‘No money, no mission’
By Airman 1st Class Ross Tweten, Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
/ Published August 25, 2006
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
No money, no mission.
This is the motto of Minot's 5th Comptroller Squadron.
Comprised of approximately 40 Airmen and civilians, the 5th CPTS supports the Air Force with financial expertise for those serving around the globe.
The squadron's financial expertise is broken down into two flights - Financial Services and Financial Analysis.
The Financial Services flight encompasses two sections - customer service and customer support. Special action, retirements, separations and relocations are all part of customer service. All military and travel pay transaction-processing, to include LeaveWeb, are accomplished within the customer support section.
"Financial Services is the flight Team Minot is probably most familiar with," said 1st Lt. Juan Guzman, 5th CPTS deputy financial services officer. "These guys are what's known as 'The Face of Finance'. These are the diligent folks who work around the clock to ensure people are paid on time and accurately after completing all official travel."
The Financial Analysis flight encompasses operations and support elements. The operations element manages all appropriated funds received for Minot Air Force Base, monitors annual and quarterly authority limitations, projects future funding requirements and manages fund accountability within the government accounting and finance system with funding documents issued from major commands and other sources. The support element is responsible for appropriated funds and provides financial decision-making support to all commanders.
"Financial Analysis is a dynamic group who manages over $200 million in appropriated funds for 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Space Wing issues," said Lieutenant Guzman. "They work hand in hand with commanders and resource advisors for virtually everything on this base that has a price tag."
According to Staff Sgt. Philip Chapman, 5th CPTS budget and accounting technician, the fact that most people only see Financial Services creates a misconception that all the 5th CPTS does is military and travel pay.
"Most people never get the opportunity to interact or see this part of our organization, but Financial Analysis plays a significant role for the 5th BW and 91st SW and their missions," he said. "We basically handle every financial transaction occurring on base. Our hands are in everything from Northern Neighbors Day to the new marquee."
In addition to Financial Services and Financial Analysis, the 5th CPTS is also the focal point for the base'sReport of Survey Program, Management Control Program, Government Travel Card Program and non-appropriated funds financial analysis.
According to Lieutenant Guzman, the work the 5th CPTS does impacts every employee on base and the Airmen and civilians working on Minot AFB are two of the squadron's highest priorities.
"Our goal is to be invisible to our customers by processing the travel and military pay documents submitted the first time correctly," he said. "The most important aspect of my job is the accurate and timely management of Minot employees' pay and entitlements."
But, with more and more Web-based automation, customer service is becoming almost non-existent.
"I grew up in the era where customer service was the priority with pay-as-you-wait travel vouchers and cash payments galore," said Senior Master Sgt. Jose Pascua, 5th CPTS superintendent. "What used to be the norm is pretty much non-existent these days.
Personal interaction between customers has declined considerably over the years.
Web-based automation such as myPay, LeaveWeb, Defense Travel System and Wide Area Workflow have all but eliminated that aspect of our job, but we still strive to provide great service.
In the coming years, Financial Services is streamlining and transforming to provide new services, and systems for personnel at home and deployed.
According to Sergeant Pascua, the Financial Management community is already in the early stages of transformation. In 2008, a Financial Management Centralized Processing Center will be operational. Military and travel pay, along with various other financial transactions will be centralized to one or more continental U.S. processing sites.
"From a customer perspective, phase one will be largely transparent since the customer service role will remain in the financial services offices at the wing level. In 2009, phase two will create an around-the-clock customer contact center, which will provide Airmen with fast, reliable and always accessible customer service," he said. "However, for those times when there is no substitute for face-to-face customer service, we will continue to provide support to customers at the base financial services office."
The 5th CPTS may be one of the smallest squadrons on base, but they make one of the largest impacts.
"The economic impact Minot AFB makes on the local economy is well over $375 million," said Sergeant Chapman. "Being part of, and responsible for, that type of impact makes our job quite unique -- knowing that what I do impacts everything across both wings. Our motto 'No money, no mission' or 'No dough, no go' reinforces that thought."