End of fiscal year means long hours for some Airmen at Wing

Senior Airman Joshua Ross, a traffic management journeyman for the 167th Logistics Readiness Squadron, operates a forklift to move a crate near the 167th Airlift Wing's shipping and receiving area, Oct. 1. End of fiscal year purchases at the Wing keep TMO busy receiving shipments and preparing turned-in items for shipment. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech Sgt. Michael Dickson)

Senior Airman Joshua Ross, a traffic management journeyman for the 167th Logistics Readiness Squadron, operates a forklift to move a crate near the 167th Airlift Wing's shipping and receiving area, Oct. 1. End of fiscal year purchases at the Wing keep TMO busy receiving shipments and preparing turned-in items for shipment. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech Sgt. Michael Dickson)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- For many of us September 30 simply means the month has come to an end, but for others, Sept 30 marks the end of the fiscal year and with that comes long hours of painstaking, tedious work.

The 167th Airlift Wing's comptroller flight, contracting office and traffic management office bear the brunt of the fiscal year closeout.

The finance office begins close out procedures mid-September according to Capt. James Domenico, the 167th comptroller flight commander.

"Government purchase cards, contracts, MIPRS (military interdepartmental purchase requests), travel pay, utility, military pay, these are just some of the things the comptroller flight is looking at wrapping up right now," explained Domenico.

Airmen assigned to the comptroller flight worked late into the evening Friday night to ensure funds were executed and to balance multiple accounts that make up the Wing's 60+ million dollar budget.

The budget office obligated more than $200,000 worth of previously unfunded contracts after 4 p.m., just hours before the end of the fiscal year, according to 2nd Lt. Aaron Hansrote, the Wing's budget officer.

"We executed 99.986% of all the funding [the Wing] received," Hansrote said.
With money still available on the last day of the fiscal year, the budget office, working with the contracting office, was able to award contracts that will provide upgrades to some heating and cooling systems on the base.

And, yes, the contracting office worked late Friday night, as well. Government contract writing is meticulous work.

"Trying to get minutiae details into our hands to get us to the point where we are comfortable with awarding a contract consumes a lot of our time," explained Master Sgt. Kris Rata, the Wing's contracting officer.

As end of year spending ramps up around the beginning of August, the contracting office pushes into overdrive. This year they awarded more than half of the wing's contracts in the final two months of the year; that was more than 50 contracts valued at approximately 1.35 million dollars.

As the comptroller and contracting offices spend the Wing's last dollars for the year, the traffic management office (TMO) receives the goods purchased.

"Inbound shipments go up drastically," said Master Sgt. Angela Layton, the 167th's distribution section superintendent, referring to August and September.

TMO processed more than 2000 shipments over the last two months, with nearly 40 skids delivered in the last two days of the fiscal year.

It's not unusual for TMO to be operating two or three forklifts at a time, according to Layton.

As people receive their new items, their old items are turned in for shipment.

"It's a constant cycle," she said.