BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The LNU Lightning Complex Fire is currently the fourth largest fire in California state history. Many Airmen and their families were forced to evacuate from their homes due to the growing threat of the fire.
These evacuations left the 60th Comptroller Squadron (CPTS) at Travis Air Force Base busy after the mandatory evacuation order was lifted.
“According to members at the 60th CPTS, there have been upwards of 3,500 service members who have had to evacuate the Travis AFB area,” said Second Lt. Will Prier, 9th CPTS financial operations flight commander. “The total number of dependents is currently unknown to us.”
To help ease the heavy load, three Airmen from the 9th CPTS at Beale Air Force Base were dispatched to Travis AFB to assist in processing manual travel vouchers for displaced service members and their families.
“Our team was tasked with processing evacuation travel vouchers for the members of Travis AFB that were affected by the fire evacuation,” said Senior Airman Joshua Baluyut, 9th CPTS financial technician. “Our goal was to ensure the members were able to accurately complete their travel vouchers in order to guarantee expedited payment of entitlements.”
In the group of Airmen who were dispatched to Travis AFB were 9th CPTS financial technicians Staff Sgt. Krisdon Stetson, Senior Airman Joshua Baluyut, and Airman 1st Class Timera Smalley.
“Staff Sgt. Stetson and A1C Smalley will remain at Travis AFB until Labor Day weekend,” Prier said. “Senior Airman Baluyut, who gained experience processing evacuation vouchers from his TDY to Tyndall AFB in early 2019, will only be there for three days to provide his expertise during the initial surge of vouchers.”
Air Force mission success is reliant on bases and Airmen working together.
“Members of the 9th CPTS have worked to create a solid foundation with our family at the 60th CPTS,” Prier said. “Our geographic proximity to Travis AFB has created a unique experience that has allowed both the 9th CPTS and the 60th CPTS the opportunity to reach across to each other whenever the need arises. Lasting relationships such as these are paramount in ensuring execution of the overall Air Force mission, especially in a time of crisis.”