Moving in the Air Force
Preparing for an Air Force PCS
The Air Force, with more than 321,000 active duty personnel, has proudly served the United States since 1907. Since the Air Force’s inception, Airmen frequently receive Permanent Change of Station orders to bases all across the globe. In fact, the Air Force estimates that enlisted officers will relocate as often as every 3 years.
Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, there’s a lot to think about, so consider using this guide to help navigate through the process. Learn what your moving options are, what you need to know about entitlement programs, and more.
Air Force moving options
There are two options to consider for completing your Air Force PCS: a do-it-yourself, personally procured move (PPM) or a full-service move paid for by the military.
With a PPM, you handle all the details of your move and the government will reimburse you up to 95 percent of what it would cost for a full-service move. To complete a PPM move, you can rent a moving truck or use a service like U-Pack® to get your belongings to your new location. Check out this military moving resource to learn more PPM moving options, or to get more information about moving in the military and how it works with U-Pack.
Relocation programs to be aware of
Receiving PCS orders can be both exciting and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are a number of Air Force programs designed to assist you and your family with everything you might need — from relocation assistance, counseling, sponsorship training and education — throughout the entire process. While it's required to schedule a meeting with your Airman & Family Readiness Center (AFRC) so you can get a walk-through of everything you’ll need to know about the move, here is a brief overview of some of the available programs:
Voluntary Stabilized Base Assignment Program (VSBAP)
This program offers Airmen the option to volunteer to transfer to bases in the Contiguous United States (CONUS) that have a high turnover rate. The benefit of doing this is a more stabilized transfer with a stop that lasts a bit longer — usually four or five years, depending on the location you choose.
Join Spouse Program
Airmen who are married to other Airmen may seek duty locations where they can serve together. Be sure you and your spouse have your assignment preferences updated so that you will be both be eligible and may be reassigned together.
Air Force housing options
The Air Force Housing Management Office will help you locate housing and help you get answers to frequently asked questions. It’s a good idea to set up an appointment with your base’s Housing Office to discuss residential renting, leasing or purchasing options at your new location. If you’re not sure where to start, your orders should provide you with contact information for that office.
Moving in the Air Force with U-Pack®
Is a PPM the right way for you to complete your Air Force move? If so, consider U-Pack! When you move with us, all you have to do is pack and load your household goods, and we’ll handle the driving.
Our process is simple: we deliver the equipment to your home, where you’ll load your belongings. When you’re done, we’ll deliver the equipment to your new home. Then, you’ll have 3-5 days to unload and we’ll come pick up the empty equipment.
With a U-Pack move, you control the process from start to finish and can save money as well. Get a free online quote or call 800-413-4799 to find out how much your Air Force move will cost.