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NEWS | Nov. 1, 2022

Paying the Way, Then, Now and Forever: A Look Back at the 633d Comptroller Squadron

By Ryan Collins 633d Air Base Wing Historian

The 633d Comptroller Squadron maintains watch over joint base funding for all personnel at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, which includes five Air Force wings and twenty-eight mission partners. The squadron fulfils their mission to deliver worldwide financial excellence and decision support to a combat ready joint force by setting a standard through excellence in character, competence, service and innovation.

The 633d Comptroller Squadron began its service to the United States on October 1,1989 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Providing 200 aircraft, 2,200 troops and 2,212 tons of cargo, the 633d Air Base Wing aided the Gulf War as the operational tempo reached its peak. The comptrollers stood behind the scenes and quietly facilitated the care and feeding of all personnel engaged in warfighter support.

For their actions, the 633d CPTS earned PACAF’s “Accounting and Finance Office of the Year” award in April 1991, setting the stage for success to come. Then, on 7 June 1991 the comptrollers were forced to pivot from routine operations to support a total evacuation order in the wake of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo on the island of Luzon, Republic of the Philippines. The volcano erupted with a magnitude over seven times that of Mount St. Helens, Washington, in 1980, causing widespread devastation. Assuming 12-14 hour shifts, the 633d CPTS immediately processed pay and allowances for thousands of evacuees fleeing the ashen remnants of the volcano, but also processed the entitlements of activated Reserve Airmen and Air National Guard Airmen bolstering the relief effort.

“Over the past two weeks, we received, processed, fed, bedded down, and out processed to the CONUS about 18,000 military members, their families and pets,” said, then, Colonel George DeGovanni, 633d ABW commander. “Your commitment, sacrifices, dedication and great team effort during past and present challenges has proven over and over again that Andersen is ready for the future with pride and teamwork!”

Delaying the inevitable, the unit inactivated after one short year on 19 October 1991.  On 7 January 2010, the 633d CPTS rose again at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, providing accounting support to over 30 mission partners and expending more than $1.8 billion dollars a year; whilst executing an installation budget of nearly $200 million dollars for the joint forces. Simultaneously, the comptrollers integrated a new Automated, Time, Attendance and Production System and readied itself for spending cuts in the era of  sequestration.

Immediately, the squadron earned distinction as Air Force Financial Management and Comptroller Organization of the Year and Air Combat Command Financial Services Office of the Year. With the advent of joint basing, all civilian pay nodes relocated from Fort Monroe and Fort Eustis to Langley Air Force Base, under the comptroller umbrella in 2012.

In 2015, the 633d CPTS led the implementation of the Defense Enterprise and Accounting Management System across JBLE and trained 322 end users while providing on-call DEAMS support. The unit manages the government travel card program and serves as defense travel system administrators. Additionally, the squadron makes a “cash lab” available to assist Airmen process financial transactions, while mitigating the potential for incorrectly entered information.

"Our job is to help the installation leadership to understand and navigate through the fog and friction of the budget environment,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Kodama, former 633d CPTS commander.

The 633d CPTS performs economic analysis to bolster the local community.  JBLE generates nearly $3 billion dollars per annum in economic impact to Hampton Roads and the CPTS is proud of its ties with the Tidewater of Virginia.

The following year, the squadron provided support during contingency paying agent operations; leading 60 missions for Operations Enduring Freedom/Resolute/Freedom's Sentinel/Inherent Resolve and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. The 633d CPTS paid the way for mission success with operational military pay support continuing into 2017. The 633d CPTS was recognized as the Air Combat Command Major General Alfred K. Flowers Organization of the Year for fiscal Year 2017, as well as the Air Force Financial Services Office of the Year.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, the squadron launched an effort to minimize resource utilization, monitor military pay documents and allow for real time updates of any document awaiting processing. The JBLE Financial Operations Flight moved all military pay to a digital platform to enhance attention to these issues earning the Air Combat Command "2020 Financial Analysis Office of the Year" award.

Comptroller prowess enables rapid deployment of all JBLE personnel and their reintegration, ensures sortie generation, facilitates aircraft on and off equipment maintenance, allows commanders to avoid financial pitfalls and ensures that joint basing works as intended. Each year, the squadron performs an annual closeout to ensure continuity of operations for all assigned units and maintain fidelity to creditors.

“Moving all of this money, making the mission happen – it gives me a huge sense of accomplishment,” said, then, Senior Airman Ron Keen, former 633rd CPTS budget analyst. “It truly shows how much of an impact each and every one of us has on the Air Force."

As Marcus Tullius Cicero once said, “The sinews of war, unlimited money.”  In 2021, the 633d CPTS ensured the success of both the 633d ABW and JBLE. Comptrollers served as financial advisors to the 633d ABW commander, provided accountability support for more than 38 tenant units and expended over $1.9 billion dollars over the course of one year, including a $3.22 million dollar budget for JBLE. The squadron served as the lead for over 42 resource advisors embedded within units throughout the installation, resumed in-person personnel change of station briefings for the first time post-COVID-19 pandemic and initiated contingency orders through use of the Defense Travel System.

The 633d CPTS supported 22,000 Army, Air Force and Space Force personnel and managed the Government Travel Card program. The GTC program managed disbursement and payment of $3.7 million dollars in one year and functioned with 129 Agency Program Coordinators embedded within units that managed 4,900 accounts at the lowest hierarchical level with the comptrollers providing oversight. Additionally, quality assurance personnel ensured compliance with governmental directives, conducted audits and reported findings as required. Lastly, the squadron oversaw non-appropriated funds such as morale, welfare and recreation and lodging monies, while expanding the use of the government purchase card within the 633d Contracting Squadron, provided funding for personnel supporting named operations around the globe and funding for both personnel and construction for the F-22A Formal Training Unit Beddown.

The 633d CPTS released a bi-annual Economic Impact Analysis on 19 April 2021, for the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. The comptrollers touted an increase of $485 million dollars in community impact since 2018 and advised that, “Locally, JBLE accounts, directly & indirectly, for thousands of jobs in the Commonwealth of Virginia. JBLE remains an economic engine and will continue to be good stewards as we strengthen & build our community relationships for our Airmen, Soldiers, civilians and Hampton Roads families.”

The 633d CPTS offers face to face and E-Finance options, Government Travel Card and Defense Travel System assistance. For additional information, please visit the 633d CPTS at the link below: