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Finance Airmen committed to making customers happy

Senior Airman Robert Sharpe, 341st Comptroller Squadron finance technician, goes over some paperwork for a member's separation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)

Senior Airman Robert Sharpe, 341st Comptroller Squadron finance technician, goes over some paperwork for a member's separation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)

Airman 1st Class Richie Peart, right, 341st Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, helps Airman 1st Class Nathaneal Hooper, 341st Force Supports Squadron customer service, fill out an Air Force form. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)

Airman 1st Class Richie Peart, right, 341st Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, helps Airman 1st Class Nathaneal Hooper, 341st Force Supports Squadron customer service, fill out an Air Force form. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- There are several reasons to joining the world's greatest Air Force and although many people may join to serve their country, some may join for job security and a constant paycheck in the current economy.

Throughout the Air Force, as well as here on Malmstrom Air Force Base, there are people dedicated to ensuring each member goes home with a paycheck every month. A few, but proud, members of Team Malmstrom make up the base's finance office, which offers a variety of financial services.

"[The finance office] assists members with military/travel pay inquiries, permanent change of station in-processing, advances and completing specific forms to start, stop, correct or update pay allowances," said Staff Sgt. Melissa Clouatre, 341st Comptroller Squadron financial services representative. "We also walk through the travel voucher submission process (PiPS/eFinance) with members, assign permissive and terminal leave numbers, and complete financial final-out appointments for members who are retiring or separating."

These hard-working members selflessly devote every duty day to helping each Airman on Malmstrom gain monetary credit for the work they provide to the Air Force. However, many visits to the finance office can be avoided.

"Most military pay questions can be answered when a member reviews their leave and earnings statement each month," Clouatre said. "Most travel pay questions can be answered if the member reviews the travel voucher summary that is emailed to them once the voucher is processed - the pay date is located in the upper right-hand corner."

Airmen may visit the finance office for questions or concerns regarding a range of issues but there is another resource that they are encouraged to use. The virtual Military Personnel Flight, located on the Air Force portal, is a valuable tool for Airmen needing assistance with financial issues.

"Members can find answers fast without waiting in a customer service lobby," Clouatre said regarding the vMPF. "They can log on to MyPay, PiPS/eFinance, and the Defense Travel System or log in to virtual finance, which includes controlled spending account information; basic finance information; and leave, military, travel and retirement pay calculators. They can also review the current basic pay tables."

There are a few things the finance department asks Airmen to remember when using the MyPay system. Members wanting to make a change to their MyPay account must do so at least 10 days prior to the paycheck they would like to see the change start to effect. Also, if bank account information is changed, do not close the old bank account until the money is automatically being disbursed into the new one. A change in MyPay does not automatically update the defense travel system so Airmen must contact their official defense travel administrator to update it.

The finance office is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. Appointments can be made before or after official office hours. Someone is always available between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. to assist members who need to make other arrangements to fit into their work schedule.

For more information, contact the finance office at 731-3193.
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