UCI: The time to prepare is NOW!

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Amanda Callahan
  • 319th Public Affairs
If you haven't heard by now that the wing will undergo a unit compliance inspection in April, you've either just got here, have been deployed for a while, or live under a rock.

I have known about the UCI for a while. The captain in my office worked very hard completing our UCI binders. His goal was to give the office the best chance at inspection success before he had to separate from the Air Force in July. Due to a misunderstanding of who was doing what, I didn't look at those binders again until it was almost too late.

As our shop's UCI point of contact, I received THE e-mail - "The IG [inspector general] office will conduct a SAV [staff assistance visit] on your programs Thursday in preparation for the upcoming UCI ..." That was about three weeks ago.

After speaking with Maj. Steven Dougherty, deputy IG, about the SAVs the IG staff had previously done on other sections, I knew the IG folks were here to help. It was important to know and understand they meant business. The last thing they wanted to see was an office that hadn't prepared. We had done the preparation, but then didn't stay on top of it like we should have.

I broke out those dust covered binders and went to work. I knew we were doing the right things. I just had to find the documentation to show it. It also gave me the chance to find all the areas where we were not doing things exactly by the book.

Luckily, during those 12 hour-days scrambling around to get up to speed (something I should have been doing for a long time), I discovered areas where we, as a shop, could definitely improve. I found things that we should've been doing all along; we just didn't know it. I found over-looked training areas. I found a few things that, UCI or not, we needed to fix. And, believe it or not, I was grateful.

By the time Thursday rolled around, and Master Sgt. Chris Edmonds walked through my office door to "assist" us, I was mostly ready for him. I knew our weaknesses, and I knew our strengths.

Overall, we did okay during the SAV. I knew the write ups before I even saw the report. There were no surprises. Did I do it the right way? No - absolutely not. It would've saved a lot of time, energy and anxiety if I'd been preparing the way the captain had suggested. But, work got in the way; or at least that was my excuse.

I'm very grateful the IG folks are going around finding the problem areas, though. The last thing I would've wanted is to wait until three days before the UCI to start preparing, but, with the way I was procrastinating, it could've easily happened. Luckily, the IG staff was there to get me, and everyone else, in the right mindset.

I know what you all are thinking; I'm just a public affairs person who HAS to write this stuff, right? Nope, I'm a public affairs person who GETS to write this stuff, and without the IG, I could've been a public affairs person who BOMBED the UCI next year.

Overall, I think we should all take an extra minute to take another look at our checklists and make sure nothing is out of order. Lucky for those of us behind in our preparation, if we don't catch it, the IG will. And that my fellow Warriors, is a whole lot better than having the UCI inspectors do it.