Air Mobility Command’s Inspector General team observes
By Staff Sgt. Sherree Grebenstein, 167th Airlift Wing
/ Published May 19, 2015
Martinsburg W.Va. -- As the 167th Airlift Wing marks the mid-point of its self-inspection into a five-year cycle, members of the Air Mobility Command's Inspector General's Inspections Division spent two days shadowing the Wing Inspection Team (WIT) as it pored over records and interviewed Airmen with the Maintenance Operations Flight.
The five-member team also provided daily feedback to the wing's three-member Inspector General Inspections (IGI) office which oversees the WIT.
This is the first time an AMC's IG team has paid a visit to the Martinsburg wing and observed a unit inspection since the implementation here of the Air Force Inspection System (AFIS) construct in the fall of 2013, said Capt. Christopher Tusing, in-coming director of inspections for the 167th's IGI.
The AMC's IG team based at Scott Air Force Base in St. Louis, Mo., was comprised of Maj. Jason G. Hughes, Senior Master Sgt. John P. Pflugradt, Master Sgt. Lucas A Schellhammer, Master Sgt. Brandy Rowe and Master Sgt. Desmond R. Johnson.
"They observed the Wing Inspection Team in action," Tusing said, noting that the AMC's IG team also assessed the effectiveness of the wing's IGI in the process.
"The mid-point evaluation by AMC realistically was a gut check to make sure we - as the wing's IGI function - are on the correct path for success in anticipation of next year's Capstone Inspection," he noted.
"The Capstone Inspection has replaced the legacy ORI," Tusing said.
He explained that the Capstone is the onsite, external inspection conducted by the AMC IG. The 167th is scheduled to have its first Capstone in November 2016. For one week the AMC IG will verify and validate the Commander's Inspection Program (CCIP) as well as conduct individual and group interviews with airmen at all functional levels.
Overall, the AMC was pleased with the Wing's inspection of the MOF's Major Graded Areas. MGAs, as they are commonly known, are now the benchmark for denoting a unit's health and effectiveness. The four MGA's are Managing Resources, Improving the Unit, Leading People, and Executing the Mission. The inspection was conducted through a risk-based sampling of Management Internal Control Toolset. MICT, along with other sampling strategies such as individual interviews and evaluation of Individual Medical Readiness gave inspectors a snapshot of MOF.
"It's rebranding the legacy mindset of the IG as we move into the AFIS system," Tusing said.
Senior Master Sergeant Keith Taber, MICT manager and IGI superintendent, explained that the whole AFIS is brand new to everyone.
And with 89 different wings, the result is that 89 different products that are being developed.
Taber said the visit by the AMC IG team was a good opportunity for them to see what products the 167th has developed for internally inspecting the wing. It also showed how the wing is performing within AFIS and how it could be fine-tuned in the future.
"Past inspections under the old system were compliance based, but when everything is compliance based there are areas that get lost," Taber said. "The things that don't show up in AFIs,those areas that are ambiguous such as how supervisors or commanders are leading their people, are now inspectable items and carry as much weight as compliance items.".
AFIS, mandated to be implemented by all bases by Oct. 1, 2014, is designed to ensure units maintain a continuous readiness posture rather than simply training for inspections every four to five years. The mindset is for wing readiness to be 24/7, 365 days a year.
Hughes said the AMC's IG team's mission was to observe the WIT and IGI with the goal of helping the wing to "better its inspection program."
The MOF's Maintenance Operations Center, Plans, Scheduling, and Documentation, Maintenance Training and Maintenance Analysis as well as MOF leadership were all inspected by WIT and the IGI as the AMC's IG team observed.
"AFIS follows the commanders' AFI 1-2 and we try to relate our inspections and findings to the four major graded areas," Hughes said.
Master Sgt. Julie Lozinski, manager of the WIT, said there are approximately 70 wing Airmen who serve on the WIT.
"Overall I think they're doing a great job relative to how they were trained," Hughes said of the WIT after observing members in action.
"In the middle of the inspection cycle we try and come out and do a mid-point inspection," he noted, adding the AMC IG's goal is to try and accomplish a mid-point inspection for every unit.
"As an inspector I think it's our mission to find out what is important to the boss and determine if that is being accomplished or not," he said.
Prior to their departure, Hughes and Pflugradt briefed Col. Shaun Perkowski, the wing's commander, Tusing, Taber and Lozinski, on the AMC IG's observations. Both AMC IG inspectors and wing staff agreed that while reviewing MICT compliance is important to ensuring Airmen are ready to accomplish their mission, simply talking one on one with Airmen is a good tool to help gauge the wing's readiness climate too.
"Ask the whys," Hughes stressed. "Just keep asking the whys."
For example, a unit's morale can't be determined by checking off a box in MICT. Hughes said the WIT should strive for the whole picture versus just compliance. WIT members need to dig deeper and not just review documents.
It was suggested that the wing "shy away" on sole reliance of MICT to gauge its readiness.
"The challenge is for each wing member at this point - at every level - to ask themselves how they personally fit into AFIS and contribute to the four MGAs. Ownership of how each of us plug into AFIS will assist wing leadership in ensuring the 167th's sustained readiness." Tusing said.