Happy New Year

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
Happy New Year!

We began a new year on Monday. It was the first day of Fiscal Year 2008, following New Years Eve on Sunday night. But there wasn't any celebrating or revelry on the base on Sunday. Instead a joint team from the 82d Comptroller and Contracting Squadrons worked all day and part of the evening to account for and spend every remaining penny of last year's budget. By midnight Sunday night they had "executed" a total of $253.2M for FY07! You might wonder why they had to work all weekend to do this . . . why couldn't it have been wrapped up last week? Well the answer is that our team was postured here to spend not only our 82 TRW funds but any other funds in AETC and elsewhere in our Air Force that could not be executed. Their posturing enabled us to spend an additional $300K funds in the last 3 hours of the fiscal year for valid Team Sheppard requirements. I can't tell you how proud I am of our Comptroller and Contracting professionals who made this happen, led by Lt Col Jeff Bell, 82 CPTS/CC, and Ms. Tandy Weaver, Acting Director of our 82 CONS.

Of course, their hard work was supported by a vibrant team of resource advisors and commanders, from both wings, who refined their requirements and helped prioritize an accurate End-of-Year Spend List so as money came available we were able to take care of some unfunded requirements in exactly the right order necessary to support our base's priorities. As taxpayers, we can all be confident this team ensured that the right dollars were spent on the right requirements.

These "money folks" are just one part of our Team Sheppard family who are so necessary to our mission. They're a reminder to me of the value of each member of our team and how hard we must work to protect that team.

That's one reason for our DUI-Free Picnic on Friday from 1030-1400 at the Sheppard Club, just prior to Columbus Day weekend. The picnic will feature a free Italian-style picnic buffet for all Team Sheppard members. It's theme is "DUI Free - Prevention is Key" and the reason we're having it is two-fold. First, it's to thank you for your diligent work in reducing the number of Team Sheppard DUI citations down to record low levels. We recently went 143 days without a DUI . . . an unbelievable streak for a base our size. And our overall DUI rate for the last 12 months is under 1 DUI per month--that's phenomenal! However, the second reason is to remind us that we cannot declare victory on DUI prevention. The sobering reality for us is that despite our success at reducing DUI citations, we have experienced two alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities here at Sheppard over the last 12 months. Preventing DUIs is ultimately about preserving the lives of our valuable Airmen and their families--that has to be our focus and our ultimate measure. Please come to the Club on Friday to celebrate our success and recommit ourselves to getting drunk drivers off our roads.

Thanks Team Sheppard for all your hard work and commitment to "delivering technically superior, highly motivated warrior-Airmen . . ." You're doing an awesome job!