Financial Management professionals host symposium focused on transformation

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. James R. Wilson

Air Force Reserve Command Financial Management specialists hosted a virtual summit May 7-9, 2024 to discuss current challenges and new strategies for aligning to meet priorities of the Great Power Competition.

The flexibility and willingness to adapt as the command adjusts to meet an evolving strategic environment were among the top priorities for FM professionals conveyed by Maj. Gen. Frank Bradfield III, Air Force Reserve Command Deputy Commander, during his opening remarks for the summit.

“We have challenges now that will continue while we’re trying to reorganize and reposture forces to better prepare for how we will conduct the nation’s business in the future,” said Bradfield. “Part of that challenge is understanding the new construct of how we’re going to deploy. It’s important to understand Deployable Combat Wings, In Place Combat Wings and Combat Generation Wings.”

Bradfield encouraged the financial management community to demonstrate a warrior ethos and how it relates to success in supporting Citizen Airmen at a time of unprecedent change in the Air Force Reserve’s history.

"As financial professionals, you should embody the warrior ethos in all aspects of your work," Major General Bradfield remarked. "C2A2 - Communicate, Collaborate, Action, and Accountability - serves as our guiding principles, ensuring that we remain agile, adaptable, and accountable in our pursuit of excellence."

The theme of innovation and transformation permeated throughout the symposium, with sessions focused on leveraging technology, optimizing processes, and fostering a culture of innovation within the organization. From exploring the latest advancements in financial systems to harnessing the power of data analytics, participants gained valuable insights into driving positive change and enhancing financial readiness.

Highlights of the symposium included FM awards presentations and a “State of FM” presentation by Col. Shannon Thompson, AFRC Comptroller, which provided an update on Fiscal Year 24 budgetary execution as well as a preview of the FY25 Presidential Budget and the resources currently scheduled for allocation to AFRC.

The symposium also provided a platform for collaboration among finance professionals. Officials from the FM Directorate hosted breakout sessions on topics to include centrally managed programs, self inspection tools and continuing education training for career field certification.

Those who participated felt the opportunity to collaborate and discuss a wide range of issues with program managers from AFRC was invaluable to FM professionals in the field.

“The update from the FM analysis and operations were very helpful as was the presentation highlighting military travel,” said Ms. Diane Piquette, 439th Airlift Wing comptroller, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. “While we often have in-person symposiums, having it open to everyone helps keep all of our staff members better informed.”

In closing, Thompson reiterated the importance of embracing transformation to meet the evolving challenges of financial management while remaining laser focused on unit readiness and continuing to support the Citizen Airmen who are doing the nation’s business.