Limited professional gear allowed during PCS

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Dan DeCook
  • Air Force Public Affairs Agency

As the permanent change of station peak season approaches, Air Force officials are reminding Airmen to review the Department of Defense policy on transportation of professional gear to avoid costly charges.

“We highly encourage Airmen get one-on-one counseling with their personal property processing office to learn exactly what is and what isn’t considered professional gear,” said Kevin Kennedy, Personal Property Activity deputy director. “Travelers should also carefully read through the Joint Federal Travel Regulation.”

As of May 1, 2014, the amount of professional books, papers and equipment, or PBP&E, shipped in household goods during a PCS move is limited to a maximum of 2,000 pounds and is not charged against the authorized household goods weight allowances.

This includes items such as instruments, tools and equipment unique to technicians, mechanics, medical professionals, musicians and members of the professions; and specialized clothing, such as diving suits, astronauts' suits, flying suits and helmets, band uniforms, chaplains' vestments; and other specialized apparel and unusual uniforms or clothing for the performance of official duties at the next duty assignment.

Issues arise when Airmen claim items as PBP&E that are not, which could cost them.

“An article which loses its identity as PBP&E continues as household goods, which can lead to excess weight charges for which an Airman is still financially responsible,” Kennedy said.

Policy excludes items of a professional nature that will not be necessary at the next duty station, such as text books from schools and personal books, even if used as part of a previous professional reading program, and some previously allowed categories such as personal computer equipment and memorabilia.

To view the JFTR and changes, see Joint Federal Travel Regulation change 327 and Joint Travel Regulation change 581.