Commentary by Maj. Thomas Smicklas
50th Comptroller Squadron commander
Happy new year! Another fiscal year is in the books for the superstars of the 50th Space Wing.
More than $240 million in congressionally appropriated funds were spent in fiscal year 2010 which ran from Oct.1, 2009 to midnight, Sept. 20. Fiscal law mandates that funds be spent within the fiscal year in which they were appropriated and 2010 was no different; until the very last minute. Although faced with the uncertainty that comes with new missions, new requirements, and an ever-shrinking pool of available resources, the budget was executed to the penny in coordination with a team of superb group and squadron leaders, resource advisors, contracting specialists, and financial analysts.
In an effort to meet the Sept. 30 deadline, aggressive steps, collectively known as ‘closeout,’ were taken by the entire team to maximize our available resources and eliminate any redundant or unnecessary spending, just like you do with your own personal finances. This flawless execution made it possible for Schriever, along with its geographically separated units, to be great stewards of our taxpayers’ resources and fund many mission-critical, safety, quality of life, and facility requirements for the wing, its Airmen and families.
In the last three months of the fiscal year, the wing executed roughly $50 million toward many different mission areas. As a result of prudent spending during the year, the wing was able to find a way to fund a diverse array of requirements addressing critical needs such as exercising contract options, technology upgrades and training equipment. Investments were made in several quality of life initiatives to include a state-of-the-art indoor running track, awesome portal improvements, a new multi-purpose facility, and continued, uninterrupted service in our award-winning dining facility.
None of this would’ve been possible if not for the commitment of each and every Airman involved; from the one making the decision, to the one advising on which account to utilize, to the one actually calling the vendor or swiping the government purchase card to seal the deal. Balancing a $240 million budget takes committed organizations that make it their mission to work closely together in an effort to ensure resources are used efficiently and legally. Even more impressive is that many of our resource advisors are Airmen trying their best to make it a priority even though their resource advising role is an additional duty. Believe me when I say, the entire financial management community appreciates the tremendous dedication involved in not only concentrating on a primary duty; be it satellite ops or maybe a one person deep shop such as the 50 SW anti-terrorism, force protection office, but also devoting other valuable minutes of the day towards the crucial financial management responsibility of your unit.
The new fiscal year brings challenges and opportunities to the 50th Space Wing. Rest assured, your financial managers, in close coordination with the entire resource management and contracting teams of professionals will continue to work towards supporting your missions and fostering the sense of community that is the 50 SW.