507th ARW tackles new inspection system
By Maj. Jon Quinlan, 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 21, 2014
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The 507th Air Refueling Wing completed the new unit effectiveness inspection capstone event as part of the new Air Force Inspection System, receiving an overall "effective" rating by the 40 member AFRC Inspector General team.
The capstone event was held during the November Unit Training Assembly and concluded on Nov. 4. Inspectors from various functional areas looked at four major graded areas, including managing resources, leading people, improving the unit and executing the mission. All major areas were graded "effective."
"The new AFIS is the largest positive cultural change I've seen in my Air Force career," said Col. Brian S. Davis, 507th Air Refueling Wing commander, during opening remarks during the November UTA. "This new process allows our commanders to actually manage the requirements and have accountability. It creates and helps maintain a culture of empowerment."
According to inspectors, the Air Force Inspection System requires a complete mindset shift in how Airmen think about inspections. Despite the challenges of implementing a completely new system, the 507th ARW was able to get all benchmark inspection items accomplished prior to the Oct. 1 deadline, setting up the wing for success.
"I'm so proud of our team," Colonel Davis said. "I want to personally thank you all for a spectacular job well done with the UEI! The Okies set the standard and I am amazed at the hard work you all put into our program. We were able to pull together an excellent team to complete the [Commanders Inspection Program] requirements."
There are five grading tiers for the new AFIS program starting with the highest rating of outstanding, then highly effective, effective, marginally effective and ineffective being the lowest. For a unit to be 'effective' all requirements in all mission areas must be met. Leaders must treat Airmen with respect and provide a healthy and safe work environment. Continuous self-improvement efforts are made and critical programs and process are measured and few significant deficiencies are noted.
The inspection report listed several positive issues noting that the wing overcame significant challenges during sequestration, furlough and government shutdown with highly detailed and prioritized spend plans. The 507th Operations Support Squadron Customer Authorization/Custody Receipt Listing was highlighted as the best program seen to date in AFRC.
Many around the wing noticed that this inspection was much different than previous UCIs.
"The number of inspectors was much smaller, and as most people noticed there was a big emphasis on the group interview sessions where the AFRC team focused on getting the Airmen to voice problems or strengths they have noticed, " said Maj. Robert Atkins, director of inspections.
While the formal capstone inspection is complete, the local IG team emphasizes that this new system is a continuous process and validation happens every two years.
"The backbone of the new program is for every Airman to identify problems they find to the 507th IGI office ... with limited wing inspection manpower, we rely heavily on every Airman identifying observations within the wing. One such way is thru the MICT database, or anyone can call or send us an email on programs or deficiencies that are not part of a checklist." Major Atkins said.
Five superior performers were named; Maj. Jeffrey Milburn, 465th ARS/OGV; Capt. Brandon Lewis, 507th FSS/FSO; Senior Master Sgt. Rick Skelton, 507th OSS/OSL; Master Sgt. Claudia Borquaye, 507 LRS/LGRDX; Senior Airman Atueayu Wilson, 507th FSS/FSMPS. Two teams -- Maj Esther Mitchell's Medical Readiness team and Capt. Lisa Morris's Medical Readiness team -- were named "Superior Teams."