Depot prepares for Defense Travel System
By Lance Cpl. Justin J. Shemanski
| | September 10, 2004
MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
In an effort to ease the official travel process for military personnel, the Department of Defense will be implementing the new Defense Travel System aboard the Depot in fiscal year 2005. To help explain this transition, representatives from Headquarters Marine Corps arrived Aug. 30.
The current system in use involves a mound of paperwork and countless phone calls to get a set of Temporary Additional Duty orders ready to go, but the new system was designed to limit this process to just a couple clicks of a mouse.
"It was developed to streamline the entire official orders system," said Chief Warrant Officer Randy Thomas, director of the Depot Consolidated Administration Center.
As of right now, Thomas said filing for these orders is a cumbersome, paperwork-intense process, and the new system will be quicker and more efficient.
"The general idea is to allow the traveler to process the orders in a web-based system where everyone who needs to get to them will be able to," he said. "Theoretically, the orders could be processed in as little as one day. Not only will it ease the process of doing TAD orders, but it will save manpower as well."
According to Army Maj. Mark Asher, an official with the DTS Deployment Branch, the new system will be similar to online services such as Expedia or Travelocity, both of which allow the user to log on and make reservations for air travel, lodging, and rental cars. The system will also automatically keep track of all travel receipts, which will make that trip to disbursing a little easier when filling travel claims.
"Among other things, it's going to allow you to eliminate all those bulky file cabinets you have full of receipts," said Asher. "Everything you need will be right on the system."
But even though the new system will be easier to use, it will still take some work to get it up and running aboard the Depot.
"It's going to involve some hard work and patience, but it's worth it," said Asher.
To make things easier is the main reason why DoD developed the new system, which saw that every service was doing things differently, and prompted them to develop a solution that would put everyone on the same page.
According to www.defensetravel.com, dozens of other installations across the country have already utilized the new system, including MCAS Beaufort. Parris Island will soon be on that list.