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43rd CONS and CPTS close out the Fiscal Year

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
While many of Team Pope's members were sleeping the night of Sept. 30, members of the 43rd Contracting and Comptroller Squadrons were working late into the night and into the next morning to close out the 2009 Fiscal Year. They run on a fiscal calendar, with end of year being Sept 30, rather than in December. Fiscal year 2009 began Oct 1, 2008, and ended around midnight Sept. 30. 

Pope closed out the year with three big spenders. The 18th Air Support Operations Group, Pope's highest spent customer, used their money toward requirements and resources to send downrange, said Linda Walker, 43rd CONS. Following the group's footsteps was the 440th Airlift Wing. "The 43rd Airlift Wing was the number three customer on this base, in terms of dollars spent," said Lt. Col. Michael Everton, 43rd CONS Commander. 

The task wasn't easy for the 43rd CONS, which faced a new challenge resulting from a lack of manpower. "Right now we have nine civilian vacancies," said Ms. Walker. "What makes it unique this year is we have several large contracts that have to be redone." Colonel Everton said, "It's a lot of long hours." The colonel stayed past midnight Sept. 30 to assure the end of year close out was a success. 

Maj. Michael Kwasnoski, 43rd CPTS Commander, recently returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. He attributed the this year's success to the exceptional continuity in the financial analysis team who kept him apprised of the issues during his transition back. 

The squadron welcomed a new budget officer, Capt. Shirrisha Peake. "She and her entire financial analysis office - all the Airmen and civilian members were exceptional," said Major Kwasnoski. 

In order to prepare for fiscal year end, a Wing Buy Down list is established before the end of August. The list is a combination of wing unfunded requests, ranked according to mission requirements. 

This year's list consisted of 70 items, 40 of which were purchased, said 2nd Lt. Matt Miller, 43rd CPTS. 

As money falls out the end of the FY, it is spent on the highest ranked priorities. "We need to get all the prep work before the money drops," said 2nd Lt. Ester Kim, 43 CONS squadron. "For commodities such as tactical gear or printers, we spend one to five days soliciting, which is essentially advertising the requirement." The better vendor is awarded the contract and the rest is history. It's not abnormal for these contracting specialists to have anywhere between seven to 10 contracts open each day throughout the month of September. 

Back at CPTS, the financial analysis team was busy awaiting system updates and additional funding which required time spent through the weekends in order to coordinate with Air Mobility Command to receive periodic status reports as well as "being able to service with contracting with their needs - it was a pretty aggressive schedule," said Major Kwasnoski. 

"The Comptroller Squadron, specifically the financial analysis flight manages the budget. That is, the funding, authorizations and allocations for the wing - where funding is, and in what accounts funding is placed and managed, down to the penny," said Major Kwasnoski. "At the end of year, we're doing a balancing act between additional funding and fallout." 

"Comptroller and contracting work hand-in-hand at the end of the year -- we have a fantastic relationship on this base," said Major Kwasnoski. With more than $54 million negotiated and obligated between the two squadrons, it is obvious that the relationship is stronger than ever. 

Both commanders look forward to the new fiscal year and recognize their respective squadron members as key to Fiscal Year success.