New in 2024: Moving to your next base should be a bit easier

by Tommy Grant

Permanent changes of station are expected to return to normal in 2024 after a funding snafu in July 2023 disrupted the busy summer moving season and delayed international moves for months.

The problem emerged from unusual circumstances and shouldn’t become an annual headache, Lt. Gen. Caroline Miller, the Air Force’s uniformed personnel boss, told Air Force Times in September.

She said the Air Force faced a deficit in its military personnel budget at the beginning of 2023, partly because the service had allowed too many high-ranking troops — who cost more in pay and benefits — to stay in uniform.

Officials tried to move money around to avoid widespread problems, Miller said, but failed to get congressional approval in time. Slowing PCSes and delaying some bonuses allowed the Air Force to continue sending paychecks instead, she said.

The Air Force paused its global shuffle for about two weeks in July while the funding issue was resolved, then told airmen who were slated to move by the end of September that they would get those orders at least 30 days before their scheduled departure date. Service members typically receive orders 60-120 days ahead of moving day.

Domestic moves have continued as usual. But airmen who were scheduled to return to the U.S. from long overseas postings were told to wait. Troops who planned to be stateside between October and December 2023 will now come back by the end of March 2024.

Airmen for whom the delay creates a major problem can ask their commander to make an exception.

Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.

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