JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — The Air Force executed a record $6.9 billion in the installation and mission support portfolio during fiscal 2018, nearly $1 billion more than last year, and culminating in a successful, historic fiscal year close out.
“We have the second largest (Operations and Maintenance) account in the Air Force,” said Col. Anthony Smith, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center budget director. “To have a mature process and ability to execute such a large amount of funding is mighty impressive for such a young organization.”
Managed by AFIMSC, financial analysts enterprise-wide teamed to fulfill an overarching strategy to place the next available dollar against the next most important requirement which highlighted AFIMSC’s close out success, said Monica Anders, director of the AFIMSC Resources Directorate.
“Our end of year close-out efforts are the culmination of strong processes in place and strategy we implemented from the first day of the fiscal year,” she said. “These efforts were strengthened over the year by our new 2.0 structure which truly starts integrating teams and processes to provide a single integrated look across the enterprise. These integrated teams include many, many people, such as our O&M, Construction Tasking Order, and environmental analysts along with AFIMSC detachment, primary subordinate unit, and installation budget experts.”
End of year closeout built on momentum gained from budget execution performance in July when the Air Force exceeded a goal to obligate more than 83 percent of the I&MS portfolio by July 31. Achieving a high execution rate two months before the end of the fiscal year set up the Air Force for a well thought-out and executed end-of-year closeout and a smooth glide path into the next fiscal year, Smith said.
For the second consecutive year, AFIMSC established a war room from its headquarters in San Antonio manned by approximately 30 budget analysts and financial experts during the last two weeks in September. The nerve center increased capabilities to quickly validate requirements. Capitalizing on lessons learned from 2017, AFIMSC tweaked the nerve center with innovative ideas and processes.
“We increased the capacity of the war room with better logistics and improved communication,” Smith said.
Officials paired AFIMSC budget analysts with representatives from every Air Force major command and seated them side by side. The analysts communicated with installations by phone, email and live Defense Collaborative Services. AFIMSC issued cell phones for detachment analysts so they could be reached when they were not in the nerve center.
According to Maj. Brian Hoffman, war room officer in charge, the co-location of AFIMSC and detachment analysts allowed for tasks to be accomplished quicker and with twice the expertise and knowledge.
“We took advantage of all parties in the house and tackled challenges more effectively,” Hoffman said. “We also improved on strategic communication throughout the war room so that we presented consistent messaging from AFIMSC to the budget shops at each installation.”
Capt. Amy Bragg described her first Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center war room experience with budget analysts from around the world as eye-opening.
“Even though we are from different locations worldwide, we worked well together throughout the year and came together the past two weeks in the war room,” said Bragg, who begins serving this month as a budget analyst for AFIMSC Detachment 8, Air Combat Command. “I have new appreciation for the work involved particularly with how the detachments work with each other and how AFIMSC leadership works with the detachments.”
Capt. Julian Ireland, who turns over Detachment 8 budget analyst duties to Bragg this month and one of half a dozen analysts who were part of the initial war room in 2017, said the nerve center was more organized and equipped better this year.
“AFIMSC streamlined the number of updates were required to give which allowed us more time to communicate with our installations,” he said. “We pushed installations for excellence, and the great individuals at unit budget offices worked hard to close out accurately and on time.”