Inspection ready?

  • Published
  • By Deborah Miller
  • 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group
We have all heard the talk lately about being "Inspection Ready". But, what exactly does this mean? Depending on who you ask, you may hear several different answers. One person might say that it means cleaning up your work area, another person might say that it means following the tech data, while a third might say that it means having all of your paperwork documented correctly.

The only problem with this is that most people talk about it as though it is something that they need to do, not something that they already do. The idea of a no-notice inspection was to prevent us from spending millions of dollars and untold man hours to prepare for something that we should already be able to pass without changing our processes, procedures, or work habits. What can we do to ensure that we are up to the challenge?

There is a way that we can ensure a passing grade on a no-notice inspection. We can do it in three easy steps. If we use the Air Force core values to guide us, we will always be inspection ready. Here's how it works:

Integrity First -- If the work you are doing is not accomplished per the applicable tech data and you are not even sure you want to certify it; how can you expect someone else to put their life on the line by using the part you just built? If we remember that there is a person on the other end of what we do, it will help us to understand the need for integrity in our work. Just remember that your spouse or child or friend or co-worker may be out there feeling secure in the knowledge that people like you are working on aircraft, engines and components that they need to stay safe. Do you want to be the person who lets them down? Remember, if you are always doing the job right, it will not matter if someone looks over your shoulder.

Service Before Self -- Follow the rules, all the rules, not just the ones you think are good. If you believe that a rule needs to be changed, there are procedures in place for suggesting those changes. Demonstrate your integrity by teaching others that discipline and self control are just as important as putting a component together. You may not be aware of the need for a particular rule but must understand that they should be followed. Respect your co-workers, your leaders, your subordinates, your customers. They each have value just as you do and their needs may sometimes take priority over yours. Remember that when your need is great, they will have that same respect for you. Do not get discouraged. If you need help, ask for it. Be a good wingman as you go about your work and help others to be prepared.

Excellence in All We Do -- This may seem like the hardest value to sustain. Can we truly be excellent in all we do? We can. By focusing on maintaining the highest standards in our work, continuous improvement in our processes, developing ourselves personally and professionally, and by showing each other respect and courtesy, we can work together to always be - inspection ready.