About a year ago, DoD started a program to integrate both on-post/base housing and off-post commercial hotels. They started this as a pilot program with a few of the smaller locations. They have expanded it as they worked out the bugs and just expanded again to include some of our largest posts such as Ft. Bragg. I into this program for the first time last month when I visited some of my deploying troops at Ft. Hood and the only choice I was given for housing was to stay at the new Candlewood Suites, run by IHG, on post. As many of you know, the privatized housing program has now expanded to temporary lodging (known as PAL) and so far I am impressed by IHG’s new hotels and management of them.
Here is the announcement from the latest expansion:
On July 1, 2016, the Department of Defense will continue its expansion of the Integrated Lodging Program Pilot by adding DoD Preferred commercial lodging at five pilot sites including:
- Fort Bragg ��� Fayetteville, NC
- Fort Meade ��� Fort Meade, MD
- Hill Air Force Base ��� Ogden, UT
- Shaw Air Force Base ��� Sumter, SC
- Redstone Arsenal ��� Huntsville, AL
Two of these pilot sites, Fort Meade and Redstone Arsenal, are already Integrated Lodging Program pilot sites with privatized lodging. Hill Air Force Base, Shaw Air Force Base and Fort Bragg are considered new program pilot sites.
Now just because you are going TDY to one of these locations does not mean you will stay on-post/base. I just booked another trip to Ft. Hood in DTS and it said the PAL Hotel (Candlewood Suites) was not available and then asked me to push a button to revel all the commercial hotels around the fort.
I am not sure how the program saves DoD money since the hotel cost the same as every other hotel, i.e. per diem rate. However, the location is certainly closer to wherever you need to go on-post. Not to mention, it is nice to get points for staying on-post which is a departure from many years history. We’d be interested to hear your experiences and thoughts on the ILPP Program. For the full story on this program, check out this page on DTS.