Travel Claim System Goes Digital

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
Goodbye, paper travel claim. Hello, DTS.

All military travel vouchers - included those filed only for local mileage - must now be filed through the on-line Defense Travel System. The change, which went into effect with all orders created on or after Oct. 1, means Airmen at Selfridge Air National Guard Base need to get up to speed on a new system to ensure that their travel expenses are being reimbursed.

"This is now the only way to get paid for travel," said Technical Sgt. Sarah Brunsman, lead travel claims specialist for the 127th Comptroller Flight. "It is essential that all of our Airmen create a profile in DTS so that they are able to file their claims."

DTS was created in 1995 when the Dept. of Defense created a task force to simplify the temporary duty travel pay system. As the program has been developed, it has been implemented in steps across all of the military services. The active duty Air Force has been using DTS for some time. Now the Air National Guard is being rolled into the system as well.

Brunsman said the using DTS allows Airmen to make their airline, hotel and other reservations right in the DTS system. They can then upload their receipts electronically to DTS for submission at the conclusion of the travel. The system gives Airmen more control over their travel and, when used properly, can streamline the payment of travel expenses.

"It is a new system, so training is available," Brunsman said. Training help is available on the DTS web site itself and there are also training modules available by the wing's shared Y: drive, accessible on base.

The first step to using the system is to create a profile in the system. An Airman will need to have his or her bank account information and their government travel card handy when creating a profile. Once the profile is created, the Airman will be "gained" into their unit by a unit-level administrator.

Those who use the DTS system on a regular basis often find the system relatively easy to navigate. First-time users may require more assistance, which is why the computer training modules are available, Brunsman said.

The DTS system is accessible via the Air Force Portal or at www.defensetravel.osd.mil. The DTS system handles about 30,000 transactions a day and is available 24 hours per day. In the first quarter of 2011, the DTS system had an average voucher payment time of 6.1 days.

The 127th Comptroller Flight, which stood up as a separate flight in November 2010, has four specialists who work to manage the travel claims for the roughly 1,700 members of the 127th Wing. In a typical year, the office will handle 7,000-8,000 travel claims.