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Wing inspection team begins operations

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
A new inspection program recently begun by the 127th Wing is intended to help the Wing move away from the "boom & bust" cycle of inspections and to better align the concepts of being "Mission Ready" and being "Inspection Ready."

The 127th Wing, along with the rest of the Air Force, is re-configuring the standard inspection process, greatly reducing the number of visiting inspection teams at the Major Command level and placing local inspection teams at the Wing level to ensure compliance with Air Force standards.

"One of the major advantages of this system is that it will allow the local Wing commander to determine the priorities of his or her Wing," said Maj. Brian Donnellon, one of three 127th Wing Airmen assigned to the new inspection cell. Donnellon, a pilot with the 171st Air Refueling Squadron, most recently served as the project officer for the Wing's Unit Effectiveness Inspection in late 2013. "This will allow the Wing and IG to focus on the areas that most directly impact the mission-set and situations that exist in our Wing."

Donnellon is joined in the new IGI - Inspector General for Inspections - office by Lt. Col. Larry Crowder and Senior Airman Lukas Fisher. The IGI will be supplemented by several dozen Airmen from around the Wing who will be trained to serve on the WIT, or Wing Inspection Team, on an as-needed basis.

The new IGI team will be separate from the long-established Inspector General office, now known as the IGQ, which handles complaint resolutions. The IGQ program will continue unchanged by the IGI process.

Donnellon said the IGI team will continue to review compliance with Air Force Instructions, Unit Task Codes (UTCs) and related directives and will also conduct readiness inspections at the same time.

"We know we are exercising various tasks on a regular basis," Donnellon said. "If a certain plan states we must be able to launch five aircraft in a certain time window, we can inspect that process during a time when we are already scheduled to exercise that capability, without adding a separate inspection."

During such a review, WIT Airmen will observe and report on the exercise, allowing commanders to see where deficiencies exist and then to work to fix them.

"Now, we'll be inspecting locally to the same standards as the MAJCOM," Donnellon said. "This allows us to give the Wing commander a more comprehensive picture of the readiness and compliance levels across the Wing, so he can better direct his resources to the areas that need it most."

Inspections in the past have seemed punitive in nature requiring massive efforts to get the best grade possible. Now the inspection system is focused on continuous improvement and rewarding the discovery of deficiencies.

"This will be like the coach and the players working together to make the whole team better," Donnellon said.

Comprised of approximately 1,700 personnel and flying both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135 Stratotanker, the 127th Wing supports Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operation Command by providing highly-skilled Airmen to missions domestically and overseas. The 127th Wing is the host unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which marks its 97th year of continuous military air operations in 2014.