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Air Mobility Command will kick off its new inspection system, based off the model piloted in Europe last year, and it will mean changes for airmen working on airlifters and tankers.
The new system, called the Unit Effectiveness Inspection, will start under AMC in September with the 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Under the new system, the Air Force puts much of the oversight into the hands of wing commanders, who will continually evaluate compliance and file a report to a database. Inspections conducted by small teams from the Inspector General’s office will still occur every two years, but inspectors will spend less time on site.
“The new inspection system aims to foster continuous performance improvement and to give commanders the flexibility to be as effective and efficient as possible,” Air Mobility Command spokeswoman Lt. Col. Kathryn Barnsley said.
Several AMC units canceled operational readiness inspections scheduled for spring and early summer to prepare for the change.
Under the system, as tested in U.S. Air Forces Europe, a wing commander continually evaluates compliance and conducts his own inspections with the help of experts, then reporting to the major command inspector general. There will be a “capstone” visit every two years. Part of the inspection will be virtual, with commanders using a database called the management internal control tool set to keep track of compliance.
Airmen can still face a no-notice inspection. But the good news is that airmen will spend less time preparing for a full operational readiness inspection, which in some cases can take up to 100 days.
The new system will standardize inspections for total force integration, with the first active duty/associate wing facing its Unit Effectiveness Inspection at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., in December.
While sequestration hasn’t had the same impact in Air Mobility Command as it did in Air Combat Command, where inspectors are limiting their travel and shortening their inspections, AMC is working to identify compliance and risk areas to tailor its inspections.
“Wings were reviewed from a risk analysis basis to determine the overall compliance and readiness risk,” Barnsley said. “Through detailed command-wide data analysis, inspection risk was identified and inspected to mitigate risk while ensuring compliance and readiness.”
Another change in the new system is that each airman will take a confidential survey about wing leadership and how leaders manage resources, and be able to grade leaders on how considerate they are of airmen’s time, Air Force Director of Inspections Lt. Col. Robert Hyde said when USAFE began its program.