RAFINO

The Retired Army Finance Organization
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Finance Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II

158, 9/1/2010

FINANCE SUPPORT OF OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM II

By BG Ed STANTON

Earlier this year, I shared with you the great pride I take in the outstanding support our finance team provides to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).  The soldiers and civilians who make up our Army's financial management community, with the help of DFAS professionals, continue to play a vital role in the success of the OIF/OEF missions.  Executing the full range of our core competencies, they make it possible for our war fighters to buy the goods and services they need and, through the timely disbursement of soldiers' pay and entitlements, make it possible for them to stay focused on their missions. 

Our support role in the reconstruction of Iraq will be as equally important as our role during hostilities, if not more so, as our government and Army work to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.  Our performance in each of our finance core competencies not only tells the story of our value to the Army and the warfighter; it also validates the soundness of our doctrine forged in the iron triad of finance, resource management, and contracting operations.  The insert provides statistical data on our missions to date in each of our core competencies.

With sound policies and procedures in place, Team Finance, made up of both active and reserve component soldiers, will continue to make us proud.   Working closely with resource management, contracting, and finance professionals from the CJTF in Iraq, ARCENT and DFAS, they provide the vital support ground commanders need to rebuild Iraq and sustain our forces in the CENTCOM AOR.  Our ability to deliver the kind of support we provide in the Iraqi theater of operations is attributable to (1) the solid training readiness in our units, (2) our adaptability during a time of immense doctrinal change and (3) the quality of outstanding soldiers who serve our nation.  This leads me to three threads of thought arising from my recent participation in OIF/OEF.

First, we must continue the Army's imperative to TRAIN-ALERT-DEPLOY.  From our detachments to our FINCOMS, the demonstrated readiness of our soldiers and units is clear evidence that our leaders, at all levels, have embraced this philosophy.  We still have room for improvement; however, their training readiness was validated by the performance of the team of talented soldiers assembled at Fort Jackson last December and January. Drawn from active and reserve component finance units from across the Army, they set the stage for our success by developing thorough operational plans and policies for the Iraqi Theater.  To all the soldiers who traveled to Fort Jackson in support of that effort your contributions speak volumes of the training readiness of your units.  As our units received their alert orders and deployed into theater, they hit the ground running, producing the kind of results described here and in the Spring Edition of Diamond Points.   My congratulations and thanks to all of you for your professionalism, teamwork, and commitment to excellence you so ably displayed in Kuwait and Iraq and during the preparation process.

Reflecting on our ongoing finance operations in support of OIF leads me to my second thought which is the underlying processes that are the foundation for our readiness and unparalleled performance.   In TRADOC, we refer to these processes as the DTLOM-PF domains, with each letter in the acronym representing a key function that supports our Army.  Ensuring the Doctrine, Training, Leader development and education, Organization, Materiel, Personnel, and Facilities functions meet the needs of the Finance Corps and the Army is a key mission of the Finance School.

The Finance School is leading the way in ensuring that our doctrine integrates the lessons learned in Iraq, Kosovo, and all our deployments into the way we do business.  Since our deployments to OIF/OEF, the schoolhouse has conducted numerous reviews of our doctrinal manual, FM 14-6, Finance Operations (soon to be FM 1-06, to mirror joint publications), and will publish the update early next year.  In similar fashion they have convened two lessons learned panels to refine our operations across the DTLOMPF domains.  The results of these sessions will benefit our Finance soldiers directly by providing the needed tools  to improve  readiness and support capabilities.  The lessons learned panel on RC pay generated ideas which will ultimately result in policy changes that will better serve our RC soldiers.  We can also expect great utility from the updated Mission Training Plans and Soldier Training Publications the Finance School sent to the Army Training Support Command at the end of September for upload to the Reimer Digital Library.  Incorporating feedback from operational leaders, these training manuals, available on demand, will allow our finance force to achieve greater realism in training.   These examples, along with our initiatives to update our leader development courses, implement our new 44C MOS, expand the fielding of our Financial Management Tactical Platform, and stand up our Financial Management Commands provide the DTLOM-PF foundation for the Finance Corps to not only succeed, but to maintain its relevancy to the Army. 

Finally, all of our successes would not be possible without the outstanding people who serve the Finance Corps.   The soldiers in OIF/OEF, supported by the entire financial management community, have acquitted themselves magnificently but they are not alone.  From Korea to Germany, throughout CONUS, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq, and across our entire Army our Finance Team bring a sense of dedication, caring, and commitment to the mission that is second to none.

The Global War on Terrorism will be long and arduous.  The transition to sustainment operations requires the continued support of our people. We will face new challenges; however, I am confident that Team Finance will continue to selflessly support our nation's call with the highest degree of professional pride.