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23 IGI leads the way, ensures mission readiness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Briana Beavers
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

At Moody Air Force Base, it's common to see security forces or base defense group Airmen defending the installation. It’s also expected to see A-10C Thunderbolt II or HH-60W Jolly Green II aircrews constantly flying and preparing for missions downrange. But one might wonder who inspects the various units around the base for efficiency and ensures they are mission ready?

For the members assigned to the 23rd Wing Inspector General’s Inspections and Exercises section, IGI, finding and eliminating potential threats to readiness for military members and units is a part of everyday life.

The 23rd Wing IGI upholds the standard of excellence within their section and throughout the base by continuously improving the Air Force Inspection System and creating an ever-shrinking difference between mission readiness and inspection readiness.

“Our job as IG is to ensure that our units are following the guidelines that are set forth by Air Combat Command from the Air Force itself,” said Master Sgt. Jeremiah Jaber, 23rd Wing IG inspections non-commissioned officer in charge. “From a unit’s perspective, there are blinders that prevent an organization from having a clear view of themselves. Our job as IG is to make sure those blinders are taken off so we can see all aspects, both good and bad.”

The office, whose main mission is to strengthen commanders’ effectiveness and efficiency, promote military discipline, and improve unit performance, is often misunderstood.

IG personnel are not put in place to exploit individuals by placing them under a microscope. Rather, they work objectively to positively affect change.

“The IG team is here to help you,” said Master Sgt. Crayton Felder, 23rd Wing IGI inspections superintendent. “We’re not here to hurt you or find things to write you up about. Our intent is to give you the things that you need to be successful on your day to day.”

The IGI office works on a Unit Effectiveness Inspection, UEI, cycle that consists of two years. During this past cycle, over 20 inspections and exercises were planned and completed.

As of October 2022, the 23rd wing was considered Lead Wing ready which required IGI to combine both mandated and Lead Wing exercises.

“Agile Flag 2022 wasn’t (an exercise) that we would normally participate in, but because we were developing as a Lead Wing, we had to shift our focus,” Felder said.

Due to this shift, there will be an increase of inspections this year.

“ACC set a standard for all the Lead Wings to complete UEIs during the Prepare phase of the cycle,” said Lt. Col. Gerald Ferdinand, 23rd Wing Inspector General. “In order to meet that requirement, ACC granted the 23rd Wing a 12-month delay in the UEI because we were accomplishing so much as a developing Lead Wing … It’s going to result in more exercises and inspections in 2023.”

In an effort to provide applicable exercises and inspections for Airmen, contractors, and civilian personnel, the 23rd Wing IG office takes great pride in creating a schedule that works for various squadrons. 

“We plan out our (inspections and exercises) about a year in advance,” said Senior Master Sgt. Toya Stone-Little, 23rd Wing IG superintendent. “We put that calendar out at the beginning of the fiscal year, so it allows for the units to plan for them.”

By conducting inspections and exercises, IGI ensures readiness for Airmen at every level. However, the effort isn’t possible without the involvement of military and civilian personnel who identify with them.

“We rely heavily on subject matter experts in every career field to help us identify shortfalls that we don’t have the expertise for,” said Jaber. “Overall, the entire wing executes inspection processes, so it’s a team effort to maintain readiness.”