CR means shorter lead times for Navy moves

Wednesday - 2/23/2011, 7:12am EST

WFED's Jared Serbu

Click below to hear the report

Download mp3

By Jared Serbu
Reporter
Federal News Radio

For the Navy, one of the many effects of operating under a continuing resolution rather than an approved 2011 budget is much less notice to sailors about when, and where they and their families will be moving next.

The service alerted its members in a message in early February that they should expect as little as two months' notice from the time they receive orders to their next duty station to the date when they must actually report for duty.

In other cases, the Navy might be forced to delay sailors' move dates because of lower than expected funding for orders for permanent changes of station (PCS), said Capt. Robert Weitzman of the Navy Personnel Command.

"The permanent change of station is a piece of the manpower and personnel account. When we have a CR that continues us at 2010 levels, it just doesn't translate into a whole budget for this fiscal year," he said. "Our budget for this year for PCS would have been about $650 million. Based on the CR, if we're looking at a something significantly less, say something in the couple hundred million dollar range, we just don't have the checkbook here to write the orders for people in order to be able to execute what we know we have to do out there."

The Navy said in its memo to sailors that it would be focusing on "priority" orders between now and May.

"Emphasis remains on global support assignment rotations, career milestone billets, critical readiness fills, gaps at sea for deployed units and those working up to deploy, and moving new accessions through training pipelines," the message stated.

The Navy said it realized that cutting lead-times from an average of four to six months down to just two would have a major impact on families. Likewise, extending deployments beyond what sailors had expected has already become an issue, Weitzman said.

"Home sales are a real issue," he said. "Someone finally gets a buyer for a home and they plan to be out but now they're told they may not move. The challenges are a pretty active topic on Facebook and the comments that we see. Summertime is approaching and they want to get their orders ahead of time so they can move while their kids are out of school. Especially for people who are moving overseas, a fair amount of planning is required. It'll be some rough waters."

(Copyright 2011 by FederalNewsRadio.com. All Rights Reserved.)