IG initiates new inspection system
KADENA AIR BASE, JAPAN -- This summer, the Air Force implemented the new Air Force Inspection System, or AFIS, which allows wings and installations to take a more active role in compliance and combat readiness.
Since Air Force chief of staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III implemented Program Action Directive 13-01 June 17, commanders can now focus on mission readiness rather than inspection readiness while providing data to the entire chain of command.
"The overall purpose of the new system is for the chief of staff of the Air Force and the major command commanders to have a day-to-day photo snapshot of the wing's readiness instead of waiting every 36 months like we're doing now," said Gillous Mays, director of complaints resolution for the 18th Wing office of Inspector General.
This means that instead of spending a year to 18 months preparing for an inspection, wings will be ready for an inspection at any moment through the Commander's Inspection Program, also known as CCIP, to maintain constant compliance.
The CCIP will consist of two main components -- inspections conducted by the wing IG with support from subject-matter experts, and self-assessment checklists.
Under the program, wing commanders will hold group and squadron commanders accountable for their processes and items they need to accomplish to ensure the wing is ready to go to war at any moment by conducting no-notice inspections by the wing IG, Mays explained.
Once the reports and data have been collected, the information is entered into an electronic system that can be viewed prior to an official wing inspection by higher headquarters.
"They're going to do a virtual check, see what areas they think we may not be quite ready in," Mays said. "So instead of coming through with a 400-person team, they're going to come in now with 15 or 20 people; that's it."
Under AFIS, these new headquarters inspections will now be known as unit effectiveness inspections, or UIEs, which are meant for MAJCOM commanders to verify the wing commander's CCIP and offer an independent assessment of the unit's efficiency, discipline and readiness.
With the focused smaller inspection teams the UIEs will combine and replace all other inspections, so everything will be done at all once, Mays elaborated. This is supposed to reduce the amount of inspections a base receives and will be conducted on a 24- to 30-month inspection cycle.
Mays said because full implementation of the new AFIS is slated for October 2014, Kadena will see a gradual transition to the new Air Force Inspection System.
"Airmen can expect to see different types of (local operational readiness exercises) focused on different events," he added. "They also should expect to see the installation IG come to their office or their squadron at any time to inspect a process, that's the big difference."
Col. David Vanderveer, Pacific Air Forces inspector general, said though the new system may take time for Airmen to get accustomed, it will improve the overall mission capabilities of the Air Force.
"Change is not always easily accepted," Vanderveer said. "However, this new inspection system will benefit each and every one of us and puts responsibility for improving combat capability, compliance and readiness back in our hands at the wing level."