War room reflects squadron's creativity, hard work

Members of the 17th Comptroller Squadron work in the War Room Sept. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis Loza Gutierrez)

Members of the 17th Comptroller Squadron work in the War Room Sept. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis Loza Gutierrez)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Throughout the year, the 17th Comptroller Squadron has various spots around its office decorated to reflect different themes and times of the year.

The end of the 2007 fiscal year was no exception, but this time the entire room showcased the creative spirit and hard work of the squadron, especially two of its Airmen.
Senior Airman Gina Webber and Airman 1st Class Emma Vargas-Castañeda, customer service technicians, led the way in giving the squadron's conference room a big make over from dull with no-go to hard core and gung-ho.

"Airman 1st Class Vargas-Castañeda and I came up with the idea while at work, said Airman Webber. "We volunteered and decided to go with a military bunker theme and named it the War Room," she added.

The two female Airmen, along with the help of a few fellow co-workers, spent about a week completing the transformation.

"We used approximately 30 square yards of white cotton fabric and about 50 cans of green, brown and black spray paint to make the walls look like jungle camouflage," said Airman Vargas-Castañeda.

The creative duo also added a playful touch to their design by hanging toy models of military aircrafts and tanks from the ceiling. They also included more than two dozen small, green plastic toy soldiers.

"We wanted to do this because we thought it would be a fun way to keep up the strong unit morale we have here," said Airman Webber.

The war room idea was quickly embraced by the squadron senior leadership, especially the squadron commander, Maj. Stephen Cristofori.

"I thought Airmen Webber and Vargas' war room idea was an excellent one for our end of the fiscal year close out. I think it fits perfectly with our squadron's attitude in executing the wing's resources and getting the mission done," said Maj. Cristofori.

Since the start of the closeout in August, more than 60 people from the 17th Contracting Squadron, the 17 CPTS and the Resource Advisors Group have worked together to close out Fiscal Year 2007.

According to base finance personnel, more than 12,000 clients were serviced in 2007 just by the comptroller squadron alone. More than 300 government purchase card accounts were closed out and more than $31 million was spent on the yearly operations for Goodfellow.

With all of the work put into taking care of the mission, it's no wonder that the creation of the comptroller war room was a welcomed sight.

"I understand the end of year has its hectic and its slow times, and throughout the time our attention to detail has to be sharp, said Maj. Cristofori. "Unfortunately too much work and no fun can lead to a lot of stress in the work environment," he added.

"In order to counter the stress that can sometimes result from such hectic times, I strongly encourage my team to be creative and innovative both with their duties and the appearance of our squadron office," the commander said.

"As the commander of this squadron, I believe it is part of my personal mission to help maintain unit morale at a positive level. Projects like the War Room which show case the hard work and creativity of this unit and its members is a good way of doing that," Maj. Cristofori said.

"Here at the 17th Comptroller Squadron we don't just 'make the money flow,' we also have fun doing it."