919th undergoes unit effectiveness inspection
By Senior Airman Dylan Gentile
Airmen across the 919th Special Operations Wing may have seen badge-clad inspectors roaming their squadrons and interviewing their wingmen as the wing underwent a Unit Effectiveness Inspection this past drill weekend.
“With a unit as highly-tasked as the 919th SOW, there’s a good chance that something could be dropped or missed,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Schultz, Air Force Reserve Command Inspector General. “When leadership and troops run as hard as they do here, it’s critical to us to make sure any blind spots are covered.”
Schultz and his team of inspectors arrived Aug. 4 ahead of the drill weekend to set up shop and prepare for their roles in assessing the Reserve’s only special operations wing. The team conducts the UEI on each unit in the command every four years. They evaluate the wing in the four major graded areas of executing the mission, leading people, managing resources and improving the unit.
“These unit inspections ensure that commanders are managing their responsibilities properly and Airmen are doing the jobs they’re tasked with,” said Lt. Col. Christa Machado, 919th SOW Inspector General inspections director. “We do these to detect and prevent any problems that could put our mission or people at risk.”
Wing-level IG teams ensure required procedures are followed to maintain the safety and readiness of the unit regardless of whether an inspection is underway. They work with major command-level IGs to maintain the mission function of the force.
Inspectors from AFRC with specializations in respective career fields, in conjunction with the IG team, worked with agencies and squadrons across base as subject matter experts.
“Our team is small but very high-functioning,” said Schultz. “We expect very high performance out of all our inspectors.”
While the teams can help the wing ensure its units are ready and operating during a UEI, leadership throughout the organization self-reports any deficiencies or roadblocks through an online system called Mission Internal Control Toolset, which allows the IG team to continually inspect wing missions throughout the year. The primary purpose of the UEI is to find undetected noncompliance, or unreported deficiencies.
“So long as organizations do their jobs and do it well, they have nothing to worry about during inspections,” said Machado. “The inspection is basically just somebody coming in and verifying that we’re doing the right thing.”
The inspectors are here to help the wing stay on track, not just write reports, said Machado. There are two phases of the UEI, the black hat and white hat phase. The black hat phase is when inspectors search for undetected noncompliance. The white hat phase is when they attempt to educate on or provide solutions for the discrepancies.
The white hat phase is when we work to optimize mission processes to prepare the Air Force for the conflicts of the future, said Schultz.
“Leadership at AFRC has a new theme and tempo of being ready now, not just normal readiness,” said Schultz. “Part of my job is ensuring that all units carry and understand this intent.”
As Air Force Special Operations Command and the 919th SOW undergo changes to stay relevant and capable in the future fight, Schultz and his team want to remind Citizen Air Commandos that they’re here to help during the transition to new and future requirements.
“I know there are some mission changes going on in the wing, the Air Force is constantly going through changes to figure out where we need to be for the next conflict,” said Schultz. “I need Airmen to understand that we value them and want them to stick with us as we adapt.”
While the wing continues to ensure the mission and personnel remain compliant and ready in the face of these changes, inspectors remind the 919th SOW and its counterparts across the force to stay diligent and prepared.