By Tech. Sgt. Maria Ruiz, 184th Public Affairs
Airmen hear it every time they travel: “Use your GTCC for everything and pay it off right when you get back.” But why? How does using the Government Travel Charge Card benefit Airmen and the 184th Intelligence Wing?
The answer is a Department of Defense rebate program from the GTCC. The more the card is used to make legal purchases, the more of a rebate the base receives to spend on different programs and projects focusing on morale, welfare, quality of life and equipment that couldn’t be covered from the standard budget.
“I am excited about the extra resource that can be used for quality of life items for the wing,” said Col. David Weishaar, commander, 184th IW. “We don’t get this money without the work of the finance personnel and our Airmen’s timely payments.”
Unless otherwise exempt, all DoD military or civilian personnel who travel as part of their duties may obtain and use a GTCC. The GTCC program provides card carriers a safe and commercially available method to pay for expenses associated with official travel without using their own personal funds. Examples include, purchases for airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, food and taxis.
Two types of rebates, sales and productivity, are available from the travel card vendor. Sales rebates are based on charge volume and productivity rebates are based on payment timeliness.
“All the rebate money comes back to our wing and is allocated to different groups to take care of our Airmen,” said Chief Master Sgt. Kelly Fugate, wing agency program coordinator, 184th IW, and superintendent, 184th Comptroller Flight. Fugate manages and tracks the wing’s overall GTCC program.
Rebates are received at the end of every fiscal quarter if the wing’s delinquencies are under a two percent margin of total dollars spent using the GTCC. If delinquencies exceed the two percent margin, no rebate will be awarded for that quarter. The wing earned rebates during three out the four quarters for the 2016 fiscal year, receiving a total of $37,255. The first quarter of the 2017 fiscal year has earned $12,300.
The GTCC program rebates are briefed during senior staff meetings where group and squadron commanders can request funds through the commander of the 184th Comptroller Flight. The 2016 rebates have been used to upgrade the 184th Medical Group break room, updating the 184th Public Affairs equipment and the 184th Civil Engineer Squadron installing water bottle filling stations wing wide.
“In addition to expanding the break room, we are purchasing equipment including a commercial sized fridge and freezer to replace the two household sized refrigerators, two coffee makers, two microwaves, a toaster oven, and tables and chairs for our members to store, prepare and enjoy their lunches in one area,” said Master Sgt. Melinda Kellogg, noncommissioned officer in charge of Bioenvironmental Engineering, 184th MDG. “Personnel are responding with excitement and enthusiasm to have a more functional break room space.”
“If we want to continue using these benefits then we need to continue paying our bills on time,” said Weishaar.