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435th CPTS not only supports USAFE, but proves to be best in the Air Force

Airman 1st Class Andrew Pena (front), 435th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, helps Staff Sgt. Harold Davis, 86th Maintenance Squadron, with his financial issues at Ramstein Air Base Jan. 29, 2009.  The 435th Comptroller Squadron earned the 2008 Secretary of the Air Force Financial Management and Comptroller Organization of the Year Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Pierce)

Airman 1st Class Andrew Pena (front), 435th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, helps Staff Sgt. Harold Davis, 86th Maintenance Squadron, with his financial issues at Ramstein Air Base Jan. 29, 2009. The 435th Comptroller Squadron earned the 2008 Secretary of the Air Force Financial Management and Comptroller Organization of the Year Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Pierce)

435th Comptroller Squadron customer service technicians help Master Sgt. Thaddeus Gravely (middle), 21st Weather Operations Squadron first sergeant, and Staff Sgt. Harold Davis (right), 86th Maintenance Squadron, with their finances at Ramstein Air Base Jan. 29, 2009.  The 435th Comptroller Squadron earned the 2008 Secretary of the Air Force Financial Management and Comptroller Organization of the Year Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Pierce)

435th Comptroller Squadron customer service technicians help Master Sgt. Thaddeus Gravely (middle), 21st Weather Operations Squadron first sergeant, and Staff Sgt. Harold Davis (right), 86th Maintenance Squadron, with their finances at Ramstein Air Base Jan. 29, 2009. The 435th Comptroller Squadron earned the 2008 Secretary of the Air Force Financial Management and Comptroller Organization of the Year Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Pierce)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Supporting multiple wings and two numbered Air Forces might seem like a difficult task but the 435th Comptroller Squadron is money when it comes down to it. 

The squadron is made up of the more than 60 civilian and servicemembers that ensure military and civilian personnel get paid correctly and on time with little or no problems. 

While the 435th CPTS supports such a large area with a lot of diversity, they have proven to do the best job in the Air Force for 2008. 

The squadron won the 2008 Air Force Financial Management and Comptroller Organization of the Year Award. 

"I am extremely proud our Airmen were recognized for their knowledge, dedication and the long hours they work to ensure Team Ramstein remains the gateway to Europe," said Maj. Brian Kehl, 435th CPTS commander. "The 435th CPTS stands ready to support, enable and deploy in support of our nation's national security objectives." 

Although their financial expertise is broken down into two flights, it was a team effort that won them such a prestigious award. 

The Financial Services flight embodies the customer service and customer support portions of the organization. Relocations, separations, travel and military pay are all a part of customer service. 

The Airmen working in customer service are the people everyone associates with the CPTS, said Major Kehl. 

"They managed 53,000 customers by via e-mail, phone call and 130,000 walk-ins. Also, they handled 20,000 pay and travel documents while having a 50 percent cut in staff that attributed to them winning the award," said Major Kehl. 

The Financial Management flight deals with the budget portion of the squadron and offers decision support to wing leadership in their areas of financial expertise. 

A vital part of the squadron winning the award was that they disbursed $4.4 million to 84 paying agents; $305 million were executed to support three wings, two numbered Air Forces and Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, according to Chief Master Sgt. Angelica M. Johnson, 435th CPTS superintendent. 

The Ramstein CPTS is among approximately seven in the Air Force that supports more than one wing. 

"We support three wings, two numbered Air Forces, a MAJCOM, 40 geographically separated units and numerous tenants," said Chief Johnson. "The large volume and diversity of customers sets us apart from the other Comptroller Squadrons in the Air Force. 

They provide accurate, timely and comprehensive financial services and decision support to their customers, said the Chief. Their strategic communication also ensures the Ramstein community is educated and informed about all pay issues. 

"We give everything to get the mission done, but there are strict laws that not everyone is aware of," said Major Kehl. "That's when we apply our decision support and say, 'We think the money would be best spent here'." 

Applying their financial expertise while at home base is crucial to the mission and morale of the servicemembers, but many people may not be aware of the impact that the CPTS has on the mission downrange. 

"While downrange, our people pay bills on hand for landing fees, gas and even pay money to get weapons off of the street," said Major Kehl. 

A CPTS member is one of the first people along with the commander that arrives to a bare base and conducts sight surveys, according to Chief Johnson 

"When we arrive at the location we begin working with the embassies and try to find where we can get the best interest rates, security and availability," she said. 

Applying their skills in a deployed environment is a part of their duty, but winning the prestigious Air Force Comptroller Squadron of the Year Award is exceeding their normal expectations. 

"I think we won because we have an awesome team," said Chief Johnson. "Our FMers (financial managers) are the best in the Air Force because of their dedication and commitment--they are 100 percent focused on taking care of our customers every day." 

We won because they provide outstanding pay and travel support to the largest concentration of Americans outside the U.S., said the Major. 

"Each of our personnel are dedicated and committed to helping our customers efficiently execute their annual funding," said Major Kehl. 

For 2009 the 435th Comptroller Squadron will be able to call themselves the best in the Air Force while continuing to strive for excellence and look to earn the 2009 Financial Management and Comptroller Organization of the Year Award.