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Understand NAF: Costs necessary for on-base events

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Should events and programs on base be free? Why pay for them?

There's good reason particular events require admission, mainly because people would have to seek these events or services elsewhere at higher cost.

Take the Buckley MMA Fight Night for example. People pay almost $400 for ringside seating and $75 - $175 for bleacher seating at an Ultimate Fighting Championship event according to StubHub. Buckley members paid $35 and $25, respectively, for seats at Buckley's MMA Fight Night. There were also FIGHT magazine subscriptions and Nintendo Wii's given out as daily prizes leading up to the fight, which were valued at more than what customers paid for their tickets.

For those at the 460th Force Support Squadron, one of their jobs is to ensure service members and their families pay the lowest possible price for certain events or programs offered on the installation.

Anytime FSS host events such as Fight Night, Breakfast with Bunny, fitness classes at the Buckley Fitness Center, any type of Airman and Family Readiness Center function, or Outdoor Recreation Center activities, the money comes from non-appropriated funds.

According to Air Force Instruction 34-201, Use of Nonappropriated Funds, NAFs are government funds but are separate from funds that are recorded in the books of the U.S. Treasury. They are not appropriated by Congress. NAFs come primarily from the sale of goods and services to Defense Department military members and civilians and their families. The purpose of NAFs is for the collective benefit of military members, their families and authorized civilians. These funds support morale welfare and recreation programs, lodging, certain religious and educational programs, and other programs authorized.

"Normally when we charge, we're not charging them something we would make money on. We're here to break even," said Leslie Gaylord, 460th FSS commercial sponsorship coordinator. "We're giving you the quality you'd see on the outside at a discount -- a severe discount."

The process is like an equation, Gaylord explained. FSS pays A, the customers pay B, and her position is responsible for making up the C portion through sponsorship donations.

"It's my job to raise that money to put back into that pot. So when they buy something it doesn't pay for my salary, it pays for their programs;" Gaylord said. Referring to the need for Team Buckley members to pay for admission and purchase prices for certain events and services.

Maximum participation at these events and services is absolutely critical, according to Gaylord. "When you don't support events, we don't have them. It's that cut and dry."

Gaylord said if folks on Buckley want to continue to see these types of events happen again, they need to let FSS know. They can do so by filling out comment cards located at the Airman and Family Readiness Center or sending them a Facebook message at www.facebook.com/460FSS.

Some people may still think, "Why not just ask for funding for these events?"

When Air Force units ask for funding, known as appropriated funding, it must be mission essential. This would include aircraft, medical group supplies, snow removal equipment and anything needed to accomplish the mission.

This is why these organizations have to raise their money before they spend it and must charge so they can replenish that pot of money.

The appearance of hyperlinks or inclusion of information for local businesses, activities or resources does not constitute endorsement by the 460th Space Wing, the U.S. Air Force or the Department of Defense of the external website or the info, products, or services contained therein.
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