Are you ready for inspection?

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Greg Touhill
  • 81st Training Wing commander
Picture this: the air traffic control tower receives a radio transmission from an inbound transport aircraft requesting permission to land. The plane's credentials check out and the aircraft is given permission to land. After the plane taxis in to its parking spot, the doors open and the passengers, the major command inspector general's team unloads and says "Call the wing commander. We're here to begin a no-notice inspection of the base." 

Think it couldn't happen? Think again! 

Check out our Air Force history and you'll see that this type of inspection used to occur. Former Chief of Staff General Curtis LeMay supposedly believed the best way to stay honed for the wartime mission was to be inspection-ready every day and would send inspection teams out to assess the readiness of combat forces, particularly those of the Strategic Air Command. 

The result was an Air Force whose strength and precision served as a vital component of the nation's deterrence strategy. While peace was SAC's profession, its ability to wage war as demonstrated through a rigorous inspection program was what yielded that peace. 

Every Airman -- officer, enlisted, or civilian -- needs to be mission-ready and inspection-ready. Recall our new Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz, reminded us of the need for our Air Force to "get back to basics." How do we get to where we need to be? 

In last week's commentary, I reminded every Airman of the need to master Air Force policies, streamline customer-focused processes and implement them with precision. Ask inspectors and they'll tell you if you follow that prescription, you'll excel at your mission and do well during inspections. 

It is time to get ready. Our headquarters at Air Education and Training Command is sending a logistics standardization and evaluation inspection team here Feb. 23-27 to inspect our wing. While the team's focus will be maintenance, supply and other logistics functions, other areas of the base, including services, contracting, security, finance, information management and communications will be looked at. Think you won't be included? Guess again! Customs and courtesy, facility and base appearance, airfield operations and maintenance and the training pipeline all are susceptible for a thorough look. Every member of Team Keesler needs to be ready for this inspection. 

When this inspection was announced, I heard some folks lament the fact that we "only" have 2½ months to prepare for the inspection. I, on the other hand, am relieved we have that much time to get ready; it could be tomorrow. Remember, no-notice inspections are nothing new. All of us need to be inspection-ready at all times. 

During the coming year you'll see some short-notice or no-notice inspections and staff assistance visits across our wing, as well as in other Air Force wings, to help us identify our strengths and weaknesses. Our objective is to "get back to basics" and be the best at what we do. Are you committed to being the best? Are you inspection-ready? Now's the time to get ready.