Financial Management office drives AFGSC mission, takes care of Airmen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shelby Thurman
  • Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

The sound of papers shuffling and office phones ringing in a distant cubicle create a comfortable white noise, but this seemingly mundane office manages payroll for over 33,700 professionals in the command who expect to be paid accurately and on time. This small office also manages more than $900 million in support of the Air Force Global Strike Command headquarters and its nine geographically-separated wings. All of this financial weight falls upon the shoulders of the AFGSC Financial Management office.

AFGSC FM has the daunting task of building, maintaining, and providing decision support of the annual budget for the AFGSC commander, Gen. Anthony Cotton. Funds from this budget ensure that Airmen and AFGSC civilians are paid and that they have the necessary facilities and tools to do their jobs. These same people manage requirements for AFGSC’s global bomber fleet, ICBM fleet, and supporting operations. These men and women enable AFGSC’s mission: to provide strategic deterrence for the nation and its allies.

“AFGSC Financial Management touches everything,” said David W. Sommers, the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile budget analyst with AFGSC's Financial Management and Analysis Office. “No mission can be completed without dollars and that is where we come in,” Sommers added. “The Air Force cannot obtain weapons, fuel, ammo, personnel, medical, or defense without dollars. We facilitate all facets of defense and peace for the United States, and the free world not only on the ground, air, and cyber, but now space; all culminating in total force modernization, training, missile evolution, competition, and strategic planning.”

Maintaining these systems is no small feat. That is why the FM team does what it can to get people paid and to have the space and tools to carry out this important mission. Simply stated, a mechanic cannot turn a wrench on an aircraft if someone does not first buy the wrench.

“You don’t fly without money,” said Mary Lane, lead budget analyst with AFGSC’s FMAO. “We are responsible for two-thirds of the nuclear triad. Everything that we do has, in some way, a direct or indirect impact. Whether it’s actual contracts with supply, steel, or people.”

All of this money has to come from somewhere. With a budget of over $900 million from Congress to use for fiscal year 2022, every cent has to be accounted for. All of that money has to be allocated for spending before the close out of the fiscal year, which occurs on Sept. 30th at midnight. Meeting this deadline is vital according to Col. Christine Millard, chief, Financial Management Analysis Division with AFGSC.

“The Budget Office is not just pushing papers,” said Millard. “There have been times in my career where mission accomplishment could truly have been jeopardized had it not been for FM’s ability to move money from one place to another to pay for those mission critical needs.”

Everyone in FM focuses on the AFGSC mission, but the wellbeing of the Airmen are always at the forefront of their efforts. This is especially poignant, considering that there is no mission without people.

“People are our biggest focus,” Lane added. She went on to discuss that morale is one of their largest concerns, especially considering the majority of AFGSC’s bases exist in the Northern Tier, a region known for its austere weather conditions.

“We care a great deal about doing our job right,” said retired Col. Deron Wendt, chief, Budget Integration Branch at AFGSC FMAO. “We must take care of those people, whether it’s equipping our Airmen with cold weather gear or equipment needed to maintain our aircraft and nuclear assets. Taking care of our Airmen’s basic needs, whether it’s a coat, wrench or a working computer is a huge part of what we do every day.”

These experts make it their personal and professional goal to ensure Striker Airmen are well taken care of, both at home and at work. In doing so, these same Strikers are always ready and able to provide strategic deterrence, global strike and combat support to the nation and its allies.