460th SW members embrace new inspection system
By Staff Sgt. Paul Labbe, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 19, 2013
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- -- With the recent implementation of the new inspection system, 460th Space Wing members are taking the reins to self-evaluate and strive for success.
In the past, senior leaders would notify a base in advance of an upcoming operational readiness inspection. This notification would allow the base to prepare and become compliant in operations they may not have kept current prior to the inspection. When an inspection was conducted, senior leaders from the major command level would evaluate various exercise scenarios to determine the effectiveness of base operations.
After a rating was given to the base from these evaluations, the base commander would typically either praise his base's performance or work to fix any deficiencies found. Because of this cycle, a base would spend vast amounts of time getting ready for an inspection.
"There is data that shows that the Air Force was spending one full time year out of five on nothing but inspections," said Larry Tunnicliff, 460th SW inspector general.
The new inspection system contains various components and changes to the old inspection system that will help commanders highlight and correct discrepancies on their base throughout the year rather than on a major cyclical inspection schedule.
One of the initial changes is getting rid of the old ORIs and switching to the unit effectiveness inspections. Instead of inspections every two years based on the old system, bases now conduct continuous evaluations. The responsibility of making sure a unit is compliant has become an everyday occurrence and a part of everyone's primary duties.
"With the old system it was very much like taking a photo snapshot, while the new Air Force Inspection System is like creating a lasting photo album," Tunnicliff said.
Additionally, various systems already in place are being overhauled - with a new name, a new program or a few changes to existing procedures within a current program.
One minor change is the exercise evaluation team, which was previously an additional-duty function overseen by the wing plans and programs office, is now known as the wing inspection team and falls under the base inspector general.
Other changes include the addition of the Management Internal Control Toolset, MICT; Inspector General Evaluation Management System, IGEMS; and Commander's Inspection Management Board, CIMB; as well as an overhaul of the Commander's Inspection Program, or CCIP.
With the guidance of the base IG office, each program will be implemented and used cohesively to create an easier overall inspection process.
The use of MICT, which is a computer database that contains unit-specific checklists and is used Air Force wide, will help track the findings of discrepancies that may have been disregarded or undetected during past inspections. Discrepancies will be easily viewed and corrected by senior leaders or a delegated authority.
According to Tunnicliff, the MICT program aims at empowering wing commanders to run their own inspection program with the goal to make inspections a non-event and gives senior leaders the opportunity to log in and get a visual snapshot of the status of their units.
One step ahead of MICT, 460th SW members will have to get used to another new program implanted in the new AFIS - IGEMS. This program will track findings associated with discrepancies found in MICT checklists, but the findings may not necessarily warrant inputting a discrepancy in MICT. That's when IGEMS becomes necessary.
IGEMS is an unclassified web-based software program serving as an inspection tool comprising planning, executing, reporting and corrective action management.
For example, if during an evaluation on self-aid and buddy care two individuals fail to react correctly, it can lead to an IGEMS write-up. Within MICT, the unit may be complaint because they conducted necessary training required by the checklist; however, a 460th SW IG member will likely place those write ups in IGEMS to initiate a more focused evaluation to determine why these individuals didn't respond appropriately.
Another addition to the new AFIS is the CIMB made up of 460th SW commanders. Their main focus is to review the status of all open inspection items, to include progress and updates on corrective action plans; estimated close-out dates; mitigating circumstances; recommendations for closure, if warranted; and external assistance required.
Lastly, members of the 460th SW will adapt to the overhaul of the CCIP.
The focus of CCIP is to ensure the wing commander knows all he needs to know to assess risk, identify areas of improvement, determine root cause and efficiently apply resources where most needed. This process is completed by the IG office and the wing inspection team. The WIT coordinates with IG to create and conduct base exercises to discover and evaluate discrepancies across the 460th SW. After the findings are properly identified, they are then presented to the commander to be discussed during the CIMB.
The 460th SW, with guidance from the inspector general office, has significant change to adapt to, but base entities are coming together to become compliant with Air Force standards and ensure it stays that way.