Begich Demands Answers on Military Contractor
A contractor performing the Global Privately Owned Vehicle Contract ships privately owned vehicles of service members between military bases when the military reassigns them to new bases.
“This is unacceptable and this not what our military families deserve,” said Begich. “My office has been in touch with USTRANSCOM on this issue since February, and after repeated assurances that things were on track I am disappointed there are still issues in transporting service members’ vehicles. I will keep pushing to get answers and solutions to make sure military families, who are already going through a stressful move between bases, are no longer subject to this unnecessary hardship.”
The tipping point came recently when a service member’s spouse wrote a letter to Begich reporting the poor conditions in the transport of vehicles for military families coming to and from Alaska. She was afraid about shipping the vehicle through the government contractor, but the family could not afford the thousands of dollars to ship it on their own.
There are have been reported performance issues since the contractor changed April 1st in a contract worth up to $919 million in five years. Personal cars are both an absolute necessity for transportation on many bases as well as a substantial investment for many families.
In February, Begich’s office first contacted USTRANSCOM with concerns that there would be issues in service with a new contractor changeover, particularly at the start of the season when most military relocations occurred. His staff was assured that USTRANSCOM was closely monitoring preparation of the new contractor and was confident there would be minimal problems with the assumption of contractual duties. Many service members are frustrated by their inability to get in-transit visibility on their vehicles’ locations with reports of delays and damages as well as substantial accounts of frustration on social media.
The letter urges USTRANSCOM to set up a timeline to fix the issues at hand and set a date for when the contractor will meet its contractual obligations.