BACKGROUND: “The Diamond Knights” of the 175th Financial Management Support Center (FMS) gathered at Fort Shafter Hawaii, Sept. 18, 2020, to bid parents, siblings, spouses and children a virtual farewell, before deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
While deployed, the unit will “fund the force” a critical capability that matches legal and appropriate sources of funds, with thoroughly vetted and validated requirements. This involves overseeing the banking and disbursing of the provision of cash, non-cash, and e-commerce mechanisms, which are necessary to support the Theater procurement process, and host nation banking infrastructure. Plus ensuring that all Service members, regardless of component, will receive timely and accurate pay by providing important day-to-day military pay support operations. They will also manage the internal control program which provides reasonable assurance that establishes accountability and control procedures that comply with applicable laws and regulations to comply with Army Audit Readiness, while focusing on their main priority theater-level strategic planning and technical oversight for all finance operations, to include host nation banking, contractual and procurement payments, and disbursing support through U.S. Central Command Area of Operations.
“Today’s ceremony is bitter sweet, as it marks the beginning of our operational deployment where we answer our nation’s call to sustain our force, supporting and serving our Soldiers abroad" said FMS Unit Director Col. Letsy Ann Perez-Marsden, during the Facebook live event, that was held to mitigate Covid-19 risks. “Completing and succeeding in our mission is not the hard part, as this is what we train for, and now we get to showcase our skillsets in another theater."
As Soldiers prepared to leave, Col. Perez-Marsden and directorate Sgt. Maj. Ronald B. Oyardo cased the group's colors to signify the beginning of the unit's deployment. The colors will not be uncased until the transfer of authority takes place and the unit has assumed their position in Afghanistan. While this deployment is the second for the unit, it is the first for many individuals.
8th Theater Sustainment Command deputy commander, Col. Theodore White spoke about the mission ahead. “This group of “premier paymasters” will support and serve with honor, and will continue their unit’s tradition of professionalism and readiness. We are blessed to live in a nation where Soldiers are willing to answer the call to duty in times of war and peace, at home and abroad, to protect our nation, our freedoms, and our families.”
In her closing remarks Perez-Marsden confirmed their number one priority by saying “SGM Oyardo and I have been entrusted with the safety of America’s sons and daughters, and we do not take this responsibility lightly,” she said. "The Soldiers of the 175th FMSC have demonstrated that they are resilient and ready to take on this challenge.”
Confidence in the success of the 175th FMS is unwavering, with Col. White giving his message of support to the outgoing unit. “To the Soldiers, this is what you trained for, you are prepared and ready, we salute you for your service to our country.”
CAPTION: The 175th Financial Management Support (FMS) Unit Director Colonel Letsy Ann Perez-Marsden and Directorate Sgt. Maj. Ronald B. Oyardo case the Unit "colors” at the Facebook live deployment farewell event, at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, on September 18th, 2020, to signify the beginning of the unit's deployment. The 175th FMS will deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where they will “Fund the Force”, a critical capability that matches legal and appropriate sources of funds, with thoroughly vetted and validated requirements. They will oversee the banking and disbursing of the provision of cash, non-cash, and e-commerce mechanisms, which are necessary to support the Theatre procurement process, and host nation banking infrastructure. They will also ensure that all Soldiers regardless of component, will receive timely and accurate pay, by providing important day to day military pay support operations. While shouldering that great responsibility, they will also manage the “Internal Control Program”, which provides reasonable assurance that establishes accountability, and control procedures that comply with applicable laws and regulations to comply with Army Audit Readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Geordan J. Tyquiengco)