Are You Ready? - Building the Commanders Inspection Program
By 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 30, 2014
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- "Transparency Drives Excellence everyday" This is our mantra for our upcoming unit effectiveness inspection. We should always be ready; that's what it is all about. This means that we should become adept at accomplishing our mission and stop worrying about preparing for the next inspection team. So we have finishing up our last minute MICT checklists now is our chance to showcase what we do to the inspection team. The important thing to remember is that this is not just an inspection, we are building a new commanders inspection program that will sustain us for years to come.
So what is this new inspection system all about? It's about measuring reality. This means we must be honest about what tasks we can accomplish with the resources that are provided. What are the tasks that are most important in order for the 507 ARW to provide global reach anywhere in the world.
The new Air Force Inspection System requires a complete mindset shift in how Airmen need to think about inspections. We are currently being inspected each and every day. Unit Effectiveness Inspection are necessary for future success in our resource-constrained environment. The continuous, two-year-long UEI process provides wing commanders with the tools needed to ensure mission readiness and compliance using a more decentralized approach.
At the wing level, AFIS implements the Commander's Inspection Program. The CCIP is based on two main pillars; self-assessment and inspections. Self-assessments are unit/program managers' declarations of mission capability and compliance. Inspections provide unit/program managers an opportunity to demonstrate mission capability and compliance. Inspections validate and verify self-assessments.
Self-assessments provide commanders at all levels the necessary information to make appropriate resourcing decisions on a near real-time basis. The database system of record to report self-assessments is the Management Internal Controls Toolset. MICT allows units and programs to communicate their ability to comply and execute, not only to their supervisors and commanders, but also to MAJCOM and higher headquarters functional area managers.
Kept current, MICT proves to be a useful tool for everyone. Every Airman now has a role in providing input (through their supervisors) into their functional area's reported compliance with Air Force Instructions and directives.
Self-assessments alone, however, are not enough. Title 10 of the U.S. Code states that commanders are responsible for inspecting their own units. The new AFIS finally brings unit inspections into compliance with the law. As such, wing commanders now have the authority to inspect what they believe is important in order to measure combat capability. Commanders now have the wing inspection team.
WIT members are the wing-level subject-matter experts for their respective functional areas and are sworn in by the wing Inspector General to provide the commander feedback on their assessment of the wing, through deliberate wing inspections.
Under the new AFIS construct, our MAJCOM IG visits will be focused on Col. Davis's Commander's Inspection Program and the 507 ARW IG's ability to inspect and accurately assess our capabilities. AFRC IG's first on-site visit has started. The team will be focused on assisting our wing inspectors in specific areas that the wing commander has deemed important.
Self-assessments and inspections are continuous. AFRC IG will conduct numerous virtual inspections, as well as on-site visits during each cycle. Inspections are now focused on the needs and desires of the wing commander in order for him to be able to assess the wings ability to execute the mission.
Headquarters Air Force is devoted to providing wing commanders the tools needed to make decisions at their level on what tasks are important for their wing's ability to execute its mission. All AFIs were directed to be rewritten, and must provide guidance on waiver authorities for all compliance items. This gives our commander the ability to waive some specific AFI requirements at his level, if he believes the benefit of not applying resources to that requirement outweigh the risk of non-compliance. (Lt. Col. Kevin Ripple contributed to this report)