Recommitting to high standards

  • Published
  • By Col. Allen J. Jamerson
  • 72nd Air Base Wing and Tinker Installation Commander
Shortly after accepting the responsibility of leading America's Air Force, Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley issued a Letter to Airmen calling for each of us to recommit to our own high Air Force standards.

Among other actions, the secretary challenged us to:

· Ensure that our core values of Integrity First, Service before Self and Excellence in All We Do underpin every action, by every Airman, at all times 
· Commit to individual and organizational accountability 
· Critically examine our internal processes, restore discipline, identify weaknesses and aggressively solve problems 
· Do our mission for the nation, and do it well

Starting this month, Air Force Materiel Command began using a new tool to help us measure how well we are meeting these challenges: the no-notice inspection.

Under the new guidelines, command inspectors can give us up to 14 days notice or zero warning. The IG team can perform targeted compliance inspections, targeted readiness inspections, nuclear surety inspections, logistics standardization evaluation team inspections or a combination of them. Full-up operational readiness inspections, unit compliance inspections and nuclear surety inspections, although less likely, are also possible.

While some of us can remember the no-notice inspections in operational commands like the former Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command, most of us have grown accustomed to inspections being announced well in advance. Instead of getting ready for inspections, we now must stay ready all the time.

Central to our success are aggressive unit self-inspection programs. Commanders and supervisors must ensure we have the right people directing our self-inspection efforts and that we give them our full support. Across the installation, we must take hard looks at our processes, identify failure points and work diligently to ensure all of our programs are at least meeting, and preferably exceeding standards.

During my seven months as installation commander, I have continuously been impressed with the precision and reliability shown throughout all of the Tinker mission partners. I am confident that any inspector arriving, be it next week or next month, will find us doing our mission for the nation and doing it well.

Our challenge is to make sure we are ready every day to prove it.