Frequently Asked Questions

USCG Specific Frequently Asked Questions

For additional coronavirus questions not covered in these FAQ or that your chain of command cannot answer, please e-mail OutbreakQuestions@uscg.mil. To ensure the most timely response, please identify yourself (i.e. military member, civilian, Auxiliarist, contractor, family member) in your e-mail inquiry. 

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ALCOAST 182/20 COVID-19: IMPACTED ASSIGNMENT YEAR 20 (AY20): PCS AND HHG SHIPMENTS – SITREP 5

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R 210658 MAY 20
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-1/CG DOL//
TO ALCOAST
UNCLASS//N01320//
ALCOAST 182/20 COMDTNOTE 1320
SUBJ:  COVID-19: IMPACTED ASSIGNMENT YEAR 20 (AY20): PCS AND HHG SHIPMENTS – SITREP 5
A. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 202055 MAR 20/ALCOAST 111/20
B. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 071237 APR 20/ALCOAST 127/20
C. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 221311 APR 20/ALCOAST 147/20
D. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC 061447 MAY 20/ALCOAST 160/20 E. Secretary of Defense Memo of 20 APR 2020

1. This ALCOAST cancels REFs (A) through (D). We continue to execute this year’s PCS season cautiously, balancing risk to mission with risk to our members and their families. The cross-enterprise PCS Risk Assessment Team will continue to monitor conditions which could impact a successful PCS and will recommend any changes to the PCS strategy.

2. This SITREP authorizes continued Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and Household Goods (HHG) pickups through 30 June. SITREP 6 will be released OOA 11 June.

3. HHG Shipments. Since March, 1,755 shipments have been picked up and 17 shipments are on hold (due to local restrictions in Puerto Rico and Alaska). Continued successful HHG shipments are a key determinant of the success of the PCS season.

4. Improved HHG Safety Measures. US TRANSCOM recently launched an initiative to improve the safety of moves conducted during the COVID-19 crisis. This initiative has three elements which will positively impact CG HHG shipments. 
   a. Element 1: All service members are now afforded a US TRANSCOM “Commitment to Servicemembers” which details members’ rights and responsibilities while engaged in a HHG shipment. Most importantly, it details that members are empowered to: decide who can enter their homes, require use of PPE by the movers, and halt the move at any point if safety is compromised.
   b. Element 2: Transportation Service Providers (TSP) are required to present the member or family a signed certificate detailing their employees have been medically screened, will use proper PPE, and will take proper hygiene precautions while in the home. 
   c. Element 3: A service representative must personally (in-person or on the phone) counsel members on rights and responsibilities, and must offer resources and assistance if needed. For Coast Guard members, this counselling will be conducted by the PCS Assist Team within 48 hours of the scheduled move date.

5. Members are reminded to plan their moves early and finalize pack and ship dates in the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) as soon as desired move dates are known. Members are authorized to schedule a pickup through 30 September. There is tremendous constrained demand waiting for HHG transfers later this summer because of the COVID-19 crisis. It is highly recommended that members try to move their HHGs in May or June if possible to get ahead of the increased demand period.

6. Dependent Travel Letter. Personnel and Administration Offices will issue all members an official CG Business Letter, to be attached to orders, indicating the dependents listed are authorized to travel as directed. Members must have this document, PCS Float Plan, signed military orders, and military identification (CAC Card) while traveling. Dependents that travel separate from the member must also have an official copy of the member’s signed military orders, PCS Float Plan, their dependent identification card, and the business letter.

7. PCS Float Plan. Every member transferring to a new permanent duty station in AY20 that requires a move must develop a “PCS Float Plan.” This plan will be approved by your departing and receiving commands and is critical to ensure the safe transfer of members and dependents in this heightened-risk environment. PCS Float plans are not required for retirees, those separating, or no cost orders. Members shall carry the PCS Float Plan, signed military orders, and military identification (CAC Card) on his or her person throughout the transfer. The most current version can be found at: https://www.uscg.mil/Coronavirus/PCS/

8. Leave.
   a. Leave en route is authorized in limited circumstances and should be closely monitored. Leave en route may only be approved by the unit CO/OIC or the first O6 in the chain of command. The intent of leave en route this transfer season is to facilitate a member’s PCS travel, arrival, or functionality at their new duty station. Leave en route should not be used to accomplish vacation plans or leisure travel. Leave en route may only be granted if the risk to unit, member, and family is found to be outweighed by the potential gain. All leave en route, if approved, must be included in the Float Plan.
   b. Members may continue to take local leave at either the old or new Permanent Duty Station (PDS).
   c. Administrative Absence (House hunting leave) remains authorized only once arriving at the new PDS.

