Mission Readiness: Operational Readiness Inspection set for early '11

  • Published
  • By Col. S.L. Davis
  • 341st Missile Wing vice commander
By now, you have probably heard the Air Force Global Strike Command Inspector General will conduct an Operational Readiness Inspection of our wing in late January of next year. That inspection will be followed very shortly by a 20th Air Force Combat Capability Evaluation in March.

For those who don't know, an ORI is the MAJCOM IG's evaluation of our "fight in place" mission -- the things we do on a daily basis -- and our preparation and ability to deploy forces to another location. The CCE is the Numbered Air Force's assessment of our technical proficiency, standardization/evaluation and training processes in certain mission critical areas.

Normally the phrases "IG" and "inspection prep" conjure up images of late-night checklist reviews, early morning status briefings and 11th-hour scrambling to get ready for the inspection. Thankfully, if we do our mission right each day of the year, inspection prep will be much easier. How do we know we are doing things right? We know through the use of our Mission Readiness Assurance Program, which provides continuous, critical assessments for every major program in the wing.

MRAP is a locally developed feedback loop comprised of all commanders, Chief Master Sgts., key senior NCOs and key staff members. MRAP consists of various tools, including exercises, self inspection programs, base strike teams and field strike teams, and staff assistance visits.

There is nothing complex about mission readiness. Simply put, it's being ready to properly execute your mission at any given time, and these tools help us understand our proficiency and readiness.

The Wing Plans Office (XP) serves as the hub of our MRAP efforts. XP coordinates the flow of information between senior leaders, self inspection program monitors, functional managers and key staff. They also collect and disseminate all inspection reports and cross-feeds from other bases so we can learn from other wings' best practices and deficiencies.

We also have a robust exercise evaluation team that is responsible for developing local exercises to help us evaluate and disseminate our readiness. Exercises might be painful and inconvenient at times, but they are a critically important tool to help prepare for any scenario. If we are successful during these exercises, then we will be better prepared for real world events, exercises and inspections. In the next four months, we will conduct five wing-wide exercises along with four limited-scope, limited impact exercises that focus on individual work centers.

Another way we know we are doing things right is our Self Inspection Program. Each organization has a number of checklists that they are required to run. When done properly, these checklists are designed to ensure success -- but only if we use the most current checklists and only if all personnel accurately, thoroughly and honestly answer the questions on the checklists. We have to be willing to critically assess ourselves to expose potential problems.

The bottom line is if you're not really looking, then you'll never find a problem.

With MRAP, exercises and self inspections, we can be sure we are always ready -- and therefore mission ready. Inspections shouldn't scare us; they are just another opportunity to carefully examine the wing's capability.

In the end, we expect that the wing's professionalism, dedication and diligence will enable us to provide a command-wide benchmark for mission readiness and capability.

The bottom line is this: We are Wing One, always ready -- and we will be able to prove it.