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P-S GAR preps for fiscal year close out

Master Sgt. Wilfredo Mateo, 21st Comptroller Squadron Financial Analysis flight chief, discusses projects the unit will work to fund during the fiscal year close-out during a meeting Sept. 11, 2020, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The 21st CPTS currently has 85 projects and requirements totaling $32 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Marcus Hill)

Master Sgt. Wilfredo Mateo, 21st Comptroller Squadron Financial Analysis flight chief, discusses projects the unit will work to fund during the fiscal year close-out during a meeting Sept. 11, 2020, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The 21st CPTS currently has 85 projects and requirements totaling $32 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Marcus Hill)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

The Peterson-Schriever Garrison ramps up its activity as it aims to fulfill projects across both bases as the fiscal year closes Sept. 30.

During the fiscal year, which began from Oct. 1, the 21st Comptroller Squadron and 50th Contracting Squadron provide units funds to finance their missions. 

Throughout the close-out process, it’s important Airmen maintain good communication to fulfill projects. The close out includes multiple units and they must coordinate to ensure mission success.

“That necessary communication needs to occur between not only members of the squadron, but also between us and our teammates around this location and [U.S. Space Force Headquarters],” said Capt. Jeremy Lacewell, 21st CPTS director of operations.   

This connection includes the 50th CONS, which manages the government purchase card program and writes contracts to fulfill funding.   

Without the preparation from the mission partners, budget office and the contracting office, Staff Sgt. Arron Riffle, 50th CONS contracting officer, said the fiscal year close out wouldn’t be as successful.  

“The end of the fiscal year is about ensuring the appropriated funds are obligated before they expire [at midnight Sept. 30],” Riffle said. “All of that [work] is meaningless unless we are providing the supplies and services that the units need to be successful in their objectives.”

The CPTS currently has 85 projects and requirements it plans to fund and Master Sgt. Wilfredo Mateo, 21st CPTS Financial Analysis flight chief, said that number could change. 

“Our local list of unfunded items and projects ebbs and flows as we work the numbers and packages with 50 CONS,” Mateo said.  

The 21st CPTS also provides financial support to mission partners. Earlier this year, the squadron helped U.S. Space Command complete a $25 million building lease agreement in addition to their required projects.

“This was certainly the largest dollar figure we’ve certified all year,” Mateo said. “We also helped USSPACECOM execute a $2 million project for their new office in [Washington] D.C., to give them a dedicated space as a combatant command.”

The CPTS will also fund $387,000 to help remodel the Schriever AFB education center before the end of this year.  

“This will allow promotion testing on site versus having our members driving to the Peterson testing center,” Mateo said. “They’ll also be able to provide other testing services and have a dedicated classroom to conduct professional seminars and various courses. This is a huge quality of life improvement for our Airmen.”

Lacewell hopes the final month of the fiscal year serves as a learning experience for younger Airmen. Rather than the period being stressful, Airmen can gather information from someone such as Lacewell, who is completing his fourth close out.  

“Airmen should ask as many questions as they can, but also sit with someone who is actively in that process and watch how he or she works through the different systems,” Lacewell said. “In a way, [close-outs] get easier with time because you start to understand what to look for around this time of the year.”

Mateo also ensures Airmen are informed of their significance during the process and highlights how their duties affect the garrison.

“Our Airmen work too hard to be limited by aging equipment, dilapidated work areas and concerns about their paycheck being correct,” Mateo said. “It takes a team of people to manage all the intricacies of accounting and budget for the base. Without us, I don’t think we’d be able to execute taxpayer dollars across our various mission sets and sustain our way of life.”

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