Burning the midnight oil to make every dollar count

by 2nd Lt. Alicia Binggeli
700th Contracting Squadron

For many Airmen, the end of the fiscal year doesn’t mean much. For the 700th Contracting Squadron, and our close partners in the financial community, it’s game seven of the World Series. We’ve put in the ground work all year, had some smaller victories here and there, maybe a few setbacks, but this is when we step up to the plate and into overdrive. It’s the time of year when we make it all count.

During the fiscal year, the 86th Airlift Wing and its tenant units receive funding to operate and complete their critical mission sets. The Air Force is not entirely organic nor self-sufficient so we must make purchases and establish contracts for products and services to help us get the job done. Based on our government’s fiscal law and cycle, the money that’s distributed for these purposes must be spent by the stroke of midnight on 30 September. This is when 700 CONS performs its magic!

In fiscal year 2017, 700 CONS was able to put $90 million worth of supplies, services, and construction on contract. Through sound business practices and planning with customers, we executed $32 million in September alone.

Each dollar the base gets certainly goes to support the mission and operation of the installation, but it does so in ways that benefit nearly all personnel across the greater Kaiserslautern Military Community as well. What does that mean for the greater Team Ramstein? Well, let us give you a few examples:

The base command post is a central point for Ramstein’s operations, providing everything from weather updates to base warnings, and so much more. The ability to communicate effectively with other team members in time of peace or emergency is a critical necessity for them. Our Commodities Flight was able to secure a much needed upgrade for communications equipment ensuring that the command post can do their part to keep the rest of us safe and secure.  The commodities flight was also responsible for the purchase of USAFE’s first combat aircraft fire rescue trainer which will be used by multiple units to sharpen their life-saving skills. 700 CONS put their business skills to good use and was able to secure the trainer for $250 thousand less than initially anticipated.

Our Construction Flight spent nearly $6 million on upgrading aging fire alarm systems in housing units, hangars, visitor quarters, the library, and many more facilities across RAB to keep all our team members and families safe. They’re also responsible for contracting the renovation taking place in a section of the Enlisted Club. All that effort is going to provide the perfect spot for the very first P.F. Chang’s on an Air Force Installation. So, get your taste buds ready for an opening in the near future!

The Government Purchase Card program provides charge cards to nearly every unit. This program is entirely aimed at making it easier for units to buy smaller dollar value items that help them with their everyday jobs. Our Programs and Policy Flight is the home of USAFE’s #1 GPC program which, in FY17, was able to complete 27,791 actions valued at $29.9 million!

While the timeliness of spending is very important at this time of year, the main concentration of effort is to meet critical mission needs, promote beneficial long-term community impacts, and enhance the future of airpower. What 700 CONS accomplished this year was the result of a team effort made possible by our partners at the 86th Comptroller Squadron, our Resource Advisors, and a multitude of our KMC customers. We extend a big thank you to everyone who played a role in making FY17 and End of Year closeout a success. We’re confident we will make FY18 even better!