Sending donations via MPS prohibited

Tech. Sgt. Kirk Baldwin
USAFE Postal Policy and Programs

Each year, the Department of Defense plays a role in delivering relief supplies and assisting in relief operations all over the world. For individuals overseas who want to contribute, the problem is getting the package where it needs to be.

However, the military postal service is not an option, according to U.S. Air Forces in Europe postal officials. Sending charitable contributions through the Air Mobility Command or through MPS is prohibited.

“These commendable efforts and the spirit behind them are extremely noteworthy,” said Matt Haacker, USAFE Postal functional area manager. “However, when the charity includes sending donations via mail, we must stop and follow the authorized delivery methods.”

The DOD is prohibited by law to provide airlift to non-DOD activities, according to Robert Eichholz, from the Air Force Director of Communications Operations office.

This means organizations and people authorized to use MPS cannot serve as intermediaries for any person or organization not specifically authorized such service.

Because there is postage on a package or it’s being sent MPS doesn’t mean the mailing is paid for, said Mr. Haacker. The postage applied to mailings only applies to movement while in the possession of the U.S. Postal Service.

DOD spends more than $73 million moving mail between U.S. gateways and military locations worldwide every year, said Mr. Eichholz.

“No one moves anything for free,” Mr. Haacker said. “For this reason, only authorized personnel may use the MPS. Any other use could be considered misuse of taxpayer dollars.

“American people have a great spirit of giving,” he added. “The most important thing to remember is that convoy size increases as the demand on the system and mail volumes grow. This places more servicemembers on the road and in harm’s way.”