A force support squadron can be viewed as a jack of all trades, but occasionally a problem comes along that requires a little help solving. In the case of the 325th Force Support Squadron, the 325th Communications Squadron stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park.
Maj. Jason Christie, 325th FSS commander, and Senior Master Sgt. Alejandro Velez, 325th FSS military personnel flight senior enlisted leader, identified that the squadron had no process in place to track general administrative accountability for their staffing needs and group or wing suspenses, packages that require a commander’s signature. Christie felt his squadron was being reactionary when accomplishing administrative functions to take care of Team Tyndall Airmen.
“We weren’t allowing this organization the ability to make informed decisions and strategically plan among our workforces,” said Christie. “We weren’t able to train or develop services, personnel, and manpower Airmen properly.”
Velez contacted the 325th CS knowledge management team, which consists of a handful of Airmen running the installation’s SharePoint and validating forms and publications, in addition to building computer-based systems. Velez asked the experts if they knew of a computer-based system that could track and route administrative processes and requests, and the answer was yes.
“I thought about Senior Airman Matthew Shanks and Tech. Sgt. Jared Norris because they had helped us previously in the MPF,” said Velez. “They said [the 325th CS] used a system that they had built and presented it to me. They were so prepared it was like they had planned it. It was phenomenal.”
Norris and Shanks then presented the solution to Christie, and it was an immediate yes.
“No kidding…two weeks later we had a process built [with] accountability,” said Christie. “Norris and Shanks took our problem, and they came back with a solution. And they were [helping] us out of the goodness of their hearts.”
And so, a SharePoint system that was originally intended for communications squadron use was adopted by the force support squadron.
“I actually built this system for [our squadron] last year and it had worked well, so we showed it to [Senior Velez], and he said this is exactly what [they were] looking for,” said Norris. “[I liked having] a role in the overall success of people and help them through whatever issues they were having.”
Norris had put his training and skills to work and designed the new website based off a previous, antiquated framework by working all the coding for the SharePoint platform and created pathways and authorizations for materials containing sensitive information to best fit the needs and organizational structure of the squadron.
In addition, more units across the base are considering implementing this solid tool designed by Norris and executed by Shanks.
“It’s nice to know that something we can produce is important enough to be [possibly implemented across the 325th Fighter Wing],” said Shanks. “It’s pretty nice to know how far our [impact] can actually be.”