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ALS students receives words of advice from Lt. Gen Rogers
Airman Leadership School student's listen as Lt. Gen. Marc Rogers, Air Force Inspector General speaks to them Oct. 21 at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Rogers gave the current ALS class advice on their future leadership role in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jenay Randolph)
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New inspection system changes underway

Posted 11/21/2011   Updated 11/23/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt Justin Weaver
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

11/21/2011 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- The Air Force Inspector General Lt. Gen. Marc Rogers met with 31st Fighter Wing personnel and leadership in an effort to obtain their feedback on life in general within the wing and more specifically on the current exercise, evaluation and inspection schedule during his visit to Aviano Air Base, Italy, Oct. 21-24.

Over a year ago, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, asked the Inspector General to improve the Air Force Inspection System. Rogers said one of the goals "is to synchronize inspections, assessments, and evaluations to allow a wing commander greater flexibility to inspect and fulfill their mission demands by allowing for increased calendar whitespace."

The Air Force IG currently oversees only about 20 to 30 percent of wing inspections, assessments and evaluations and the office is working to combine and integrate more than 80 such events with major command functional areas and entities outside the Air Force.

"We are over-inspected across the Air Force and we need to find out what commanders and supervisors think we need to be inspected on," said Rogers. "We also need to find a balance of scheduled and no-notice inspections."

To help find that balance, Rogers visited many squadrons asking personnel multiple questions about the inspection system. Airmen were asked how often they were inspected, how they would improve the system, how thorough the inspection process was and more.

"How many of you feel you are going to be inspected on a day-to-day basis," Rogers asked. "And would that change the way you do your job if you knew someone could possibly stop by that day to inspect your work?"

Rogers encouraged the Airmen to evaluate their jobs and let their supervisors and commanders know about items on checklists they feel are inadequate or obsolete.

"We want to improve the whole inspection system in the Air Force in a way that will help you perform better and provide commanders greater inspection capability," said Rogers. "How well do your checklist items match what you are actually required to do? Ask yourselves, if I was doing this, how would I do this differently?"

The Inspector General hopes to use the feedback from this trip to help push a more wing-directed inspections schedule; one where commanders and supervisors help dictate the rate and type of inspections.

"We would like the wing to inspect units according to the Exemplary Conduct Law, Title 10 U.S. Code 8583, that requires all commanders, supervisors, and others in authority to inspect their subordinates. Additionally, headquarters teams must limit the number of wing inspections," said Rogers. "So if a commander has a squadron checklist and conducts self-inspections, he or she can watch their trend lines to improve overall performance and ultimately increase the wing's effectiveness."

Integrating, combining, and synchronizing unit inspection activities will give the wings more time to focus on keeping Airmen mission-ready.

With that goal in mind, Aviano will become the test base for the new "wing-driven" inspections schedule. Under this construct, the Inspector General's office and the Wing's Inspection office will all fall under the new Commander's Inspection Program led by Lt. Col. James Wilkerson.

"We will be going out to the group commanders and squadron commanders and asking them what they are looking for and how we can help them with the inspections process," said Wilkerson. "From there, we will build our inspections and exercise schedule to reflect what they want."

Last year, 116 different inspections were conducted Air Force-wide. In 1970, only ten different types of inspections were done. This new process hopes to alleviate some of these inspections while still ensuring Airmen are combat-ready at all times.

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