Relief is on the way for any of you who have ever dreaded going on Temporary Additional Duty because of all the hassle involved with making the arrangements for travel.
The Defense Travel System was conceived in 1995 as a web-based alternative to replace a system that the DoD Travel Reengineering Task Force concluded was fragmented, inefficient, expensive to administer, and occasionally impeded mission accomplishment.
A program office was created with a vision to reengineer defense travel to a seamless, paperless, automated system that meets the needs of individual travelers, force commanders, and process owners (such as finance and accounting services).
"The traveler is going to be ecstatic when the system finally goes active," said Donna Pelfrey, DTS Project Officer at Marine Corps Systems Command. "It is very much like online airline booking agencies that let you pick your time, flight and even the seat."
One Systems Command employee who used the system while working at the Pentagon said she was able begin travel requests herself, receive approval and easily track her reimbursement status. It was wonderful, she said.
Though Pelfrey works on the project, DTS is not available yet at Quantico, but she says it can't come too soon.
"If I had access to the Defense Travel System right now, I could plan my travel in about 10 minutes," said Pelfrey. "It is also much easier to reconcile funds when you return, because you have already done all the work upfront. You get paid much more quickly."
The system is already in use by a limited number of bases and stations in the Marine Corps and throughout the Department of Defense.
The program office and Systems Command developed three pilot sites at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C.
In FY 04 the Marine Corps sites will expand to MCB Quantico, Va., MCB Camp Lejeune, N.C., Parris Island, S.C., Marine Forces Atlantic at Norfolk, Va., and Logistics Base Albany, Ga.
(See below for a full lists of sites and fielding dates.)
The program office offers on-site or web based training to ensure that new users are confident in their use of the system.
For further information visit their website at: www.defensetravel.osd.mil/dts/site/index.jsp .
Sites to be fielded with DTS:
Parris Island, SC
MC Reserve New Orleans
MC Reserve Kansas City
MC Support Activity Kansas City
MCRD, San Diego
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Ctr, Twentynine Palms
Marine Corps Base, Camp Smith
MCAS, Kaneohe Bay
MCRD8 HQs Naval Support Activity
MCAS, Cherry Point
MCAS, New River
Camp Courtney, Okinawa
Phase III sites (recruiting commands, etc.)