Defense Travel System--why use it?

  • Published
  • By Patty Boettner
  • 934th Airlift Wing comptroller
By now, most of you should be aware of our recent transition to the Defense Travel System for travel arrangements, voucher processing, and payment. And, I'm sure many of you have asked why we, the Air Force Reserve, are moving our travel voucher processing from our current Reserve Travel System to DTS? After all, our current system has served us well over the years.

The short answer is, it's a money and time saver. By moving to DTS, the annual cost savings for the Air Force will be approximately $5 Million. The majority of the savings will come from reduced manning at the AF Financial Services Center (Ellsworth AFB, S.D.) where the travel voucher processing department's manning is being reduced by 95 percent. Manpower savings will also be made at local bases where the number of FM travel pay reviewers will eventually be reduced, as well. In addition, approximately $800 K will be saved annually on commercial travel office fees, as the reservations for airline tickets will now be processed directly by the member in DTS instead of requiring assistance from SATO to secure the reservation.

As a direct benefit to you, airmen will be getting paid much faster! The normal DTS processing time for reimbursement of travel costs is no more than three-to-five days after the voucher has been approved. Under our current system, the voucher processing time can often reach thirty days. As an added plus, your entire voucher, including receipts, is now digitally saved and available in DTS for review and retention. That means you will no longer have to keep paper copies of your voucher and receipts, once all are uploaded to the system. DTS eliminates any chance your voucher and supporting documentation will get lost or misfiled.

Every 934th unit has an Organizational Defense Administrator appointed and trained to assist you with DTS issues. Make sure you know who this person is and take the time to register in DTS as soon as possible. While current AFRC DTS business rules are limiting the types of orders that can be processed using this system, the ultimate goal of AFRC is to eventually use DTS exclusively for all our travel arrangements and voucher settlements. Make sure you're ready!