A wave of young personnel joined the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), eager to support the F-35 Lightning II, the deadliest fifth-generation airborne system. Lt jg Martha Byrne is one of them. She is part of a promising female workforce that will increase the capability, availability and affordability of the F-35.
Byrne prides himself on being a conscientious steward of government funds as an intern with JEA’s Corporate Financial Management team. His journey began at the United States Naval Academy in 2014.
“I chose this path because I came from a military family and the academy wanted me to play lacrosse,” Byrne said. “But my love of math, especially calculus, trumped athletics in my last two years.”
Fresh out of the academy, the young supply corps officer was assigned as a division officer on the USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) while on a global deployment from 2018 to 2019. She learned the main responsibilities of accounting and balancing budgets, the various hubs around the world for obtaining spare parts, and an outline of food standards required on a ship. She explained that her job was a “behind the scenes” position that focused on securing funds and achieving budgets to complete the mission at hand and required perseverance.
“I had an eye-opening experience in Mobile Bay. I love doing this type of work because it matches my personality,” Byrne said. “So I dove into my job and started to excel at it. .”
“My Supervising Supply and Model Corps Officer aboard the USS Mobile Bay told me to come to Washington, DC, for an internship,” Byrne said. “She recommended contracting or corporate financial management, saying that understanding where the money comes from and how to get it will prepare you for any position in the procurement corps in the future. “
Byrne joined JPO in October 2021 as part of the company’s financial management team which focuses on vehicle systems procurement.
“I work with supply and change line items,” Byrne explained. “It’s about understanding past, present, and future presidential budgets and formulating execution plans based on that. In addition, it’s important to understand the F-35 program procurement process and its requirements. For example, what is needed this year, what was needed last year, and what will be needed in the years to come.”
Cmdt. Tony Nguyen, Financial Management Manager for Vehicle Systems in the JPO’s Air Vehicle Program Management Office and Byrne’s supervisor, leads the JPO Financial Management team that manages the budget that funds everything at the JPO.
“Having an enthusiastic young officer like Martha working here is important because the JPO gets a very high quality member. It also benefits her and the Navy as she develops her professional knowledge by working in the most major Ministry of Defense acquisition program,” Nguyên said.
Nguyen said Byrne is the “right person for the job” as he sees her as an attentive to detail and proactive person with integrity who always completes her job.
“These are the characteristics we want in all of our staff,” Nguyen said, “especially in our financial management teams.”
Byrne’s team breaks down the air vehicle systems procurement budget month-by-month for the year to ensure they are executed on track. The team is primarily focused on the effective commitment of funds across fiscal years ’20, ’21 and ’23, and the team remains in constant coordination with the JPO contracts team, which works closely with key contractors from the program. In addition, the financial management team reviews a multitude of funding documents to ensure that the budget matches the spending plan and that we are drawing the correct accounting lines.
The process allows Byrne to see the big picture of affordability.
“I enjoy understanding how a budget works: when it needs to be executed, and my part is to execute it on time,” she said, adding that she enjoys working to be a good steward of the budget. taxpayers’ money by making sure the money is put to good use.
“It was a big learning curve,” Byrne said of the job, “but my personality and drive helped me in this new position because I pushed myself to take it quickly. I learned the specific technical requirements and I am always ready to learn more to improve myself.”
Byrne said she was thorough because she knew the extra attention would best support fighters, international partners and clients. She is also evolving as a financial management professional.
“I finish almost every day having learned something new, which is rewarding,” Byrne said, adding that the work can be tough, but she sees herself as getting smarter every day.
“The JPO is a place where you get immediate feedback, and it can be difficult until you remember that we all have the same mission,” Byrne continued.
“So keep that team mentality and bring our fighters home alive.”
|Date posted:||07.07.2022 17:27|
|Location:||ARLINGTON, Virginia, USA|
|Hometown:||CORONADO, CA, USA|
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