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FOCUS ON the 7th Comptroller Squadron (7CPTS)

  • Published
  • By Mr. Lewis Lambert
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

This is the first in a series of articles on what the men and women who contribute to the 7th Bomb Wing mission do every day. The purpose of this series is to provide information on the mission and responsibilities of each squadron to share with Dyess Team Members how professional Airmen deliver credible and decisive combat power. The series is titled FOCUS ON…

Picture a wagon wheel with a hub, spokes and a rim. The hub is the 7th Comptroller Squadron, the spokes are the units it supports and the rim is the shared vision and mission of the 7th Bomb Wing.

You might ask how do the folks who process invoices, pay for temporary duties, and reconcile financial accounts help the B-1B Lancer to be the most respected and feared bomber in the world. The answer is both simple and complicated.

First, without an approved budget, the B-1 doesn’t fly, support services are suspended, and the lights are turned off. Second, without a robust accounting system, Airmen won’t be paid, invoices can’t be processed, and aircraft parts can’t be ordered or paid for. If the hub fails, the spokes are no longer functional.

Maj. Cesar Jesus, 7th CPTS commander, with a staff of 32 Airmen and civilians make up the comptroller squadron. The squadron is responsible for justifying the funding for operations and support, appropriated funds, and for non-appropriated funds supporting the base community. Also, the financial management (FM) team manages unit budgets, accounts for all spending, manages resources and advises leadership on all financial matters.

“The 7th CPTS is a force multiplier to Team Dyess, we work together with contracting and units’ resource advisors to ensure each commander’s mission requirements are funded and awarded,” said Jesus. “Additionally, FM provides military and travel pay support. Our customers’ platforms are here to answer their financial inquiries, FM walk-in customer service (Tues-Thurs 0730- 1330) or online via CSP.”

The 7th CPTS consists of the two flights, one performs financial management operations such as customer support (FMF), the other financial management analysis (FMA). TSgt Tony Jones, 7th CPTS FMA flight chief, and TSgt Kierra Ortiz, 7th CPTS FMF flight chief, manage several young Airmen just out of technical school at Kessler AFB, MS.

“Their training only addresses half of what they should know; we have to train them on the other half,” said Jones. “Our work load is varied so we have some time to spin them up while we service the rest of the base.”

Morale is quite good whether they selected this career and duty station or not, according to Jones. He tells his Airmen to focus on their job, learn the skills they need to provide outstanding customer service.

Airman 1st Class Tate Kinney, 7th CPTS financial analysis technician, is one of the first term Airmen keeping the mission moving forward. He is responsible for certifying funds availability on contracts and various funding documents. Recently, he has been the primary certifying official for the Bomber Task Force travel orders. Kinney has validated over $32 million during his time at Dyess AFB.

One might think Airmen that sit behind a desk staring at a computer screen all day wouldn’t know much about the rest of the units at Dyess. That is not true according to Jones.

“Whenever we get a purchase request that we don’t understand what it is for, regardless of the source, our Airmen go to the unit that generated the request,” said Jones. “They learn what the unit does and how the requested item is used whether it’s a new piece of equipment or a part for an aircraft.”

The five Air Force civilians that work for the 7th CPTS budget and accounting office are a wealth of knowledge. They are part of the training process for new Airmen. Since most of the uniformed staff rotates on a staggered basis every two years, the civilians maintain the continuity. Mrs. Leah Kuehn is the lead accountant for the base and has the pleasure of training individuals in 7th CPTS as they grow. She has decades of experience and is pivotal in helping the military members improve technical proficiency.

Like the budget office, the FMF also has a large role in the Dyess mission. They are responsible for the military pay of all active duty on Dyess, including GSUs. Recently, the flight has been preparing for the rollout of Air Force Integrated Personnel and Pay System (AFIPPS). Training their personnel counterparts to ready Team Dyess for the transition coming online during the summer of 2022 will be crucial. 

The flight also handles travel for deployed personnel and new members arriving on base. Mrs. Gloria Lira is the sole Civilian Pay technician and Lead Defense Travel Administrator. She has been an integral part of paying members accurately for deployment, exercises and BTF missions.  With a team of high-performing Airmen and civilians that affect everything that happens on Dyess AFB, there is no question that the 7th CPTS is an integral part of the wing’s mission.