General Levy: Financial pros essential to AFSC success

The head of the Air Force Sustainment Center urged Air Force financial professionals on Dec. 8 to “knock down barriers” and “get to the word ‘yes’ ” to help keep the nation’s global air combat power the best in the world.

AFSC Commander Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II spoke to about 200 financial managers at a professional development seminar at the Tinker Club. Attendees hailed from multiple Tinker Air Force Base organizations; Sheppard AFB, Texas; and Altus AFB, Oklahoma.

Levy said financial managers are essential to ensuring the readiness of resources ranging from combat aircraft to Airmen fighting in foxholes. Buying fuel, paying personnel and collaborating with contractors all happens thanks to financial professionals, the general said.

“We always want to be efficient, but our first and primary charge, our credo, is we must be effective. We must win,” Levy said. “So what I need from my professional comptroller team is to always look for ways to get to ‘yes,’ so we can go faster, deliver combat power and be efficient.”

The commander said he appreciates the work of comptrollers as the head of a $20 billion enterprise that includes three air logistics complexes. “Nothing we do in Financial Management do we do for ourselves. We do for others. And you do that pretty amazingly,” he said.

The general praised the idea behind the one-day seminar, hosted by the central Oklahoma chapter of the American Society of Military Comptrollers. Presenters focused on the latest methods and new requirements in the Department of Defense financial field.

With multiple military threats across the world, financial professionals need to be as up-to-speed and ready as other Airmen for new types of warfare that can attack the global financial system itself, Levy said.

“The fact that you’re here to raise your game, to improve your skills, is really important to me,” the general said. “I need you to help me go faster because we have to win, because the world is just that dangerous.”

In a luncheon address, Col. Stephanie Wilson, 72nd Air Base Wing and Tinker installation commander, said the Air Force is its smallest since 1947, but has been tasked with continuous combat operations for 24 years. She urged attendees to look for innovations to make the Air Force more efficient and effective.

Senior Pentagon leaders are “confident in your ability to find efficiencies and get the mission done despite funding shortfalls,” the colonel said. “The future of our Air Force depends on you. All of you. And it depends on the tough decisions that we make every day.”

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