Comptroller Flight Conducts Readiness Training

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
Despite a series of attacks, armed robberies and bizarre occurences, the 127th Wing's finances are safe.

The 127th Comptroller Flight, which oversees the pay of some 1,700 Citizen-Airmen at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., as well as millions of dollars worth of annual purchases and operating expenses, recently ran through a series of contingency training scenarios to ensure that, no matter the circumstances, the flight could maintain a complete acounting of all the government funds under their control. The training, which took place over a week at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, helped to prepare for any number of potential future missions.

"What we deal with during a typical Monday-Friday operation is not necessarily what we might be called upon to do in a deployed situation," said Lt. Col. Constantine Leon, 127th Comptroller Flight commander. "That's why we run these kind of exercises. It is critical that we are able to perform at a high level at both home station and in a deployed environment."

During the training a five-person team of Airmen from the flight set up a simulated deployed finance office at the training center in Alpena, Mich. Other members of the flight roled played a variety of scenarios that the finance team might have to face. The training included wearing protective gear in case of a chemical or biological attack, medical emergencies and other scenarios.

"The key thing is working together as a team," said Senior Master Sgt. Russ Childs, who was the senior member of the simulated finance team. "We have to work closely together to accomplish the jobs, which is exactly how you have to operate in a deployed environment."

Childs said teamwork is essential not only in working together on the financial aspects of the office, but in the various war-fighting survival skills the team had to accomplish.

"First of all, everything has to be on a buddy system," he said. "We are constantly checking on each other, to make sure that our wingman is doing OK."

One of the training scenarios included one of the members on the team simulating a mental breakdown. The other members of the team had to attend to the emergency needs of their co-worker while at the same time ensuring that the cash he was in charge of - the team member was the office's "cashier" - was properly accounted for.

"We don't normally deal with cash at Selfridge," said Technical Sgt. Sarah Brunsman, a member of the training team. "But deployed, we have to be ready to handle that to serve the Airmen or other U.S. personnel at a forward base."

Childs said one of the key elements of succeeding in the training is to develop a system where each member of the team understands at least the basic duties of each of the other members.

"Then we have checklists and key regulations in place so that we can continue operations," Childs said.

The 127th Comptroller Flight is a component of the 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard. Close to 500 members of the 127th Wing have deployed to a foreign country at some point during 2012.

Flying both the KC-135 Stratotanker and the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the 127th is stationed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, near Detroit. First opened in 1917, Selfridge recently marked its 95th year of continous military air operations.