ABOARD USS BATAAN -- For Marines and Sailors deployed aboard a Navy ship, delays in receiving mail can be an inconvenient fact of life. Sometimes it can take weeks for a letter or package from a loved one to reach the ship.
But, thanks to a program new to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, special letters from home are getting express delivered in days, not weeks.
MotoMail, a program in which electronic emails are sent to the ship and then printed and automatically sealed in an envelope for delivery to the addressee, allows faster communication between a deployed service member and those at home.
Sergeant Denesha L. Foster, Postal Chief for the 26th MEU, said MotoMail allows most messages to go from the sender to the recipient within 24 hours.
"It's a fast, easy and efficient way to send a message," she said. "It's also secure, and Marines and Sailors can get MotoMail within a day."
That quick delivery time can make a big difference for those who are far away from home, and it also allows Marines who don't have easy access to email to receive word far faster than by regular postal mail.
"It is good because it builds the morale of the Marines and Sailors," Foster said. "They really look forward to MotoMail."
Family and friends at home are discovering the benefits of the program.
Foster said her office prints and delivers between 80 and 100 MotoMails a day.
Corporal Mark W. Piemonte, a Motor Transport operator with the 26th MEU's Combat Logistics Battalion-26, said it's a good program to communicate with home everyday.
"It's convenient for family and friends to get a hold of you and let you know what's going on," he said.
Calling home from ship can be very expensive, and Piemonte said Marines don't want to waste precious phone time on things that aren't really important.
"You don't want to waste your minutes on trivial things that could wait until they are sent over MotoMail" he said. "Plus, you get MotoMail all the time, so it's better than regular mail, which only comes once a month or so."
Foster said the only limitation of MotoMail is that it's really just a printed email and has no postage, so it can't be delivered through the regular mail system. If a Marine or Sailor leaves the ship or goes somewhere where the message can't be hand-delivered, it won't get delivered at all.
To access MotoMail, visit www.motomail.us, or go to www.usmc.mil/26thmeu and choose the link to the Marine's or Sailor's unit.
To send a message, the sender needs the service member's deployed mail address.
The Marines and Sailors of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is comprised of the Command Element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-264 (Rein.), Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment and CLB-26, are currently underway aboard the ships of the Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group during a routine, scheduled deployment which departed Camp Lejeune, N.C., January 6, 2007.
For more information on the MEU, including news, videos, and contact information, please visit www.usmc.mil/26thmeu.