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Finance team eases Airmen’s minds on monetary issues

Finance team eases Airmen’s minds on monetary issues

Story by TSgt Jocelyn Ford on 06/22/2019

The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing hosts a finance team of five Airmen who came together from five different states, and are here taking care of the base in all financial capacities.

The team met during their finance-specific, pre-deployment training at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. There they were divided up into their respective jobs to learn exactly what Air Force Central Command would expect from them at their deployed location. It also allowed the team to get to know each other prior to their trip downrange so they could hit the ground running.

Each member of the team has their specific place within the office. They have a general knowledge of each other’s positional duties, but specialize in their own.

“Everybody’s got to be on six days a week,” said Maj. Erin Burns, 380th AEW comptroller. “They have to come to work and give it 100% because they are the only person doing that job. We also have to look out for each other.”

Working in a deployed setting brings unique challenges to every career field. There is no difference in the world of finance.

Though Airmen don’t get their pay checks physically handed to them, local venders or contractors are paid in cash.

“I think one challenge is that we don’t have a cashier’s cage in the United States. It’s all electronic funds transfer,” said Master Sgt. Kristy Price, 380th AEW noncommissioned officer in charge of finance. “There is no money like this in the United States, so it is really neat to have actual tangible cash to hand to a customer.”

Some items the average Airman may take for granted, such as constant flow of sustenance at the dining facility, running water, and electricity for example, are all on the radar of the finance office as they are devoted to managing a budget to supply these necessary products and services.

Hitting a little closer to home, the finance team is dedicated to the Airmen they serve. Whether it is the Defense Travel System, missing entitlements or questions regarding the savings deposit program, they are there to help. Though the ability to process many requests may fall to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, or even Shaw AFB, the team here will do anything they can to assist in getting a solution to the customer.

“We definitely have to be on top of our game in understanding the processing and getting the documents back to the processors,” said Price.

This commitment to the customer flows through the office as a whole. Knowing what the corrective action is, and how to take care of it so the Airmen can focus on their part of the wing’s mission, as opposed to monetary issues, is what provides job satisfaction to Senior Airman David Gonzalez, a cashier and customer service representative.

The 380th AEW Financial Management team knows the mission for the base, and they have a vision of their own.

“Our vision in the office is to provide the best customer service and decision support in the AFCENT AOR,” said Burns.

Due to seamless Total Force Integration, one wouldn’t know that the entire office is run by guardsmen. While some members of the team are active guard, others represent the traditional side, however Price believes this gives the team a dual advantage. She said that having members who understand both the active and reserve components on the pay and entitlement side of the house allows for optimal customer service to all uniform members on ADAB.

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