One reason why the Air Force is facing a money crunch is that the costs of PCS moves have been climbing, especially under a Defense Department policy change enacted in September, under which service members receive an allowance one month prior to moving to cover expenses, said Katherine Kuzminski, director of the military, veterans, and society program at the Center for a New American Security think tank in Washington, D.C.
That means this summer’s PCS season marks the first time the policy has truly gone into effect for all service members, Kuzminski told Task & Purpose. Previously, service members paid certain moving expenses out of pocket and then submitted claims for reimbursement.
The rising costs of PCS moves provide the Defense Department an opportunity to reexamine how often it moves service members and their families, Kuzminski said.
“It’s largely a holdover of the Cold War, where a third of troops were stationed overseas at any given time and there was this belief in equity in making sure that they could come back to the States,” Kuzminski said. “That’s led to this churn that we see every year that costs a lot of money to the services, and also is pretty disruptive to service members and their families.”
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