Deploying on a Budget
By by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Ballard, 145th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 06, 2019
10/06/2019 – CHARLOTTE, N.C. – --
The clock was ticking as the end of the fiscal year rapidly approached and members from the North Carolina Air National Guard (NCANG) worked diligently to purchase much needed equipment for Airmen when last minute funding became available. This moment wasn’t anything new for Airmen since they have been preparing for moments like this given the recent wing conversion to the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft over the past couple years.
“It’s a great feeling to know that we will come through and win. It may take time, but being prepared for those last minute changes helps us be successful,” said Master Sgt. James Guinn, 145th Airlift Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron.
During the few remaining days of fiscal year 2019, last minute funds became available and members collaborated across the wing to ensure these end of year funds were appropriately spent on equipment needed for readiness. Members were able to purchase equipment for almost 1,500 members of the NCANG to ensure deployment readiness.
“Spending tax dollars is not the easiest thing to do. The rules are more detailed and restrictive as to what you can spend money on and how you spend it, especially when you get into large dollar figures,” said 2nd Lt. Zachary Leddy, 145th Airlift Wing Contracting officer, when asked about the fiscal constraints and obstacles faced during the conversion.
Various construction projects have emerged from the conversion. From new aircraft hangars and buildings to a fuel hydrant system project and a new flight simulator, budget and fiscal needs have soared towards a $54 million budget in order to make these projects happen. Therefore, adherence to many rules and regulations to spend the funds appropriately, lawfully, and efficiently must be followed diligently.
“Pre-planning makes it easier to appropriate funds in the most effective way, and it must be done early and often to ensure we are fiscally responsible with funding,” said 2nd Lt. Leddy when discussing the preparation required.
Being prepared was a common theme mentioned by members of NCANG when they discussed how they have overcome obstacles during the fiscal year. Preparation included maintaining annual budgets and creating three year projections to predict expected needs for the base. Even more importantly, members must constantly monitor how changes within U.S. Air Force regulations could impact readiness requirements.
“I adjust the budget projection once I noticed any changes in the AFI and update documentation requests for when funding becomes available,” said Master Sgt. Guinn when asked how he helped to ensure much needed equipment was purchased when the unexpected fiscal year end funding became available.
The hard work and dedication didn’t go unnoticed during the final days of the fiscal year. Chief Jeremy Mullins, 118th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) superintendent, gave coins to members from the 145th Airlift Wing Contracting office, Finance, and Logistics Readiness Squadron to show his appreciation in helping members at the 118th ASOS be better prepared.
“Spending the last minute funds was a challenge,” said 2nd Lt. Leddy, “However, the gear and equipment that we bought has a direct impact on the operations down range. It’s a great feeling and I take great pride knowing that impact.”