The Airmen of the 86th Comptroller Squadron concluded the end-of-year close out of the fiscal year Monday by obligating 100 percent of the budget assigned to their account.
Twenty-six Airmen managed the final annual budget of $309 million for the 86th Airlift Wing and $26.2 million for 435th Air Ground Operations Wing.
“Operations and maintenance funds have to be spent by Sept. 30 at midnight. It affects everyone within the wing,” said Capt. Lyka Olsen, 86th CPTS financial analysis flight commander.
All squadrons have to have their budgets executed by Sept. 30 every fiscal year, or the money will not be available.
“If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it,” said Lt. Col. Erik Dunn, 86th CPTS commander. “We need to make sure to keep the spending in line with the sequestration guidance. If it can’t be, they need to let us know so we can use it in other areas.
“The units need to watch what they are spending their money on,” Dunn continued. “In the past, the Air Force has grounded aircraft and had civilians on furlough; no one should be buying nice-to-have furniture or anything that isn’t critical to the mission.”
During the close out, the Airmen of the comptroller squadron worked an average of 12 hours a day and some Saturdays throughout September to make sure the work was completed on time.
“We have to wait to be released by (U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Financial Management). We were released at midnight on (Sept.) 20 and weren’t out until 4:45 a.m. on
(Oct.) 1,” Olsen said.
While the Airmen worked long hours, a variety of units and individuals provided support during a time when they needed it.
“People have always brought us food during this time, and we all work together as a team,”
Olsen said. “Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to do it. It motivates us and helps us to keep going.”
This is what finance lives for, Dunn said. The Airmen are in the spotlight and finally get to show their impact and contribution to the mission, and that gets people excited.