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Wing has flawless fiscal year finish

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The members of the 45th Contracting (CONS) and Comptroller (CPTS) Squadrons have successfully completed their closeout activities for the 2008 fiscal year.

They've managed to obligate a record number of dollars while at the same time facing significant manpower shortfalls.

The contracted support on Patrick and Cape Canaveral is funded mainly through annual appropriations from Congress to be used during the fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30. The Comptroller Squadron manages these funds for the Wing and much of the Wing's budget dollars go to the Contracting Squadron which writes the contracts.

As funds must be obligated by September 30, the wing has to reconcile every penny. "Each year folks from across the base that are involved with funding have to go through their records with a fine tooth comb to ensure all money has been spent," said Maj. Brent Hatch, 45th CPTS Commander.

Col. John Gilmour, 45th CONS commander, states that routinely, at the end of the year, the Air Force identifies unused Operations & Maintenance funds (commonly referred to as "fallout" funds) and redistributes those to the field. It falls on the Contracting and Comptroller Squadrons to make sure the base is in the best position possible to put those dollars on contract.

"To ensure the wing is postured to receive and execute these funds, a lot of people put in an extraordinary amount of effort in advance of actually receiving the funds in order to capitalize on every available dollar," said Colonel Gilmour. "The operations tempo for CONS, FM and Resource Advisors across the wing during the period from late August to the end of September is incredibly high."

As it turns out this fiscal year was busier than most. The amount of fallout funds coming to the 45th Space Wing is at record levels, mainly as a result of a very robust and aggressive construction program that could reach $80 million if fully funded, said Colonel Gilmour. At the same time this was going on, the Wing restructured one large $72 million contract into several smaller ones, which placed the additional onus of transitioning contractors on top of this incredible year-end workload.

The arrival of Tropical Storm Fay not only slowed work down during this critical time, it also added an extra $5.4 million in damage to the base that also had to be put on contract before the end of September. "Not only did we lose several days of work, but we had to assess damages, seek funding from AFSPC, and then get that funding obligated and repairs started," said Major Hatch.

The pride both squadron commanders display for their respective squadrons is obvious. Each is quick to point out the extraordinary efforts and dedication their people have and their commitment to making sure the Wing is in the best position possible to capture every dollar. Their efforts directly support the mission and make life better for everyone they serve.

"Not only have we advanced the Nation's space and missile efforts, but we supported a tremendous growth in partnering with commercial enterprises," said Major Hatch.
Colonel Gilmour added, "There are literally heroics occurring everywhere across the installation that will materially advance the missions of the wing, the Air Force Techncial Applications Center, 920th Rescue Wing, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, Army and other mission partners."