their Letters of Intent had been canceled. The LOI is intended to streamline a PCS process that has become more compressed in recent years; no orders actually were canceled, per the release, and the system is back to normal.

Later Feb. 8, the service outlined its travel-reimbursement backlog problems, which involved, at the time, 7,500 unpaid claims and an expected completion window more than double the 30-day standard.

Navy family members relax on their front lawn while movers deliver household goods to their new home on Ford Island in Hawaii. (PH1 William R Goodwin/Navy)
Navy family members relax on their front lawn while movers deliver household goods to their new home on Ford Island in Hawaii. (PH1 William R Goodwin/Navy)

An NPC Facebook post blamed a “perfect storm of problems” for the delays; the news release cited an influx of PCS-related claims at the end of the fiscal year, worker furloughs, technical failures and weather-related closures as reasons for the backlog.

NPC should catch up by mid-March, per the release, and begin processing claims within the 30-day window.

Last May, the service issued a release urging patience among Navy movers, many of whom were facing lead times of two months or less when it came to PCS orders.