[quote=“mjtaiwan”]This is so random, but I don’t know where to put it, and I’m about to go crazy.
I am trying to send a package to an American friend who’s currently deployed in Iraq, but pretty much every post office has brushed me off because they don’t know what to do. Ironically, I’ve sent letters and cards to the American military base in Korea without a problem, but I am out of ways to explain them I am sending the package to the American Military Base in Iraq, and not to the USA or to Iraq.
Anyone can help?[/quote]
The Taiwan Post Office should handle it just like any other package going from Taiwan to the US. However, you need to address the package with the appropriate APO/FPO Zip Code. Have you tried that? Do you have the military member’s complete information? All packages and mail must be addressed to individual service members, as required by U.S. Department of Defense regulations. All military units are assigned an APO or FPO ZIP Code and, in many cases, that ZIP Code travels with the unit. The Postal Service places APO/FPO mail on special charter flights, commercial airlines and military aircraft to reach armed services members overseas as quickly as possible.
Remember, you’re not sending a package to Iraq or to a military base in Iraq. You’re sending a package to a US military member and their specific unit address. So, if you have the complete APO/FPO mailing address for the member, just add U.S.A. to the bottom of the letter or package and it should make it safely to the military member.
LtCol Cody Maverick, USMC
1st BN, 3rd Mar, 3d MarDiv
USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)
FPO AP 96628-3300
Here’s some more specific information on how the military mail system works.
[quote="[color=#FF0000]Specific Regulations Governing Overseas Military Mail and Packages[/color]"]The United States Department of Defense (DoD) and the United States Postal Service, established the Overseas Military Mail system, which allows for rapid processing and shipment of mail from the United States to military posts, United States Navy, Coast Guard and US Naval Reserve vessels, and United States Embassies worldwide.
How does the Overseas Military Mail System work?
The system depends on three broad regions or “states” based upon where the particular unit is stationed:
•AA, Armed Forces Americas, which serves all of the Americas, (including military bases within the United States), except for Canada;
•AE, Armed Forces Europe, which serves Europe, Canada, Africa and the Middle East;
•AP, Armed Forces Pacific, which serves Asia and the Pacific.
These codes point to three Military Gateways (receiving centers for military mail):
•AA mail is routed to Miami;
•AE mail is routed to New York City;
•AP mail is routed to San Francisco.
From here, the mail is sorted by the individual unit or ship, and then is transferred into the custody of either the Navy (for FPO addresses) or Army or Air Force (for APO addresses), and is delivered to its final destination. The military, along with the State Department, also handles a new designation – DPO, or “Diplomatic Post Office”, established in January, 2009, and which serves 16 Embassies worldwide (the other 90 Embassies currently bear APO addresses, though they are scheduled to gradually be changed over).
Each APO and FPO is assigned a ZIP Code of their own, corresponding closely to the Military Gateway city’s ZIP, and from there organized by country or region – the first two numbers designate the routing center, the third designating the country or region within the “state”. For instance, a ZIP beginning in “962” will be in AP, going to a military post in South Korea, while a ZIP beginning in “095”, in AE, designates a US Navy ship in the Atlantic, Mediterranean or Persian Gulf.
Addressing a Overseas Military Mail Mailpiece
To properly address a mailpiece, you need the following information:
•Name of the recipient (rank/grade/rating is optional)
•The PSC (Postal Service Center), CMR (Community Mail Room), UMR (Unit Mail Room), RPO (Regional Post Office), APO (Army Post Office) or OMDC (Official Mail Distribution Center) number.
•It is not necessary to add the specific military formation (for instance “1/20 24th Infantry”) that the recipient is attached to.
•At times, operational security may demand that the unit not be named.
•For FPO addresses aboard a United States Navy or United States Coast Guard vessel, put the ship’s name and hull number, if applicable, (for instance “USS Cochrane (DDG-21)”) instead of a PSC number.
•If applicable, the recipient’s Military Post Office Box number.
•When mailing to a DPO address, do not add the street address of the embassy or the recipient’s job title, such as “Ambassador John Adams” as this may cause processing errors.
•The APO and “state” designator (AA, AP, AE)
•Please do not use the state that the distribution hub is in (FL, CA, NY), as this may cause delays in the package being processed.
•The correct ZIP Code for the unit, preferably the ZIP+4.
•In case your package accidentally falls open during transit, consider including a card within, listing both yours and the recipient’s addresses and a full listing of the contents.
For instance, here is a sample APO Address:
GEN Omar Bradley
PSC 1234, Box 12345
APO AE 09204-1234
For a FPO:
CAPT John Paul Jones
USS Cochrane (DDG-21)
FPO AP 96543-1234
For a DPO:
Unit 8400, Box 0000
DPO, AE, 09498-0048
•Please do not send mail addressed to “Military Mail” or “any soldier” or “any sailor” or “any service member,” or any other formulation that does not name a specific individual. Such mailpieces will be rejected and returned to the sender. While it was a tradition for the USPS to allow anonymous mail to be sent to random troops as a morale booster, DoD has requested it be ended due to heightened security concerns.
•All packages must be 70 lbs. or less
•Packages cannot exceed 130 in. combined length and girth.
•You cannot send any item restricted by the United States Postal Service. In addition, you cannot send perishable foods.
•Further, you cannot send any items that are restricted by the unit’s host country, regardless of their mailability by the USPS. Any mailpieces being sent to troops deployed in the Middle East or Afghanistan cannot contain articles contrary to the Islamic faith (exception: single copies of non-Islamic religious texts and religious objects intended for personal use are permitted), anything that could be considered pornographic or politically inflammatory, or pork/pig-derived products.
•You can see the full restrictions in the USPS Rate Calculator, or by contacting your local Post Office, calling 1-800-ASK-USPS or contacting the Military Postal Service Agency at hqdainet.army.mil/mpsa.
•Please remove any batteries from battery-powered items (radios, shavers, media players) in case they accidentaly get switched on in transit. You can wrap them securely and place them with the item.
•All packages must have complete customs forms attached if being sent to a APO in a foreign country.[/quote]