119th Wing deemed ‘effective’ by inspection team

  • Published
  • By SMSgt David H Lipp
  • 119th Wing
The 119th Wing took a huge step in the new Air Force Inspection System (AFIS) process by successfully completing a ‘Capstone’ unit effectiveness inspection (UEI) at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., May 17-22.

The purpose of the inspection is to ensure units critically and objectively assess their own abilities to comply with U.S. Air Force regulations and policies and further codify that data to efficiently assign resources, guaranteeing force lethality.

The new AFIS system is geared toward a continual inspection process rather than an inspection event every few years, and is designed to focus on mission readiness rather than inspection preparation leading up to inspection events.

In the new system, unit members routinely assess themselves for problems and deficiencies, and unit inspector general (IG) members at each base periodically evaluate their own functional areas.

There is a remote monitoring of procedural documents and practices by Air Combat Command (ACC) IG team members using the web-based management internal control toolset (MICT), and a team of ACC IG members visits the base to see things for themselves.

Self-assessment communicators (SAC) are found in MICT and are similar to checklist items in the old inspection system. The SACs are studied topics for compliance to Air Force Instructions (AFIs) by the unit members for their own self-assessment and for review by the inspectors.

119th Wing IG team members include Lt. Col. Kevin Gaeu, Lt. Col. Nate Brenneman, Maj. Kris Gillett, Maj. Shaun Carlson, and Senior Master Sgt. Shane Amundson.

“The 119th Wing has made great strides in this new paradigm of inspections, which in essence, is an everyday continual process improvement (CPI) way of doing business,” said Gaeu. “The ACC IG Team was not here to inspect every facet of the Wing. They were predominately here to inspect how well we can self-assess and improve our overall mission effectiveness.”

The visiting ACC IG team sent individual inspectors to functional areas on base to conduct interviews with 119th Wing members and walk them through the self-assessment process, examine documents and practices, and evaluate compliance to the AFIs. It is certainly a thorough evaluation.

Upon completion of the inspection, several top performers were recognized. The IG selected nine individual unit members and four functional area teams as superior performers. Additionally, two functional areas were recognized with the honor of ACC ‘benchmark’ achievers.

Superior performers included Capt. Tim Soderstrom, Senior Master Sgt. Nolan Carlson, Senior Master Sgt. Shane Amundson, Master Sgt. Dennis Olsen, Tech. Sgt. Taylor Voelker, Tech. Sgt. Tony Hubbard, Staff Sgt. Cody Hassler, Staff Sgt. Kelsey Peterson and Staff Sgt. Taylor Wolford.

Additionally, two Airmen were recognized with special honors. 2nd Lt. Mike Schuldt received the ACC IG General’s coin, a rare honor given only to a select few inspected Airmen across the Air Force, and Senior Master Sgt. Ken Rosson received an ACC IG recognition coin.

The 119th Services Flight dining facility functional area was recognized as a superior performing team, along with three functional areas within the 119th Logistics Readiness Squadron: the Airlift Support Function, the Mission Support Contracting Function and the Installation Deployment Readiness Cell.

ACC ‘benchmark’ achievers included the vehicle maintenance fall protection program and the government purchase card program.
The final inspection report will be utilized to help the organization make improvements for future unit and mission success.

“I want to pass along my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to each and every Happy Hooligan for their collective efforts during the CAPSTONE inspection,” said Col. Britt Hatley, 119th Wing commander. “With the inspection behind us, we can continue to build upon an already-strong framework in the commander's inspection program by strengthening and fine-tuning the processes we worked so hard to put into place. Recurring self-assessments will keep the Hooligans mission ready because mission ready equals inspection ready.”

The ACC IG team members departed on Tuesday, May 22, with corrections and improvements already underway.

“We are already doing a validation (which is a quick-look evaluation) of a functional area today,” said Lt. Col. Nate Brenneman one day after the ACC IG team departure, demonstrating the on-going nature of the new AFIS and proving the work doesn’t stop simply because the inspection team visit has concluded.