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Military Post Offices in Iraq to Close Nov. 17

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2011 – Because U.S. forces are coming home from Iraq by the end of the year, the U.S. Postal Service will stop accepting mail addressed to military post offices in Iraq starting Nov. 17, Defense Department officials said today.

Military post offices in Iraq also will stop processing mail Nov. 17, and service members there should begin now to advise those who send them mail about the Nov. 17 deadline.

Mail still in the postal system through Nov. 17 will be processed and delivered to service members in Iraq, officials said.

In November, U.S. military postal service responsibilities in Iraq will transition to State Department embassy or consulate post offices for service members assigned to Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq.

These sites will provide letter and parcel mail services to service members assigned to the Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq.

The transition will be closely coordinated with the U.S. Postal Service Agency, which will delete ZIP codes for Iraq military post offices from the USPS database to prevent undeliverable mail from entering the postal system after Nov. 17, according to defense officials.

If APO mail arrives in Iraq after a service member departs, mail will be redirected to the new mailing address provided or, if no mailing address was provided, returned to sender.

Any mail mistakenly accepted by a USPS post office after Nov. 17 will be returned to sender once it reaches the International Gateway in New Jersey.

Service members in Iraq or returning from Iraq who do not receive a requested absentee ballot from their state can complete a back-up federal write-In absentee ballot at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Web portal. The form wizard will provide a PDF document for printing, including the completed ballot and instructions for returning it to their local election official. Contact installation and unit level voting assistance officers for additional assistance.

Service members who are remaining in Iraq after Nov. 17 and who are there on behalf of or are assigned to the Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq should coordinate with their chain of command and the servicing State Department mail location to receive a new mailing address.

According to defense officials, conditions and situations in the Iraq transition change often. Officials recommend that service members check the Military Postal Service Agency website and USPS Postal Bulletins frequently for updates.

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Related Sites:
Military Postal Service Agency
USPS Postal Bulletins
Federal Voting Assistance Program Web Portal


Article is closed to new comments.

The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

10/27/2011 4:00:31 PM
I represent an organization known as "Operation Paperback" . It is a non-profit organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service. Volunteers for this group collect slightly used paperback books and ship them to speciific members of the military who have requested the books. Lately, some volunteers have reported that some packages are being rejected by the Postal Service as having bad zip codes, even though the zip code was supplied by the soldier. Other packages have been accepted by the Postal Service but subsequently were returned to the sender noting that the zip code was bad. Has the Military Postal Service Agency started closing down or consolidating zip codes in Iraq prior to the November 17th date ?
- John Tarpey, Massapequa, N.Y.

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