Upcoming holiday season means deadlines loom for sending military mail
Stars and Stripes October 19, 2022
Holiday mailing deadlines are just around the corner for packages going to and from military installations overseas.
For regular ground mail, the cutoff date is Nov. 5 if those packages are going under the tree, according to an Oct. 6 announcement from the U.S. Postal Service.
Packages sent by first-class mail and priority mail should be mailed by Dec. 9. The window for priority mail express military service closes Dec. 16. Priority express military service is an expedited delivery service to or from the United States for all Defense Department personnel stationed overseas, according to the Postal Service website.
The Postal Service expects to process more than 10.1 million pounds of mail bound for Army, Air Force, Fleet and Diplomatic post office destinations this holiday season, according to its announcement.
Among those preparing for the holiday crush is Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka at Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo.
“Postal activities will be postured to provide optimal and efficient postal services throughout the 2022 holiday season,” Jim Clark, Far East regional postal manager, told Stars and Stripes by phone Tuesday.
Yokosuka’s post office serves approximately 26,000 people on the installation, and mail clerks are expecting to assist even more when visiting ships are accounted for. Clark said the base post office will be increasing its staff for the season.
“We’ve done this for many years, so we know what to expect and plan for,” he said.
The post office at Camp Zama, the headquarters for U.S. Army Japan southwest of Tokyo, reminded its clientele to ship holiday mail at their earliest convenience to ensure timely delivery, base spokeswoman Amber Kurka told Stars and Stripes in an email Tuesday.
“This year we are also asking all customers to be as descriptive as possible when filling out custom forms in order to prevent any possible mail delays,” she said.
The Postal Service offers a discounted price of $20.95 on its largest priority mail flat-rate box. That includes a $1.50 discount per box for mail sent to APO, FPO and DPO destinations worldwide, according to the Oct. 6 announcement.