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Always ready: Okies welcome November inspection

  • Published
  • By Lauren Gleason
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Reserve Citizen Airmen in the 507th Air Refueling Wing here are scheduled to participate in a unit effectiveness inspection capstone event Nov. 15-19, 2019.

The UEI is designed to provide an independent assessment of four areas in the wing: Resource management, leadership, process improvement efforts and the ability to execute the mission, according to AFI 90-201, The Air Force Inspection System.

The inspection is a continual evaluation of performance, typically ranging between 24 to 30 months, allowing the wing to showcase what they do, what they know and how well they do it, according to Col. Miles Heaslip, 507th ARW commander.

“If we’re managing resources, if we’re improving the unit, if we’re leading people, then mission execution should be a simple thing,” Heaslip said. “It’s just all building blocks.”

Following Global Thunder in November 2018 and Enterprise Worthy Phoenix in March 2019, the wing’s next readiness exercise is slotted to take place during the unit training assembly April 4-7.

The ability to survive and operate exercise is an annual requirement designed to provide familiarization on ground and air attack procedures, proper wear and use of the ground crew ensembles and how to treat and care for casualties.

According to Ryan Barnes, exercise planner with the 507th ARW Inspector General Inspections office, the ATSO exercise will allow the wing to showcase their knowledge in the following areas: Self-aid and buddy care, damage mitigation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks, asset protection, land mobile radio operation and post attack reconnaissance PAR operations.

“It’s important to move with a sense of urgency in these exercises,” Barnes said. “If we treat it as a real event, as real as possible, we will get the best results. If Airmen are able to don the gas mask quickly in a real-world attack, it can mean the difference between life and death.”

Senior Master Sgt. Justin Malzer, 507th ARW IGI superintendent, explained that inspectors are currently evaluating quality assurance programs wing-wide, in addition to the hands-on training.

“QA programs are the best tools a commander can have in their inspection toolbox,” Malzer said. “They are designed to cycle their target areas, in order to inspect different areas rather than inspecting the same areas repeatedly. This cyclical process provides commanders the ability to continually assess the effectiveness of their areas.”

The final piece of the puzzle is Management Internal Control Toolset or MICT, used by the Air Force as a program of record to communicate a unit’s program health.

“At this point, MICT looks healthy across the wing,” Malzer said. “MICT is a living mechanism, so assessors can log in as needed when their programs change and modify their checklists accordingly.”

Assessors should be honest with their assessments in MICT In order to establish confidence in their programs, according to Malzer. There is no need to engage in inspection preparation, to build program binders, create new appointment letters, or to “paint the grass green.”

“Don’t panic,” Malzer said. “We already know how to do our jobs, we just have to prove it.”

MICT validations are due twice a year, in June and December, allowing duty sections to identify problems and work them out with their supervision and functional managers. The IGI team focuses on identifying areas where risks from undetected non-compliance are greatest, aiding wing commanders in identifying areas for improvement.

The 507th Air Refueling Wing commander explained that maintaining wing readiness is important as the Air Force Reserve transitions into a more operational and lethal force.

“It’s important for Reservists to be combat ready because they’re required to respond at a moment’s notice,” Heaslip said.  “Any readiness training we’ve done on the front end  is going to give us more time to bring our Airmen in, to get them processed and to get them out the door. Our overall readiness depends on the individual readiness of everyone in this wing.”