Funding the future: 726th EABS Finance and Contracting

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III
  • 435th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Last fiscal year, the 726th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron’s Finance and Contracting Airmen executed more than $22 million, sustaining and building U.S. Air Force missions at three locations across East Africa.

At Camp Lemonnier, the 726th EABS finance, contracting and a civil engineering representative all work together in the Financial Acquisitions and Construction Management (FACM) office, allowing them to expedite purchases of mission essential goods, services, equipment and materials.

“We write contracts for services, commodity buys and construction. Basically anything from monitor screens to vehicle leases and buildings,” said Senior Airman Blia Yang, 726th EABS contracting officer.

In the FACM, the contracting officers write contracts and make the purchases while the Finance member, Master Sgt. Corey Wu, 726th EABS disbursing agent, allocates the funds.

“It’s a really good relationship,” said Yang. “He’s right there in the office, so we can ask him directly if we’re able to fund something and can execute it in a timely manner.”

Along with the Air Force mission at Camp Lemonnier, the FACM also handles the funding and purchasing for Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti.

There, Airmen, Soldiers and contractors are transforming the installation. Planning and construction has begun on improvements to the installation’s security, living quarters and facilities, all of which could not be accomplished without funds allocated by finance, and contracts and purchases completed by contracting.

“This year, the shop’s big items mostly consist of Chabelley’s infrastructure improvements like force protection upgrades and quality of life improvements,” said Wu. “Big projects like a new dining facility and a new gym are in the works.”

While the FACM consists of only five Airmen, their ability to work together to fund ongoing projects at locations where Airmen live and work is critical for the U.S. Air Force’s future in East Africa.