News: Changing the way we inspect
Story by Airman 1st Class Betty Chevalier
DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. - The 355th Fighter Wing became the fifth fighter wing in Air Combat Command to be evaluated under the new unit effectiveness inspection program.
A UEI is an inspection that was implemented in August 2013. It combines consolidated unit inspections and operational readiness inspections into one continuous inspection.
Prior to this implementation, a wing's major command would visit the wing every two years to conduct either a compliance or a readiness inspection, where the base was mandated on what needed to be executed to pass, said Brig. Gen. Barre Seguin, ACC inspector general. Now it is the responsibility of the wing commander to establish a Commanders Inspection Program (CCIP) and determine what tasks need to be completed to ensure readiness.
Although the majority of the UEI falls under the CCIP, MAJCOM IG will still visit a base every two years to complete a Capstone. A Capstone is a weeklong event focused on verifying and validating the commanders CCIP, but is also focused on individually evaluating the compliance, readiness, economy, efficiency and discipline of each unit.
The wing IG trains a Wing Inspection Team, who is responsible for inspecting their respective units to ensure they are up to standards with the wing commander's objectives, while MAJCOM IG focuses on the CCIP and the morale and welfare of the airmen on the base.
"Our role is to inspect the wing throughout the two year period, whether we do it virtually or with snapshots," Seguin said. "A snapshot is where we send a small team of five to 10 people to the wing to observe and evaluate the WIT conducting an exercise or inspecting a subordinate unit within the wing itself. We expect to send about two snapshot teams a year [to each base]. This will ultimately culminate in a Capstone event."
Seguin explained while visiting a base to conduct a Capstone, they can also send a snapshot team to tenant units on the base that fall under the same MAJCOM. This saves the Air Force time and money.
The Capstone evaluates each installation using a five-level grading scale: ineffective, marginally effective, effective, highly effective and outstanding, Seguin said. There are four major gradable areas: managing resources, leading people, improving the unit, and executing the mission. The ratings in each area are averaged out to give the base only two grades. One is for the wing itself as a whole, while the other is based on how the wing uses funds provided by higher headquarters.
Being in the Air Force 25 years has given Seguin many opportunities to participate in exercises and inspections, but this inspection is by far different.
Seguin explained the goal of moving to UEIs. It is to focus on aligning mission readiness with inspection readiness and getting away from inspection preparation.
"I would actually call it the largest change in the way the inspector general has done business in our United States Air Force since the inception of our service," Seguin said.
This inspection is slated to last for five days, four of which are actual inspection days while the last one is for writing reports and providing feedback to wing leaders.