AFIMSC executes record $8.2 billion in FY20
By Steve Warns, AFIMSC Public Affairs
/ Published October 16, 2020
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – A global pandemic couldn't stop the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center's Resources Management team from closing out a record $8.2 billion of execution during fiscal 2020.
With the Air Force's second largest operations and maintenance account, AFIMSC's end-of-year closeout success was the culmination of strong processes, great relationships and strategy implemented from the first day of the fiscal year, said Col. Laurie Lanpher, AFIMSC budget director.
What the team members couldn't have anticipated was the challenge COVID-19 brought. Yet they overcame the challenge by thriving in a virtual working environment, Lanpher said.
"The team adjusted incredibly well," she said. "There were a lot of people who were quite simply anxious about how it was going to work, but it ended up being really smooth and not terribly complicated because we had folks 'manning' the virtual war room. If any of our teammates across the world had an issue, they could sign in and ask for assistance."
Of the $8.2 billion allocated for installation and mission support requirements, $4.6 billion covered every Installation Commander's must-pay bill and their top priority unfunded requirement. Installations received $1.6 billion in construction tasking order project funding, $531 million to cover natural disaster recovery efforts, $480 million for environmental projects, $402 million in COVID-19 relief and $255 million in overseas contingency operations funding. The remaining $332 million was disbursed among smaller accounts, major command detachments, primary subordinate units and headquarters AFIMSC.
Since 2017, budget analysts representing every Air Force major command gathered at the war room established at AFIMSC headquarters in San Antonio. This year the team successfully gathered virtually to validate end-of-year closeout activities. The virtual environment enabled the team to effectively multitask and complete a greater volume of work.
"What was really great about it is for everyone who was working up to 20 hours a day, which is the norm during closeout, we didn't have to worry about them driving home," Lanpher said. "That was a huge benefit that added a level of safety, because we have some people who drive an hour into work that not only were they getting those two hours of driving time back, they weren't on the road at 3 a.m. on Sept. 30.
"It also kept the detachment financial managers from having to fly in. That represents a whole section of our team that didn’t have their lives disrupted by the requirement to go TDY for closeout. We are also the only Air Force organization that touches every single installation, so our analysts who support (U.S. Air Forces in Europe) and (Pacific Air Forces) were more able to support folks on the other side of the world, but still get the rest they needed to manage their energy levels."
Perhaps the best example of AFIMSC's agility and expertise during the closeout was the response to a natural disaster at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
Hurricane Sally hit Hurlburt on Sept. 16. Maj. Lisa Kempker, commander of the 1st Special Operations Comptroller Squadron, drove the installation and assessed damages with Col. Bill Hunter, 1st Special Operations Mission Support Group commander. The 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron discovered almost 50 line items worth of damage ranging from the marina to minor facility and dorm damages.
"The CE Squadron pulled together rough estimates and we met with the 1st Special Operations Contracting Squadron on Sept. 18 to discuss which of the projects were in the realm of feasible considering how close to the end of the fiscal year we were," Kempker said. "The CE Squadron believed they could rapidly develop statements of work to repair the installation’s marina, two storm water systems that experienced washout, two roofs, a building that suffered structural damage, and an assessment of a large pedestrian bridge that connects both sides of the base.
"The contracting squadron stated they needed those SOWs and $1.2 million no later than Sept. 21 to even have a chance to pull off contracts for those projects before fiscal year end. I sent AFIMSC a spreadsheet of storm damage estimates on Sept. 19, and by 2 p.m. Sept. 21, AFIMSC sent the funds. The wing did not have the flexibility that late in the year to cash flow those projects, and AFIMSC funding those projects within the timeline we articulated was absolutely critical."
Monica Anders, director of the Resources Management Directorate, compared the team's closeout effort to a Super Bowl championship.
"The enterprise worked together with the teamwork, professionalism and dedication worthy of the Lombardi Trophy this year," Anders said. "With the largest portfolio to date at $8.2 billion, the team did more than just obligate funds. They ensured the funds were executed on requests that wing commanders and enterprise managers ranked as top priority requirements, truly impacting missions around the world."
AFIMSC's end-of-year closeout continues to tie in the center's strategic lines of effort: increase lethality and readiness, and take care of Airmen and families, said Chris Underwood, AFIMSC budget office technical director for financial analysis.
"We're actively engaged in tying our funding to lethality and readiness at installations," Underwood said.