On 15 June 2015, DoD quietly launched a new program in lodging as a pilot venture. Called the Integrated Lodging Program Pilot (ILPP – got to have an acronym, it’s the military, right?), this program is an attempt to seamlessly combine the traditional military lodging facilities with local commercial facilities when booking through DTS. Theoretically, both on-post/on-base housing will show up and local commercial establishments on the list from you to choose from. The bad news, from what I can tell, is that they will only display hotels that have signed up for this program so your favorite brand may be left out. Understandably, they are trying to eliminate the current system where you have to call the military Temporary Lodging Facility (TLF) and see if there is room, then make commercial reservations if there is not. Most people I know just look on DTS and take whatever is available and within per diem. Now, you will see all choices which means you may be staying in a military room whether you like it or not.
You can access the full article by looking at the right side of the DTS Home Page or click here. Here is the actual key language including the pilot sites:
As of June 15, 2015, The Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) (par. 1265) requires travelers (Service members and civilians) TDY to a pilot site installation (for 30 or less days) to utilize government quarters if available. DoD travelers must book DoD lodging facilities if available, and then preferred commercial lodging. If TDY to a pilot site city or metro area, travelers are required to use preferred commercial lodging before booking other lodging options. If DoD lodging facilities or preferred commercial lodging at a pilot location is available and a traveler chooses to stay in other commercial lodging, reimbursement is limited to the amount the Government would have paid if the traveler stayed in a DoD lodging facility or a participating preferred commercial lodging property. (underlining is mine)
This policy applies to travelers TDY to the following pilot locations:
- Charleston, SC – Joint Base Charleston
- Dayton, OH – Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
- Norfolk, VA – select area U.S. installations
- Saratoga Springs, NY – Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs
- Seattle-Tacoma Airport area, WA
- Tampa, FL – MacDill AFB
- Twentynine Palms, CA – Marine Air/Ground Combat Center
Not all of these locations currently have DoD lodging facilities available in DTS. DoD civilians are not required to use DoD lodging facilities when TDY to U.S. military installations until DoD lodging facilities at that location is available in DTS. Service members, if directed by an Authorizing Official, must check DoD lodging facilities availability. To determine if DoD lodging facilities is available at a pilot site, see the ILPP Start Dates.
Sounds like DoD civilians are off the hook for now, but I ‘ll bet it is coming once they iron out the bugs in the system. We would be very interested in hearing from any of you who try out this new system and let us know how it is working. I find it interesting that they specify 30 days or less for this program. In my experience, it is the young service member who goes to school at sole post/ base for several months that has the most problems with housing. Maybe they haven’t figured out how to program in the reduced per diem for stays over 30 days.
More to follow…