PACAF IG assesses Misawa readiness
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Pacific Air Force's Inspector General Team evaluated the 35th Fighter Wing Commander's Inspection Program under the new Air Force Inspection System Oct. 27 through Nov. 2.
Under the CCIP, commanders can shape exercises to identify problem areas within their specific mission sets. These exercises not only help prepare for inspections, but ultimately help units execute the mission more effectively.
During the inspection, the IG team evaluated squadrons' compliance to standards and conducted interviews with Airmen and families. The IG team was composed of both senior enlisted Airmen and officers from bases within PACAF who travel throughout the command, verifying that bases are effectively and efficiently carrying out their specific mission.
"PACAF IG frequently visits Misawa to make sure we're operating properly," said Maj. Michael Driscoll, 35th Fighter Wing inspector general. "Two site visits occur within a two-year period during which they evaluate our readiness and check mission capabilities."
Bases are evaluated both virtually and in person. The focus is on four major graded areas: managing resources, leading people, improving the unit and mission execution with an overall grade of outstanding, highly effective, effective, marginally effective or non-effective based on the team's findings.
"They took the cuffs off regarding the frequency of exercises and let the wing commander determine what deserves priority," said Driscoll. "The big thing is practicing as real as we can by posturing for an actual wartime event and integrating Misawa with other bases."
In years past, evaluations occurred during an operational readiness inspection, and the entire base was examined with a fine tooth comb for deficiencies and non-compliance. The new evaluation process allows the 35 FW the flexibility to conduct exercises and inspections as they see fit, through the CCIP.
"A unit's commander should know where the shortfalls and capability gaps are, so the CCIP stresses those areas to determine how wide the capability gap or broken the process," said Col. Brent Vosseller, the PACAF IG. "Identifying areas of concern is encouraged so they can be corrected because wing readiness and capability is now the cornerstone of the AFIS."
As part of this new method, the base was not notified of the specific inspection areas, which allowed the inspectors to view operations in a more natural state.
The IG team also interviewed Misawa Airmen and dependents on topics including unit performance, quality of life issues and their views on the wing's ability to generate aircraft in an expedient manner to support wartime efforts.
"The one-on-one interviews are also new, they're getting input from spouses," Driscoll said. "We want to include their responses in improvements moving forward."
After the week-long inspection is complete, PACAF will review how well Misawa complied with standards over the past two years and determine where the base needs improvement.
"We'll find processes and solutions for any existing problems around base and work toward improving immediately," said Driscoll. "Misawa already completes its mission to the best of its ability and the inspectors are here to help us pinpoint strengths and areas for improvement."