Tinker AFB is prepared for 2009 ORI

  • Published
  • By Col. Allen Jamerson
  • 72nd Air Base Wing and Installation Commander
The Operational Readiness Inspection begins Monday and Tinker is prepared. How do I know this? I have seen it firsthand.

Over the past year, I have witnessed how we perform in crisis situations, both real-world and exercise. I have seen us deploy Airmen and Sailors across the globe as well as "down the street" to the Glenwood training area. It does not matter where we deploy, only that we are fully capable and once we get where we are going, we get the job done!

We know what we are capable of, and during the ORI we are going to show the multi-command Inspector General team exactly that. We know our jobs, we know our responsibilities, we have the will to win, positive attitudes and a sense of urgency.

The biggest obstacle to any exercise or inspection is complacency. Our brains know that the inspectors are "putting us through our paces," and the situations and "drop cards" they present are not actually happening, but to gain the grade we deserve, it is vital we perform like there is nothing more important. Do whatever is asked of you, within safety and security guidelines. In fact, what I really encourage you to do is pretend the IG is not even there. Approach each exercise situation at hand as if a real crisis hit, like when 9/11 struck our nation or when the July 2009 storm did major damage to our base or when presidential requirements drove us to get people and aircraft off the ground in a hurry. In each one of those situations, Tinker personnel rose to the challenge with an immediate response, keeping the base running on all cylinders and getting required resources to the fight while preparing for future taskings.

As proud Airmen, we know our jobs better than anyone else, so we may not always appreciate the "constructive criticism" of our performance. Do not let that pride blind you to a deficiency. If an inspector finds a discrepancy with your performance or process, do not argue or take it personal. Look at it as an opportunity to improve what we do, so that when the time comes to do it for real, nothing will slow us down. Simply take note of what the inspectors say and elevate it to your chain of command. Our ability and willingness to address the problem quickly speaks as much to our pride and professionalism as our duty performance does.

Like Gen. Colin Powell said, the secret to success is hard work and preparation. We welcome our inspectors with open arms and are proud to show them that Tinker is mission-ready and our nation can count on us!