DTS gives travelers control
By Cpl. Denyelle D. D'Aveta
| | August 12, 2004
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga -- The Defense Travel System has recently made its way to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, which is only the seventh Marine Corps base that has upgraded to the new system. A kickoff was held here Aug. 5 to recognize employees responsible for the changeover and to officially begin the program.
What does this mean to DoD employees and servicemembers here?
It means travelers will now have control over their own travel arrangements when they are going on Temporary Additional Duty.
In the past, a servicemember or DoD employee would have to call and make their travel arrangements with Omega Travel and also call a hotel to make their lodging reservations. Then their official travel orders would have to be typed.
The traveler would have no choices when a flight left, arrived, or where they would stay. They would also have to depend on someone else to ensure they received reimbursement for any balance accrued while on orders.
Now, with the newly implemented system, travelers will have those choices and also be responsible for their own reimbursements.
"The DTS system gives control back to the traveler and makes it more convenient for them," said Jonathan Page, lead DTS administrator here. "Now they don't have to depend on other people to make arrangements for them or run around trying to get signatures from several people."
The way the DTS system works is quite simple.
First the traveler must ensure they have their CAC card and know the password. They will then log on to the main DTS Web site and make all of their own travel flights including whether they prefer a window seat in a flight and whether they prefer a smoking or non-smoking room in a hotel.
If traveling by a privately owned vehicle, the traveler will simply put in the mileage and destination(s) and the program will automatically calculate how much money they will receive for travel.
After completing travel arrangements and getting the officer-in-charge's signature, they automatically go to Omega Travel's system and arrangements are confirmed.
Upon returning from travel, the travel claim for reimbursements is also done on the DTS Web site and are processed in three to five days.
"Travelers will get paid much faster with this program," said Capt. Juanita McLaughlin, fielding lead, DTS Program Management Office. "They don't have to depend on anyone else to get their money."
Should anyone need assistance throughout the process, each organization here has a DTS representative assigned to them to provide assistance with the use of the new program.
In October, it will be mandatory that all travelers make their arrangements through this new system. While travelers can only make TAD arrangements through DTS at this point, by fiscal year 2006 servicemembers and DoD employees will be able to make all travel arrangements including formal schools and permanent change of station moves. To make travel arrangements, visit Web site www.defensetravel.osd.mil.
For more information, contact the organization defense travel administrator for your office.