Behind the scenes: budget trim down, successful end of year

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Jason Hatcher
  • 22nd Contracting Squadron
Driving through the main gate you are welcomed by a revitalized marquee. You may not have noticed the new carpet design in the Robert J. Dole Community Center Ballroom, but surely you can't miss the barren spots of land where the old Airman's attic, vacant bank, and clubhouse once stood.

You may not realize this, but the efforts involved in expending taxpayer dollars are more than what many perceive as a simple trip to Home Depot or phone call to a general contractor.

Our small but mighty contracting squadron operates behind the scenes and endeavors to make the most of our ever slimming budget.

Being prepared in these fiscally-constrained times serves as our greatest weapon to gaining the items, services and construction requirements needed to keep the mission rolling.

Last year, amidst the air show and installation excellence award team visits, the 22nd CONS worked diligently with our finance counterparts as well as squadron representatives to amass a wish list of needed requirements and in turn tackled the tasks of bringing this list to fruition.

This daunting and debated undertaking is a necessary evil to get ready for the dreaded end of year closeout process. The last minute end of year funding starts at the highest level. Unspent funds from the yearly budget trickle down from the top to various bases. In fact, we are not surprised if on occasion we get certified funding and are asked to execute a minute prior to rolling over to the new fiscal year.

During the madness of EOY 2012, our combined efforts and groundwork led to the procurement of the entire wish list of over one hundred distinct requirements to include three handheld explosive detectors for the security forces squadron, a closed circuit television system for the child development center and the logistics readiness squadron's deployable automated cargo measuring system.

Yes, we are in a fiscally pressing situation and money may not fall our way this September, but this does not excuse a lack of wholehearted preparation. In fact, we heard the same story last year. Rumors of potentially wasted efforts flourished throughout the squadrons, however the multi-functional teams churned out one requirement after another. Our endeavors did not go unnoticed.

Realizing our ability to rapidly execute all available tasks and the fact that we were postured to take on more requirements, Air Mobility Command awarded additional funding to the 22nd Air Refueling Wing with confidence that those funds would not be wasted. The marquee and ballroom carpet are both results of bonus funding executed during September's 11th hour.

The call to arms is here again as EOY 2013 begins to spin up.

Despite the possibility of furloughs or what you hear on the news, we need to be equipped to receive whatever is available. We've already geared up and trained our EOY team and I consider our early preparation to be far greater than last year's.

I urge you all to ready yourselves for this September because we don't want McConnell to be left behind.

In the meantime, the 22nd CONS will be behind the scenes spending the green (IAW FAR 52.232-18, this sentence is subject to the Availability of Funds.)