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Six 78th CPTS members win AFMC-level awards

ROBINS AFB, Ga. -- Six members of the 78th Comptroller Squadron took big honors in the fiscal 2006 AFMC Financial Management and Comptroller Annual Awards.

"I am very proud of the great service that these folks as representatives of the squadron have accomplished," said Lt. Col. Kalwant Smagh, 78th CPTS commander. "These folks are very deserving and we are optimistic about charging forward as a squadron in our continued support of the Center and the Air Base Wing missions."

Bonnie Lamb, a financial management officer and team leader, was named Financial Analysis Civilian of the Year; Robert Brown, a supervisory accountant, was named Financial Services Civilian of the Year; Senior Airmen Boris Shapoval, a customer service technician, was named Financial Management and Comptroller Airmen of the Year; Carolyn Iceneder; a former Robins non-appropriated funds financial analyst who recently relocated to Royal Air Force Mildenhal, was named Non-Appropriated Funds Financial Analyst of the Year- Installation Level; Bambi Yeomans, a resource advisor for the 78th Civil Engineer Group, was named Resource Advisor of the Year- Installation Level; and 1st Lt. Carolyn Whittington, an individual mobilization augmentee who works at Robins as a full-time deputy dispersing officer, was named Reservist of the Year.

"It's a stellar year. I don't think the organization has ever gotten so many (AFMC awards)," Ms. Yeomans said. "We work hard and to go up and compete with people at other bases who do the same job, and then get recognized and beat the other bases out is just phenomenal."

Mr. Brown attributed some of the recent achievement by himself and other members of the squadron to the small size of the squadron and the culture within the squadron that inspires others to achieve similar recognitions.

"I think it is an outstanding squadron and it is about time we got recognized," Mr. Brown said.

Lieutenant Whittington, who is one of only a few reservists who work as dispersing officers, said, "As a reservist I am very thankful to work full-time for such a first-class squadron. We are truly a team and a family."

All of the members who received awards acknowledged they couldn't have done their job without the support structure of the squadron and the organizations the squadron supports.

"It is a great squadron to be in and that accounts for the many awards. If we didn't have the excellent leadership we wouldn't be here. When you like your job and feel good about it, you are automatically going to do a good job," Ms. Lamb said. "Being a part of this squadron really makes you want to earn your check."

Airmen Shapoval agreed the support provided by the squadron allows everyone the opportunity to excel together as a team.

"I think that it speaks for itself (that six members of our squadron won on the AFMC-level). The squadron works together as a team and to be recognized as a part of that as an individual is a big thing," said Airmen Shapoval.

All the winners said the support available throughout the base for the finance team allowed them to bring home these awards.

"I feel that while at Robins I received wonderful support from the 78th Comptroller Squadron and Services. Their support and their help doing my job is why I got this award," said Ms. Iceneder, who earned the award for the second consecutive year.

All of the winners except for Lieutenant Whittington, who won in the reservist category, which does not advance to the Air Force Level, will go on to compete at the Air Force Level.

The award recipients all agreed they are just glad they are able to support the mission of the warfighter by providing financial support.

"The whole function of FM (Financial Management) is to support the warfighter. The FM community is responsible for the family at home and the deployed members while they are away," Ms. Yeomans said.

Ms. Lamb said one of the most rewarding parts of her job is knowing her efforts can be the difference between an aircraft being grounded or flying its next mission.

"Whether it is keeping a plane in the air or providing whatever the warfighter needs, that is what we do," Ms. Lamb said.

She said her work certifying funds gives her a sense of pride because no parts can be purchased without funds being certified and no parts could mean the grounding of an aircraft and the failure of a mission.

"The Comptroller Squadron is proud of the way these folks have been recognized for financing the fight," Colonel Smagh said.