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Mission Readiness

New inspection system keeping Airmen on alert

Published: 11:38AM January 16th, 2014

In the past when a unit was notified of an upcoming Air Force inspection, months and weeks of intense preparation for the event would commence and the unit would be on high alert up and until the inspection.

In June of 2013, the Under Secretary of the Air Force signed a directive implementing the new Air Force Inspection System. This new system fundamentally changes the way we think about and conduct inspections and with the September 2014 inspection scheduled,

“The new AFIS is a continual internal and external evaluation program, producing a ‘photo-album’ of results rather than a snap-shot of the one or two weeks while inspectors are visiting,” said Col. Greg Urtso, Officer of the Inspector General.

He said while the idea of internal and external inspections is nothing new, inspecting units virtually and on a continual basis is. The ongoing evaluation will shape the onsite Capstone visit by major command inspectors, culminating in a final UEI report to commanders.

The internal assessment is cornerstoned by the Commander’s Inspection Program. The purpose of this program is to ensure Airmen across the unit are getting the “right information at the right time to assess risk, identify areas of improvement, determine root cause and focus limited resources” (AFI 90-201, pg 49) according to the wing commander’s priorities.

“Every Airman is responsible for the CCIP, not just the wing commander,” said Lt. Col. Ken Kaupp, 62nd Airlift Wing inspector general. “Each person is a sensor and has the responsibility to identify areas of noncompliance.

“There are more than 70,000 compliance items in more than 1,200 AFI’s; Airmen have to manage how and where they are going to use their resources to complete their mission.”

CCIP works off of two key components that will determine the wing’s overall health — self-assessment and inspections.

The self-assessment program reports unit compliance through continuously updated, self-assessments checklists while inspections, conducted by the Wing IG, assess organizational and program performance.

“The primary tool to document self-assessment is the Management Internal Control Toolset,” said Kaupp. “Any time a unit determines a change in compliance, they have five days to update MICT.

“The other piece is inspections and is run by the wing inspector general team. That team will use subject matter experts from across the wing to form Wing Inspection Teams. The WIT will inspect units and programs to validate compliance.

“These two pieces will help units identify areas of noncompliance, mitigate risk associated with noncompliance and help validate fixes actually meet requirements.”

“Through the CCIP, commanders will have the information they need to validate and verify their wing’s ability to execute their mission, deploy Air and Space Expeditionary Force Airmen and to provide superior command and control,” said Urtso.

According to the Inspector General in order to verify and validate the wing’s CCIP the major commands’ inspector general offices will conduct an onsite Capstone visit that happens once every two years.

“The Team McChord UEI Capstone is scheduled for Sept. 4 to 13 of this year,” Kaupp said.

“The new CCIP is required to be in a status of Full Operational Capable by Oct. 1.

“Although we will complete our first UEI prior to the FOC, there isn’t much time between the two and we are expected to have a full up and robust system in place.”

The onsite Capstone visit will last approximately one week and it serves three purposes. It will validate and verify the CCIP, conduct individual and group interviews and assess effectiveness through task evaluations, audits and observations.

In addition to the virtual inspections and analysis conducted by the MAJCOM IGs prior to the Capstone event, they will also administer an online survey to “capture candid, confidential beliefs, attitudes and opinions” (AFI 90-201, pg 43) of wing Airmen.

The surveys update data from the last onsite visit, assist in determining the inspection team composition and develop a sample strategy for the onsite visit.

The inspection team’s efforts will culminate in an UEI report for wing leadership which covers the entire period, not just the onsite visit and will provide a rating to each of the four major graded areas.

The MGAs include managing resources, improving the unit, leading people and executing the mission.

“There will not be a large in-brief when the Air Mobility Command IG team arrives for the Capstone event,” Kaupp said. “They will briefly meet with the wing commander and then get right to work.

“There will not be a large outbrief at the conclusion of the Capstone event either. This is done to further enforce the concept of mission ready equals inspection ready. The days of the Capstone are just another day of supporting the mission.”

At conclusion of the onsite inspection, the MAJCOM commanders will receive a separate “adequacy of resources” grade which provides an assessment of the support the wing is getting from headquarters staff.

Once the report is submitted, the entire UEI cycle starts again and although the onsite evaluation only happens once every two years (with a mid-cycle visit by the MAJCOM IG to observe and evaluate a planned wing exercise), both the internal and external virtual inspections are continual.

“Our wing commander fully supports this new system and wants to enforce the concept of mission ready equals inspection ready,” said Kaupp. “He expects all members to be the same.”

For more information on this new inspection system or the UEI scheduled for September, contact the 62nd Airlift Wing inspections office at 253-982-4198.