A New Way of Doing Business

Master Sgt. Jennifer Long, Lt. Col. Thomas Ruud and Master Sgt. Sean O?Connor take the Inspector General (IG) oath of office from Col. Jon Safstrom, 148th Fighter Wing, Vice Wing Commander, Jan. 14, 2014.  The three members are part of the 148th Fighter Wing IG team and will execute the Wing Commander?s Inspection Program.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph Kapustka/Released)

Master Sgt. Jennifer Long, Lt. Col. Thomas Ruud and Master Sgt. Sean O'Connor take the Inspector General (IG) oath of office from Col. Jon Safstrom, 148th Fighter Wing, Vice Wing Commander, Jan. 14, 2014. The three members are part of the 148th Fighter Wing IG team and will execute the Wing Commander's Inspection Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph Kapustka/Released)

DULUTH, Minn. -- Back in 2011 and 2012, the Inspector General (IG) completed a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Air Force Inspection System (AFIS) and found it to be wasteful, inadequate and unsustainable in the current and future resource environment. In short, the inspection system that was currently in place did not meet Title 10 requirements for commanders and the IG to inspect and report on the efficiency, economy, state of discipline and readiness of Air Force units. Something had to be done.

Born from this assessment is the new Commander's Inspection Program (CCIP) and it is now the foundation of the Air Force Inspection System (AFIS). The new inspection system is structured to report in accordance with the four key areas of Managing Resources, Leading People, Improving the Unit and Executing the Mission. "What's great about seeing these four Major Graded Areas (MGA's) is that AFIS is finally in-line with what our Bulldog Action Plan and Minnesota National Guard Campaign Plan (MNNG CAMPLAN) look like, said Master Sgt. Jennifer Long, 148th Fighter Wing, IG Superintendent. AFIS is finally mirroring what commanders have been doing all along."

AFIS is going to help the 148th Fighter Wing (148FW) by eliminating the wasted effort and resources of preparing for large scale inspections. "The goal is to usher in a cultural change from spending countless hours and resources to present an unrealistically discrepancy-free program, to a process of continuous self-assessment and improvement, said Maj. Paul Thornton, 148th Fighter Wing, Director of Inspections. We need to know our jobs well enough to recognize discrepancies and inefficiencies, be honest and admit them to ourselves and continuously find ways to get better at what we do."

The culture change associated with the new AFIS is not going to happen overnight. "Airmen need to realize that the 148FW IG is here to help them do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible, said Thornton. It is much better to seek out deficiencies than to hide or ignore them. We can't fix what we don't know (or won't admit) is broken."

As part of the new AFIS, the 148FW now has four fulltime and one traditional member making up the IG team. The IG along with the support of Subject Matter Experts (SME's) will report on the health of each 148FW section through inspecting programs and core capabilities.

In order to improve, each Airmen needs to be a critical thinker and be creative in presenting solutions at a time when budgets are tight. "If a process in your shop is inefficient or does not make sense to you, do something about it. Just because "that's the way we have always done it" doesn't mean there isn't a more effective or efficient way to do it," said Thornton.

Ultimately, we all need to be open to feedback and change in order to improve. Remember that we all have the common goal of being the best shop that we can be and the 148FW IG team is here to help you accomplish that goal.