Updated Inspection System Implemented at Wing

The Crisis Action Team (CAT) guides the 167th Airlift Wing's response to incidents during the readiness exercise New Horizon, Nov. 19 at the Martinsburg, W.Va. base. The CAT is comprised of senior leaders who make decisions based on information provided to them by the wing’s emergency operation center. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Dickson)

The Crisis Action Team (CAT) guides the 167th Airlift Wing's response to incidents during the readiness exercise New Horizon, Nov. 19 at the Martinsburg, W.Va. base. The CAT is comprised of senior leaders who make decisions based on information provided to them by the wing’s emergency operation center. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Dickson)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Another successful Operational Readiness Exercise was completed by the members of the 167th Airlift Wing .

Although this time around was a little different.

Rather than deploying to one of the training bases such as Volk Field, Wis. or Gulfport, Miss., during the mid-November exercise, units are practicing at their home station. Not only is it a cost-saving measure, but also allows Airmen to practice how they play.

"We have all the available manpower on base to perform their job," said 2nd Lt. Jamie McDavid. As the installation inspection officer, she was responsible for coordinating the movement of people and cargo during the exercise. She added another benefit to an exercise at home station is that most individuals have the opportunity to spend time with their families.

"After the day is done, you don't have to worry about the family component because most members are going home," she said. "Sometimes it can be hard to stay fully engaged when you are away from home."

In two days, the personnel support for contingency operations team processed 298 people through the deployment line. During the four-day event, the wing safety office also conducted a tabletop exercise of an aircraft crash which allowed key personnel to review their checklists and how they would respond to an incident.

The Air Force Inspection System, mandated to be implemented at all bases by Oct. 1, 2014, allows wing commanders to tailor the evaluation process to their unit and mission.

"So what they've tried to do is get away from that prepping for inspections and come up with a system where people are continuously ready," said Maj. Kip Blackman, the director of inspections. The system is also designed to enable units to self-identify their deficiencies and work to correct them.

"They are immediately aware of the things we have that are wrong and need corrected and they take note of those immediately which doesn't cause any problems or get anyone in trouble," Blackman said.

The new format is designed to help units maintain their readiness long-term rather than training for inspections every four to five years.

"The new system has the potential to save a lot of time, effort and money for both the Air Force and the wings," Blackman added.

The next training event in this process is scheduled for April, but Blackman doesn't expect the same type of exercise. The commanders are still evaluating the needs and will design an event that is most beneficial the unit.