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Comptrollers corner market on money matters

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shane Dunaway
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
No money, no mission.

Without the money to fund its facilities, equipment or personnel, the U.S. Air Force would not thrive. If there were no funds to pour into development of state-of-the-art weapons systems and platforms, the "sound of freedom" that roars over Guam daily would be nothing more than a whisper in the island breeze.

More than a dozen Airmen and civilians from the 36th Comptroller Squadron vigilantly examine every number and figure, ensuring the roar remains over Andersen by directly enhancing mission readiness for every unit while simultaneously improving morale for Airmen and their families.

The 36th CPTS mission is divided between two sections, the financial management and accounting office and the financial services office.

Members of the financial management and accounting office track the wing's budget, certifying, approving and allocating available funds to each unit.

"This job provides you a total sight picture on the operations that take place here, whether it's putting planes in the air, fixing the runways, buying fuel for the aircraft or sending people on temporary duty assignments, emergency leave or deployments," said Airman 1st Class Jacqueline Lee, 36th CPTS accounting liaison. "We're able to see how [our] job directly impacts all of those requirements."

The financial management and accounting office's ops tempo spikes near the end of September - a time of year where units are in a mad dash to spend the fiscal year's allocated cash before the closeout date.

"Fiscal year closeout is definitely our time to shine," Airman Lee said. "Typically, we'll closeout the year spending all the funds we have received for our requirements. I analyze each account and make sure we have enough money to meet these requirements so at the end of the year, we don't lose or overspend any money."

While the financial management and accounting office serves the units, the financial services office provides customer service to meet the financial needs of Airmen and their families.

Some issues the office aids customers in resolving include travel vouchers, advance pay, reenlistment bonuses and debts. The office also assists customers with government travel card and Defense Travel System issues.

"We usually get an equal amount of inquires on each issue, but most are travel-related," said Staff Sgt. Adrian Espiritu, 36th CPTS customer service and special actions noncommissioned officer in charge. "We get a steady flow of members with debts which usually occur during [permanent change of station] season."

The financial services office staff takes pride in being 'on the money' when it comes to quality customer service. 

"To me, enjoyment comes from being able to help these people so their minds can be at ease and they can focus on the mission," Sergeant Espiritu said. "In one way, form or fashion, [our service] correlates to the big picture no matter what - ours is more of a different branch, but it all leads down the same road."