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    Air Guard Inspector General office delivers training workshop from Puerto Rico to Alaska

    Air Guard Inspector General office delivers training workshop from Puerto Rico to Alaska

    Photo By Senior Airman Roxanne Belovarac | Lt. Col. Thomas Nieukirk, Chief of Air Inspections, Air National Guard Inspector...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey  

    168th Wing

    The Air National Guard readiness center hosted an Inspector General Advanced Course and Unit Leadership Workshop at the 168th Wing at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Feb. 4, 2024. The ANG Inspector General’s office has hosted the course from Puerto Rico to Alaska to reach out to the wings better.

    “The biggest value of the course is that it sets the stage and puts everybody on a common framework of what is expected out of the unit self-inspection program, which is more than just an IG task. It is management 101 for an organization,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Nieukirk Jr.

    The course included discussions on continuous process improvement, communications, data-driven decisions, and various management examples such as 6 Sigma and Lean. The workshop primarily focuses on sharing, incorporating, and applying a range of effective management skills.

    “In the maintenance world, we base many decisions on data. It is essential for us to know if we are looking at the data accurately and if there is a way we can look at it from a different perspective, it is helpful," said Col. James Hawkes, 168th Maintenance Group commander.

    Master Sgt. Mark Browing, 168th Operations Support Squadron, attended the course as a Senior Enlisted Leader, and he shared, “A lot of this is what we do on a daily basis, and this program adds structure to it.”

    The course allowed time to share as part of the planning process.

    Chief Master Sgt. Ray Allen, 168th Maintenance Group, shared examples of processes currently being used in the 168 MXG, “A lot of that is internal to our MXG – the data comes from our analyst. We’ve created some slides, and we crunch data that is not normally on the standard health of the fleet driven by 21-101. We have a breakout of every jet and MCN time and what caused it. Was it awaiting parts, maintenance, or hangars? Because of our environment, we have a lot of awaiting hangars that stop aircraft from being repaired. That falls into it.”

    “All the data we collect helps inform our scheduling operations,” said Maj. Mark Dellaquila, 168th Maintenance Group. “It looks like we have a lot of green airplanes, but here is why we can’t agree to all those missions. They have been good partners and see our side. We have priorities from them for this week, such as the most important sorties, and they feed us on a routine basis. It helps us with our minimal manning on the important stuff.”

    The leadership from across the wing was in the same room together, focusing on planning.

    “The beauty of this workshop is it brings the commander and self-assessment program managers together, which is important,” said Nieukirk.

    “The second benefit is that it is a workshop format, so when they are done with this if they step through these workbooks, they have actually done this first draft of what they need within their units. They are not just giving up a day of their lives but have a little bit of tangible benefit walking out.”

    Readiness and lethality were at the forefront of the course.

    Nieukirk shared that one of his goals, if he could at a minimum, is to include this curriculum in the DAFI-90-302 and explained, “A by-product of appropriate management techniques is the fact that inspections are non-event.”

    Dellaquilla agreed that communications planning is important to share: “Here are the pathways - you have a valid issue. Here are the ways we talk to ops. Here are when we speak to the commander. Here are the venues we have to address issues.”

    “There are a lot of variables; some things are more important throughout the year than others, said Hawk. If you look at the last week or two where it has been -50, there is stuff we could have done outside, perhaps if it was just a different time of the year. We’ve also got the threat of manpower changes.”

    "Today's training was a crash course framework for developing an organizational strategy to maximize a unit's competitive advantage; the course coalesced elements of vision, mission, goals, risk-based sampling, and data-driven decision-making," said Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Sinerius, 168th Security Forces. "While all of them are important, I look forward to working with the unit to refresh our vision and mission statements. Organizational culture evolves with each new generation of Airmen, and a fresh look at our vision and mission statement will represent current and future aspirations and goals."



    Date Taken: 02.08.2024
    Date Posted: 02.09.2024 15:08
    Story ID: 463594
    Location: EIELSON AFB, AK, US

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