Team Maxwell-Gunter prepares for consolidated unit inspection|
Posted 8/9/2013 Updated 8/9/2013
Commentary by Col. Trent Edwards
42nd Air Base Wing commander
8/9/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- Thirty days and a wake-up! That's the number of days left before Team Maxwell-Gunter receives its 2013 Consolidated Unit Inspection, or CUI. The 42nd Air Base Wing has been preparing for the big event for the last 13 months under the philosophy of steady-state mission readiness. Our team has been focused on the day-to-day operations that allow us to deploy combat ready Airmen, create a world-class installation and develop Airmen leaders. Our collaboration with our mission partners at the Air University, the 908th Airlift Wing, Air Force Space Command, Air Force Materiel Command, as well as 40 other mission partners will pay big dividends for the installation. The wing in its capacity as the host installation for Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex is just about ready to roll!
The installation welcomes our new students to Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, the Senior NCO Academy and Squadron Officer School as well as Airmen permanently assigned to the installation. As the installation commander, I would like to reiterate a few points as we conduct final preparations for the inspection.
1. First impressions count. From the time we greet the inspection team, to their first experience at the gate with that security forces member, to their first engagement with any one of our Airmen --active duty, guard, reserve, civilian or contractor -- to their final departure - it all matters. Let's make sure we all do our part to make a positive and professional first impression.
2. Attitude and appearance matter. The inspectors' impressions will be shaped by your attitudes and appearance. We have a great team so let's demonstrate why we believe we are the "Best Hometown in the Air Force." Every Airmen counts and so do customs and courtesies and even the base appearance. Make sure you square yourself away first and then don't hesitate to correct a fellow Airmen who might be out of standards. Let's take P-R-I-D-E (Personal Responsibility in a Disciplined Environment) in our installation. Own your individual responsibility.
3. Understand the big picture. Know your unit vision, mission and priorities. Be able to articulate how your day-to-day actions support your unit mission and the overall installation mission. The 42nd ABW mission is to develop mission-ready Airmen and operate a world-class installation. We accomplish our mission in collaboration with our 44 mission partners. The Air University mission is focused on producing future leaders through Air Force ROTC, Officer Training School, Squadron Officer School, Senior NCO Academy, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College. The 42nd ABW plays a significant role enabling the Air University mission.
4. Relationships matter. Make sure you have a good relationship and recent and ongoing contact with the program managers responsible for managing installation programs such as operational security, government purchase card, and electronic records management, to name a few. The installation program managers should likewise have a good sense of how each organization is complying with approved checklist items and Air Force instructions. If you are a program manager, when was the last time you conducted a unit visit or inspection? Don't be strangers to each other.
5. We're all on the same team. Everyone has a vested interest in seeing Team Maxwell-Gunter perform well on the inspection. There is no room on our team for naysayers and people who try to get ahead by holding others back. Optimism is a force multiplier. Be cognizant of what you are projecting to the inspectors both verbally and non-verbally. Sometimes how you communicate is just as important as what you communicate. We're all American Airmen, committed to serving our nation and our Air Force.
6. Details matter. Be familiar with the details of your checklists and Air Force instructions. When was the last time you reviewed that checklist, and are you using the correct checklist? Does your checklist match the checklist of the program manager? Has the program manager validated that you are using the correct checklist, and how often are you required to run your checklist? Being familiar with your checklist and governing AFIs will demonstrate your personal involvement in your inspectable area.
These next three weeks should be focused on fine tuning our programs, keeping the lines of communications open with each other, documenting program details and deficiencies and having a get-well plan to resolve any deficiencies. The CUI is not a final destination; it's just one milestone along the way toward demonstrating our steady-state mission readiness. I am excited for our team, and I hope you are too. We all have worked very hard over the last 13 months. Let's show the inspectors why we are the "Best Hometown in the Air Force!"