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Postal Agency Releases ZIP Codes for Peacekeepers

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 1996 – Postal ZIP codes have been assigned to service members supporting Operation Joint Endeavor in Croatia, Hungary and Bosnia. Official and personal mail operations will be fully operational in early February. By late February, the units will be able to accept bulk mail. However, there is a 70-pound U.S. Postal Service weight limit, and military postal officials recommended that parcels be no larger than a shoe box.

The APOs are:

APO AE 09779, Zagreb, Croatia;

APO AE 09780, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina;

APO AE 09781, Split, Croatia;

APO AE 09782, Kiseljac, Bosnia-Herzegovina;

APO AE 09788 and 09789, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina; and

APO AE 09793 and 09794, Tazsar, Hungary.

"It still takes 32 cents to send a letter into the theater," noted Army Adjutant General Col. Earl Simms. However, DoD has approved "free mail" for troops supporting Joint Endeavor in the former Yugoslavia, Croatia, Hungary and the Adriatic, he added.

Free mail applies only to outgoing personal correspondence, including first-class letters, cassette voice tapes and personal communication videos weighing 11 ounces or less. Service members have to pay for parcel shipments.

Army Lt. Col. Jerry Peck, chief of staff for the Military Postal Service Agency, said Navy ships and Marine units have unique, permanently assigned ZIP codes.

Mail currently takes eight to 10 days to travel either way between the United States and Bosnia. Mail from Europe to Hungary and Bosnia is taking two to four days, Simms said.

Peck said the postal agency supports U.S. peacekeepers with eight military post offices in and around the former Yugoslavia. More than 100 soldiers in two active duty Germany-based postal companies are operating the post offices -- the 15th Adjutant General Company in Hungary and the 510th Adjutant General Company in Bosnia. To maintain postal services in Germany, the Army Reserve 23rd Adjutant General Company from Pittsburgh; 329th from St. Paul, Minn.; and the 755th from Texarkana, Texas, deployed to backfill the active units, Simms said.

A daily average of about 1,397 pounds of mail started flowing to American peacekeepers in mid-December. The daily load increased to more than 11,000 pounds by mid-January, Simms said.

"Mail hygiene" -- the right address -- is probably the most important aspect of getting mail to troops quickly, he emphasized.

Mail going to American peacekeepers through the military postal system is subject to the same restrictions as the international mail system. Host country customs officials usually prohibit the entry of coins, bank notes, currency notes, precious metals and stones, narcotics, alcohol, firearms and ammunition, DoD officials warned.

No Greater Love, a nonprofit humanitarian organization in Washington, has established a special address for school children to send Valentine’s Day cards, Simms said. Valentine mail shouldn’t exceed 70 pounds and no larger than a shoe box. "Any service member" addresses for Valentine mail are:

Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps land forces:

No Greater Love

c/o Operation Joint Endeavor

APO AE 09391.

Navy and Marine Corps personnel aboard ship:

No Greater Love

c/o Operation Joint Endeavor

FPO AE 09392.

There’s also "any service, any family member" mail. "This program became popular during Desert Shield/Desert Storm," Simms noted. "It’s designed for the public to send cards, letters and packages to unspecified service members or to the families of those who are deployed."

Those addresses are:

Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps land forces:

Any Service Member

Operation Joint Endeavor

APO AE 09397

Navy and Marine Corps personnel aboard ship:

Any Service Member

Operation Joint Endeavor

FPO AE 09398

Families in Germany:

Any Service Member

Operation Joint Endeavor

APO AE 09399

The Military Postal Service Agency has established a toll-free hot line in Alexandria, Va., to assist mailers in verifying active Joint Endeavor ZIP codes and any restrictions imposed on them, DoD officials said. The number is (800) 810-6098. Calls are accepted weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time.

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