LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — The 56th Comptroller Squadron has two sections, finance and budget. Finance handles payroll and the budget section ensures the mission gets funded.
“We make sure everyone gets paid correctly,” said 2nd Lieutenant Shaun Chaplin, 56th CPTS flight commander. “Maintainers can’t fix aircraft and pilots can’t fly without money.”
The comptrollers have the special task of not only supporting the Air Force’s largest fighter wing, also supporting international partner nations and foreign military sales customers.
“We’re unique in that we have learned how to fund, execute and bill all the different aspects of the Luke mission,” said Pamela Grafton, 56th CPTS budget analyst. “We’re prepared to keep evolving as the mission continues to grow.”
When it comes to the customer service side of the house, the comptrollers believe time is money.
“We gave more than 500 man-hours back to Luke during the 2015 fiscal year,” said Senior Airman Scott Giles, 56th CPTS customer service technician. “We served 2,000 walk-in customers with an average wait time of eight minutes. This results in customers getting back to work quickly.”
It’s not just about operational costs. The comptroller squadron also has money budgeted to improve the quality of life for Airmen living on and off base. There is money being allotted to improve outdated dorms, and the 56th Force Support Squadron Bryant Fitness Center, which is scheduled for completion in spring 2017.
“When a squadron has a funding request they send it to the budget office,” said Maj. Joseph Nicholas, 56th CPTS commander. “The budget office ensures the request is legal and verifies the right kind of funds are available.”
Once verified by the budget office, the request goes to the 56th Contracting Squadron for advertisement and award.
Overall, the comptrollers are an essential piece of the Luke mission.
“We’re grateful to help the Airmen and keep this base up and running for decades to come,” Chaplin said.