Show me the money: Squadron's attention to detail earns it praise from peers

McChord Air Force Base -- During the months that preceded the Operational Readiness Inspection, if you wanted to find a 62nd Comptroller Squadron Airman, all you had to do was look for someone walking around in Bldg. 100 wearing a reflective belt.

Though their preparations may have seemed odd to others, there was a method to the squadron's madness … and their plan paid off. The squadron received an "outstanding" rating for its performance during the inspection.

Wearing the belts was just one method the squadron used to get into the right mindset for the ORI, said Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Rhoades, 62nd CPTS.

The squadron also sent a person to Alpena, Mich., to measure the room the comptroller participants would work in during the inspection.

The three Airmen used the measurements to replicate the room in the basement of Bldg. 100.

"Getting the measurements let us make the best of security and everything else," said Sergeant Rhoades.

If people passing by stuck their heads in the comptroller's basement operations center in April or May, they'd likely find comptroller Airmen in mission-oriented protective posture gear crunching budget numbers or scrutinizing bad checks, he said. During the ORI, when someone ordered them to don their gear during a mock chemical or biological attack, the Airmen thought nothing of it, said Sergeant Rhoades.
"We still had a sense of urgency, but it wasn't panicked," he said. "It wasn't rushed. It was boom, boom, snap, go."

However, the squadron's success depended on more than just the three ORI participants, said Sergeant Rhoades. Others from the squadron would walk downstairs and test the ORI participants, trying to pass suspicious paperwork and checks, as well as putting them through attack scenarios. This went on for weeks, four hours a day, said Sergeant Rhoades.

"They would try to stress us, try to keep us busy, try to snap us," said Sergeant Rhoades. "After a time, I think we had seen just about everything."

Maj. Anthony Hernandez, 62nd CPTS commander, said he was proud of his Airmen for their dedication and hard work both during their practice scenarios and during the ORI.

"The more extraordinary the stakes, the more profound the outcome,"said Major Hernandez.

The thinking behind the squadron's ORI preparation goes back to the meticulousness that is inherent in professionals who handle hundreds of millions of dollars, said Sergeant Rhoades.

"It's the attention to detail," he said. "If you're off a penny, you might as well be off a dollar."