CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
The teamwork of the 27th Special Operations Contracting, Civil Engineer and Comptroller Squadrons is not often recognized, but the Air Commandos of Cannon Air Force Base reap the benefits of the hard work of these agencies every day.
These Air Commandos cross-utilize their strengths seamlessly as separate entities to accomplish a no-fail mission year-round.
“Without the teamwork between the 27th SOCES, SOCONS and SOCPTS teams, many of the missions across the wing would be greatly degraded,” said Lt. Col. Robert Clay, 27th SOCPTS commander. “This teamwork allowed the wing to bounce back from not one, but two major storms in the last 14 months while ensuring little to no mission impact to our unique special operations mission. During last year's fiscal year end closeout, the combined effort of these three teams allowed us to fund 139 unfunded mission critical requirements valued at $15.2M.”
Currently there is a new medical clinic being built on the installation, a new Child Development Center, and dormitories for Airmen. All three agencies play a role in ensuring projects like these are completed.
“As a young captain, I visited Cannon on a site visit while a member of the Air Combat Command staff,” said Clay. “As many who were here during that time can tell you, the wing has come a long, long way. I hope everyone is proud of the new homes our families live in and the awesome facilities we work in as we support the mission. As I am about to end my tour at Cannon, I can tell you the CE-CPTS-CONS relationships we have at this wing is something special and currently at an all-time high. Never in my 16 years of doing this job have I seen this level of synergy between the three squadrons.”
The process begins with a request which passes through all of the agencies multiple times before the project begins.
“For large projects, such as new construction, civil engineers create a general statement of work, defining what the government expects to receive from a contractor,” said Master Sgt. Robert Mills, 27th SOCES construction management. “We tell them what we need, and they show us how they’re going to accomplish it. Civil engineers must approve of and monitor the contractors’ technical solutions, based on code compliance and Department of Defense regulations.”
Once the request is ready, civil engineers liaise with finance and contracting specialists to get the project off the ground.
“All funding documents for 27th SOCES projects funded with Operations and Maintenance funds must be routed through 27th SOCPTS and 27th SOCONS,” said Capt. Jessica Pitts, 27th SOCPTS financial analysis flight commander. “First, the civil engineer resource advisor submits a funding document, then a budget analyst reviews the document for accuracy. After a budget analyst reviews, the document is sent to 27th SOCONS for them to sign off that they have all documentation needed.”
A flawless plan of action contract for a facility, event or equipment without funding will never reach fruition. Even after a request is reviewed by all three squadrons, there is more work to be done.
“After contracting's review, the document flows back to financial management analysis for a budget analyst to certify that funding is available for the project,” said Pitts. “Once 27th SOCONS has a certified funding document, they can begin soliciting the requirement to get contractors to bid on performing the work required.”
The contract specialists weed through thousands of servicers and pick the best one to meet wing needs. They are also responsible for ensuring these contracts line up with all Air Force regulations and legal restrictions.
“Once awarded, the contract still requires daily interaction to ensure that the contractor is completing the construction required by the government,” said Tech Sgt. Bonnie Yoakum, 27th SOCONS . “Hopefully, at the end of the contract, we have completed a renovation or new build that can provide increased mission capabilities for the Wing.”
While they may do their work behind the scenes, the base would not be able to function without the hard work of the contracting, civil engineering and comptroller squadrons.
“The mission of Cannon Air Force base is to execute specialized airpower from a premier installation,” said Col. Ben Maitre, 27th Special Operations Wing commander. “That would not be possible without the continuous hard work and dedication of the CE, CONS and CPTS team.”
These three separate agencies work as one, providing multi-faceted support around the installation, achieving wing requirements while embodying the Air Force Core Values; Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do.