Teamwork key to fiscal year closeout success

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- For most people who live and work on a military installation, the first day of October is just the start of another month. But for the men and women who make up the 31st Comptroller Squadron's finance team, it represents the end of 12 months of hard work in executing the 31st Fighter Wing budget which culminates every September with an event commonly known as 'fiscal year end closeout,' or simply 'closeout.' 

And true to form, this past FY closeout came to a successful end for the wing thanks to combined effort of several base agencies and key unit personnel.  Aviano's closeout team was comprised of a combination of members of the 31st CPTS, 31st Contracting and Civil Engineer Squadrons, and resource advisors from every unit on base.

The preparation began in March, as all parties came together to develop an end-of-year strategy. From there, deadlines were set, unfunded requirements were identified, and a closeout requirements list was built. After wing leadership prioritized the closeout requirements list, the arduous tasks of fiscal year end execution commenced. The teamwork paid off as the wing executed over $15.4 million within the last two months of the fiscal year.

The efforts garnered nearly $12 million in civil engineering projects at Aviano Air Base, Ghedi and Camp Darby, Italy. Some of the key projects include $3.4 million in facility upgrades, $1.8 million in flightline/runway improvements, $300,000 in security enhancements, and $590,000 to repair the heating, ventillation and air conditioning at the La Bella Vista Club.

The $3.5 million in items purchased off the closeout requirements list goes a long way towards decreasing the wing's unfunded requirements in the new fiscal year.

Examples of mission-impact items included computers, F-16 digital video recorders and foreign object and debris removers. These items will greatly increase the effectiveness and efficiency for most Team Aviano members at all levels. Mobility and readiness buys exceeded $890,000 to ensure our Airman are completely ready to support our downrange mission. Quality of life was also enhanced through more than $500,000 spent on wing furnishings and facilities, youth and recreation programs, and an additional section on the Area F jogging path. Other quality of life enhancements at the Dragon Fitness Center include new lockers, backboards, pull-up bars, and cardio TV monitors.

As we executed down the prioritized list a strong effort was made to balance between the wing commander's priorities of mission, people, and infrastructure. In the end, the success of the wing's 2009 closeout efforts better prepare the wing to deliver combat power and support across the globe to achieve U.S. and NATO objectives.