Straight Talk: Budget

  • Published
  • By Col. Charles F. Thompson
  • 66th Air Base Wing commander
I wanted to let you know that we are facing a severe shortage of funding for the base support functions in the upcoming months. Typically, when unforeseen costs and emergency repairs are required, we are able to get reimbursed through Air Force channels to keep operating at a normal level. This year is different. A number of bills facing the USAF is forcing us to solve the funding shortfall locally until all of the books are settled at the end of the year.

Since most of the unforeseen problems fell into the base civil engineering area, we had to look for cuts to balance the books. Through the great efforts of our 66th Comptroller Squadron and the Electronic Systems Center Financial Management staff, we were able to avoid a complete shutdown of services that would have negatively impacted our ability to support the ESC mission. However, you will notice some obvious cutbacks that may appear as though the 66th Air Base Wing doesn't care about how Team Hanscom looks to outsiders. We do, but we had to set priorities which are mission, support to our families and finally, cosmetic items such as grounds maintenance.

Even with the mission support as our priority, we were forced to cut routine CE work orders to focus our budget on emergency repairs and preventative maintenance. The cutbacks have gotten us into a sustainable situation which gets us within budget but still allows us to keep the mission running.

The 66th Force Support Squadron will still be able to continue to support our families with summer activities and keeping our recreational fields trimmed for summer sports. We have asked all of our personnel to look for ways to save funds as we continue the year.

While I wish this was temporary, we may face another difficult year next year, as we look ahead to the upcoming budgets. We will continue to use these priorities as a guide and restore services as the situation improves. I want to assure you this does not impact Hunt-Pinnacle or their ability to support base housing. Thank you for your support and everything you do for our Warfighters.