9. Reporting Aboard. Commanding Officers should expect a majority of members to proceed directly to their new units, check-in, and start their normal entitlements (like BAH) without utilizing COVID-19 entitlements such as Isolation Allowance. Isolation Allowance applies only to members and family ordered to quarantine or isolate by the member’s command before arriving at their new unit, and must be based on known COVID-19 illness or exposure. Commands must make this decision in consultation with a military medical officer. PCS travel in and of itself does not require a command to order a member into quarantine, even if there are blanket state or local quarantine orders in effect. If a unit commander intends to order a member and their dependents into isolation based only on state and local quarantine policies and not on known illness or exposure in consultation with a military medical officer, they must seek approval from the first Flag Officer or SES in their chain of command. For more information on isolation allowances or other pay and entitlements related to COVID 19, please see the article “New pay and allowances to help you through COVID-19” at: https://www.uscg.mil/Coronavirus/PCS.

10. PCS Assist Teams.
   a. The Centralized PCS Assist team continues to be ready to assist with 24-hour coverage via email at PCSAssist@uscg.mil and via phone at 833-551-0887. The team can assist with entitlements, order amendments, lodging options, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, local health requirements and restrictions, and issues that may arise during transit, even if not related to COVID-19. They can also connect members to CG experts as needed. The PCS Assist team has reported an intermittent issue when members call using CG desk phones. If you cannot reach the team, please try a different phone or use email.
   b. If members have questions about a specific location, the main team can connect you to satellite teams at Bases and TRACENs.
   c. An important function of the PCS Assist Team is to report any PCS moves that did not go as planned or had to be canceled once the transit began. This information will be used to make future moves/transits safer. Per the updated Float Plan, these instances must be reported by the receiving command to the PCS Assist Team.
   d. Early engagement with the PCS Assist Team has already garnered positive results for many members. The PCS Assist Team can be contacted at any time in the PCS process, the earlier the better. At the minimum the PCS Assist Team must be contacted to schedule the mandatory Safety Briefing (mentioned in paragraph 4) once HHG shipment dates are confirmed.

11. OCONUS PCS.
    a. Canada/Alaska: U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, has updated their reporting requirements. PCS travel to, from, and through Canada remains authorized. Ten days prior to departing your permanent duty station, all members planning travel through Canada are required to send an e-mail to D17-DG-M-K-BaseKodiak-Admin@uscg.mil, with the following information:
       i. Rate/Rank
       ii. First M. Last name of service member
       iii. First M. Last name of all authorized travelers on orders
       iv. D17 Unit assigned/departed
       v. Type of Travel (PCS Departing from/Reporting to Alaska)
       vi. Estimated date of entry into/departure from Canada
       vii. Canadian Border Crossing/Port of Entry
       viii. Estimated date of entry into/departure from U.S.
       ix. U.S. Border Crossing/Port of Entry 
       x. Vehicle make, model and license plate info
       xi. Phone number while in a travel status
    b. Hawaii and U.S. Territories: There are no CG PCS restrictions.
    c. PCS to and from foreign countries: All foreign PCS is authorized as long as DoD or Chief of Mission (as applicable) restrictions are met. Members should carry out PCS after receiving guidance from their receiving commands. DoD travel guidance is contained in REF (E), and allows for exceptions by which all CG billets may be allowed PCS transfers.
    d. Members who experience problems at a foreign border, or otherwise during PCS, contact the PCS Assist Team per paragraph 10.

12. When the DoD stop movement expires at the end of June we anticipate a large strain on the HHG industry and in some places will overwhelm capacity. Members are reminded that PPM moves are an option and done independently of government contract carriers. These moves are reimbursed at 95% of what the government would have paid to move a member. More information can be found here: https://move.mil/service-specific-information/coast-guard and through the PCS Assist Team outlined in paragraph 10.

13. PCS related FAQs can be found at: https://www.uscg.mil/Coronavirus/FAQ/#pcs.

14. RADM J. M. Nunan, Assistant Commandant for Human Resources and RDML M. W. Bouboulis Director Operational Logistics, sends.

15. Internet release is authorized.