The UCI is nearly upon us

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Joe Williams
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing Inspector General
As the Wing prepares for the arrival of the HQ AMC Inspection Teams, it's worth reviewing why inspections are important to the Air Force and how you can prepare yourself and your unit for success. The AMC/IG's mission is to report our Wing's organizational health to the AMC Commander.

Optimally we'd like to say "We're doing a great job...just ask us", but AMC requires more validation and that's why we have inspections. It's important to remember that the inspection teams are also looking for superior performance and programs to benchmark for the rest of the Command.

Though most of our preparations are complete there are several things to consider as we prepare for inspection. First, the inspectors will use the checklists as a guide to ensure compliance with directives; this does not mean that they will not deviate from the checklists and examine other areas. The inspectors are here to ensure compliance with all directives, not simply those in the checklist. As stated earlier, verbal explanations of compliance are not sufficient - you'll need to SHOW compliance. In essence, you are guilty of non-compliance unless you can show the inspectors documentation that you are accomplishing your job correctly. If you do have something that's non-compliant, ensure that this is annotated in your checklists and that you and your supervisor are aware of the root causes and that you have corrective actions underway.

It will also be important for your organization to communicate prior to and during the inspection; everyone should have an understanding of who handles what program and how to find supporting documentation.

The last thing you can do to prepare for a good inspection is to have a spotless work center; desks, hair, boots, uniforms and attitudes need to be in perfect shape.

Once the inspectors arrive you'll need to set the tone; first impressions are critical. Start your section's inspection with a good in-brief and handouts if required. Give them a good overview of your work center, who does what job, and highlight those areas that excel. There will be over 125 inspectors on base for nearly 10 days; this is not the time to be found with your feet on a desk or using inappropriate language- the inspection team will be EVERYWHERE.

Remember to emphasize the positive - brag about yourselves and point out the good things your unit is doing - never complain. If the inspection team should find a discrepancy try to fix it immediately if possible, if not try to fix it ASAP to prevent a possible write up. Unless the inspector asks for privacy never leave them alone; when an inspector is complete with your section ask them where they'd like to go next, call ahead to that section, and then escort the inspector to that section.

This will be one of the first Unit Compliance Inspections to feature an Emergency Management Exercise (EMX) which is scheduled for Wednesday April 23. As we've learned, these are major exercises that have a tendency to reach out and touch nearly any work center - civilian and military alike. The rules for the EMX are simple; the inspection team will create a realistic terrorist attack on our base and everybody is expected to participate and respond as they would if it were September 11.

LEAD: if you find yourself in a scenario or attacked - be a leader - take charge and respond as your training directs while showing a strong sense of urgency.

FOLLOW: if you're instructed to do something - do as you're ordered whether it's to shelter in place or to augment Security Forces by manning a checkpoint - we're a team and we all play.

GET OUT OF THE WAY: If you or your families are not in a play area (such as housing) - stay out of the play area. If you are off duty in the dorms and are in crew rest for mission essential duties the following day (such as exempt) do not exit your facility during FPCON DELTA to smoke - we're all playing.
Everyone has worked incredibly hard to prepare for these inspections and exercises and it's been amazing to watch the honing of the Wing to a razors edge; it's time to show the inspection teams what we're made of. Make us proud.