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NEWS | Nov. 13, 2015

They're coming!

By Lt. Col. Roosevelt Loveless, Jr. 628th ABW/IG

"Here come the men in black."  Do you remember that song or the movie featuring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones?  In the movie, MiB agents wore black suits and black sunglasses as part of their work attire.  They also had that "flashy thingy" that erased memory.  Well, the good news is those men in black suits are not coming.  However, the ones with black hats are coming!  In approximately five months, Air Force inspectors, often referred to as "Black Hats," from the AMC Inspector General's office will be visiting Joint Base Charleston to conduct a Capstone inspection of each wing.  While not literally wearing black hats and sunglasses, they will come to validate and verify each wing's Commander's Inspection Program as part of the Air Force Inspection system (AFIS).  The question is, "Are we ready?" 

Before you answer that question, let me provide you a couple of guiding principles as they relate to the AFIS:  1) everyone should know their job, do their job and, when they can't, report it up the chain of command; and 2) "mission ready is inspection ready."  Sure there is more to AFIS than these two principles but I wanted to highlight these two because they give you a solid foundation as you operate under this new inspection construct.

First, principle #1 conveys that under AFIS, every member of Joint Base Charleston is a sensor for how we are doing in compliance.  You should be continually assessing yourself and your environment for non-compliance. Additionally, you must feel comfortable reporting any deficiency to your leadership.  There are a number of tools to report non-compliance, the self-assessment communicators in MICT are one. However, the key is to elevate instances of non-compliance. This allows leadership at the appropriate level to understand the associated risks and make a risk-based decision to best handle the situation. 

Secondly, principle #2 underscores the fact that we no longer "build up" to unit inspections by the MAJCOM.  AFIS was designed so commanders could focus on being mission ready instead of prepping for an inspection.  If you hear someone saying that we are building up or preparing for the AMC inspection in April, please kindly and professionally remind them of the purpose of AFIS.  The truth is the more we focus on doing our mission, the more we will be ready for any inspection.  Just as with any good inspections though, the IG team may find deficiencies; but it's all designed to help us improve our ability to accomplish the mission. 

So now you know...they are coming!  Black Hats are coming!  Don't sweat it though; just focus on your job and taking care of the mission.  It will have been over two years since the Black Hats were last in Charleston.  When the April 2016 Unit Effectiveness Inspection concludes, the results will still be the same, "Joint Base Charleston is always ready!"