By Steve Brady
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
After months of preparation and planning, the 21st Space Wing Operational Readiness and Unit Compliance Inspections begin on Friday.
For those not familiar with these inspections, a UCI assesses areas mandated by law, as well as mission areas identified by senior leadership as critical or important to the health and performance of a unit. Operation readiness inspections test the wing’s ability to do its mission: Conduct flawless missile warning and space surveillance operations, provide unsurpassed installation support and protection, while developing and deploying Warrior Airmen.
“I know the Knights are well trained and will do an absolutely amazing job,” said Col. Jay Raymond, 21st Space Wing Commander. “I want to reiterate to everyone involved: Do your absolute best; stay focused, maintain your professionalism; and use your resources.”
During the inspection, the wing will be inspected in numerous ways – from functional process and product management, to checklists discipline, to emergency response. Even the 21st Space Wing Inspector General’s office will be inspected – they will oversee and evaluate an emergency management exercise, and will in turn be inspected by the AFSPC IG team on how well they evaluate the wing.
“Our people do a tremendous job, day in and day out,” Colonel Raymond said. “This is the opportunity to show the inspectors just how great the wing is and the crisp work we do every day.”
The Wing IG has been extremely busy preparing for these intense inspections.
“Our goal is to show the AFSPC IG team how well we know our jobs, how professional we are, and how enthusiastic we are about taking care of our people while our fulfilling critical mission” said Lt. Col. Robert Widmann, 21st Space Wing inspector general. “We need to show the IG team that we are one team, working to ensure we meet the wing mission of conducting flawless missile warning and space control operations, provide unsurpassed installation support and protection, while developing and deploying Warrior Airmen to defend America and her allies.”
The wing will be graded on its ability to deploy forces in response to tasking, the ability of our operational crews to respond to evaluation scenarios, and our ability to support and sustain our forces, he said.
Now that the preparations are complete, the schedule for the exercise will keep the Wing busy for nearly a month.
“The IG began the inspection at Clear Air Base on Wednesday, and we will conduct our formal in-brief on March 20, followed by a briefing from the AFSPC IG to the Wing,” said LJ Van Belkum, 21st Space Wing deputy inspector general. “After that, the inspectors will evaluate the Wing in its entirety, including our Geographically Separated Units. The inspection is scheduled to conclude on April 20, so from March 18 to April 20, expect to show AFSPC IG inspectors a crisp, professional organization with excellent dedication to duty and outstanding performance.”
As a final push, the Wing IG has some tips to the member of the 21st Space Wing.
Look professional — haircuts, shoes, uniforms, work areas, and customs and courtesies make an impression
Treat IG inspectors with respect. Follow all the rules for access to your areas, no matter who the inspector is or what rank or position the inspector holds.
When you see an inspector, ask him or her if you can offer assistance, and escort the inspector to the desired location. Turn the inspector over to another 21st SW member.
Use your references! Carry your OPSEC CIL with you and refer to it. Carry your 21st SW Readiness Guide with you and refer to it.
Respond to every input enthusiastically and accurately.
You are “America’s Space Superiority Wing — Globally postured to ensure space dominance.”
Show your pride in what you do each and every day.
Although inspections are never easy, the wing’s senior leaders are confident Peterson will meet and exceed inspection standards, while continuing to fulfill to meet its mission requirements.
“The 21st has a vital mission to the safety and security of the U.S.” Colonel Raymond said, “I am very proud of each and every member of the 21st Space Wing for all their hard work and dedication to the mission.”