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Summer is Coming; End of Year is Near

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Aeiz. --

In true homage to the Game of Thrones, “The Summer is Coming” accurately characterizes the ominous workload, long hours, and last minute contract, funding and project actions that await the Luke Air Force Base Trifecta; 56th Contracting Squadron, 56th Comptroller Squadron and 56th Civil Engineer Squadron. Summer time is no vacation for these three units, and the end of year 2018 budget was more challenging than most.

This year’s late budget initial distribution in May, $1.5 million in unplanned squadron innovation and commander’s readiness funds, and a large group of experienced Airmen deployed converged to make one of the toughest end of year seasons. Nevertheless, 56th CONS, 56th CPTS, and 56th CES pulled together in what proved to be one of the most successful end of years to date with the Trifecta executing twice as much in CES project funds compared to last year.

The Trifecta construct fosters open, honest, and frequent communication about project status, funding and timelines. They regularly discuss and resolve pre and post award project issues in order to keep base projects on track and on time. This allows group and wing leadership to make informed decisions on how to allocate funds as they are provided.

An important wingman to the Trifecta are the resource advisors who attended a special end of year training to ensure they understood the processes set up to execute leadership’s priorities. They worked hand in hand with 56th CPTS and 56th CONS to ensure the timely and proper acquisition of squadron needs.

This year, close teamwork and open communication contributed to the fruition of many new contracts. Some of the large impact and noticeable contracts awarded this end of year were:

-$39.9 million and 282 actions to modernize the base infrastructure and stand up the 308th Fighter Squadron

-$10 million in airfield projects to re-open two taxiways

-$4.3 million on 19 hires for medical personnel at the 56th Medical Group

-$1.2 million voice over internet protocol replacement system to upgrade Luke and Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field communication capabilities

- $4.6 million in roof and HVAC repairs including emergency repairs

- $300 thousand for security forces vehicle mitigation and security of base personnel and assets

- $530 thousand worth of lodging for 944th FW unit training assembly support

- $240 thousand for 944th FW and $417 thousand for 56th FW deployment gear

- $75 thousand for digital kiosks for 56th Force Support Squadron, 56th CPTS, and 56th Security Forces Squadron customer service areas

- $628 thousand for Waste Water Treatment Plant sand filter upgrade to improve future water quality

- $900 thousand for Supervisory, Control, Data Acquisition Systems and lift stations

- $450 thousand in reflective ceramic paint for three dorm facilities to increase energy efficiency

Overall, 56th CONS obligated more than $68.7 million in over 800 actions during fiscal year 2018, an approximately $14.7 million increase from fiscal year 2017.

As fiscal year 2019 begins, the Trifecta will continue to look for ways to change the Air Force from within the 56th FW through the development of new processes that increase efficiency in the acquisition of everything from small purchases essential to unit mission execution to large projects that will change daily operations of the base.