Flying Tigers ready for ORI relook

  • Published
  • By Col. Gary Henderson
  • 23rd Wing commander
Last week, the Flying Tigers completed the "dress rehearsal" for the upcoming Air Combat Command Inspector General Phase I Operational Readiness Inspection.

Under the watchful eye of several guest inspectors from other bases, our wing team came together to demonstrate its ability to mobilize our people, aircraft and equipment for rapid movement to potential hotspots across the globe.

I know we are ready to show the IG we can meet the stringent standards of the inspection team and then some. There was a lot of fantastic effort during the exercise last week, despite some tough weather conditions early on.

We started off right by having 12 A-10C Thunderbolt IIs ready for the evaluators to inspect early in the exercise. The 23rd Maintenance Group and 23rd Fighter Group worked together over the weekend to get these "hawgs" ready to go and we had 12 of the required 24 ready in the first 10 hours. By the end of the generation, our maintainers delivered 23 of 24 primary aircraft, plus 3 "spares," which would equate to an "excellent" rating in an inspection.

During the last few months, we have also greatly improved our cargo packing, processing and documentation. These were areas that needed work from previous exercises, and a dedicated effort to educate and train our cargo specialists and unit workers brought us big dividends last week. Visiting evaluators noted our cargo as some of the "cleanest" they had seen in a long time.

I salute the efforts of those logistics warriors in the Deployment Control Center, at the cargo yard and also in each unit who have taken the time to identify and correct problems as a team, and then make sure we don't repeat them later.

Our entire base has shared the burden of the fast-paced inspection preparation over the last nine months. Active duty, reservists, dependents, civilian workers, retirees and the local community showed great patience with reduced services and occasional delays so that we could maintain our combat mission focus. I appreciate the sacrifice and ask for your continued patience while we sprint toward the finish line during the week of March 8.

I am very proud of your teamwork to ensure we got things right over the last months. We have come a long, long way and next week is our opportunity to show everyone that the Flying Tigers are ready to deliver game-changing airpower anywhere in the world on short notice.

You are all ready for this test and eager to show the IG team how well-prepared we are and I see this everywhere I go. I am confident that we will succeed in delivering the required people, parts and aircraft in a superior manner. I look forward to seeing you in action next week demonstrating what I've said the Flying Tigers mean to me- being out front and punching above our weight.