Teamwork, training: Key elements for ORI success

  • Published
  • By Col. Gary Henderson
  • 23 Wing commander
During the week of Sept. 21-25, the Air Combat Command Inspector General team came to Moody to evaluate the ability of the 23rd Wing to mobilize our people, aircraft and equipment for rapid movement to a potential hotspot across the globe. 

The wing has been busy preparing for this inspection for a number of months, but did not perform in the way we wanted or to the stringent standards of the inspection team. 

Since this was the first Phase I Operational Readiness Inspection Moody has participated in since realigning back under ACC in 2006, many Airmen had never seen an inspection of this magnitude before last week. 

The inspection was tough, but I believe it was also fair. The inspectors took a close look at all of our processes and identified several areas for improvement. To correct these areas, we will identify where we need additional training and focus. Overall, better attention to detail in everything we do will go a long way toward fixing those identified areas. 

As far as the way ahead, we will have another opportunity to show the ACC IG team how we can truly perform; most likely in January 2010. Our team of experts traveled to Langley Air Force Base, Va., to meet with the inspectors to work out the details of this "relook" on Sept. 29. They will seek answers to all of our questions on the expected tasks for January. 

To ensure we are fully prepared to impress the ACC IG team, we will continue to work on honing our performance with targeted training on specific skills, as well as Operational Readiness Exercises during the months of October, November and December. 

Two of these exercises were already planned to begin our preparation for the Phase II ORI next year, but these will now concentrate on Phase I skills. The Phase II inspection will be postponed to a date to be determined in the near future. 

There was a lot of fantastic effort during the inspection and I don't want that to get "lost in the shuffle" of the overall rating. We identified individuals and teams before the inspection that were outstanding performers and the IG team identified even more while they were here. We have a strong wing with great Airmen (military, civilian and contractors) who shine every day. 

Brig. Gen. Mark Barrett, ACC inspector general, said all the Airmen he saw had good morale and spirit, were friendly and respectful, and that leadership was engaged. I agree wholeheartedly with his points. We may not, however, have been focused on all the appropriate areas, but we will fix that immediately. 

During the last few months, we really improved in passenger processing, computer equipment accountability and battle staff command and control, which all received "Excellent" ratings by the inspectors. These were areas that needed work from previous exercises, so it shows we can identify and correct problems as a team. 

We will work as a team to get this right and move forward. This is an opportunity for us to take a close look at important areas that don't always have the "priority" in our workdays. Believe me, now they do! 

I am confident that with the right teamwork and focus, we will show the ACC IG team how we can deliver the "Outstanding" combat airpower the Flying Tigers are famous for providing throughout history.