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Inspection changes on fast track

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Inspector General of Air Force Space Command, Col. John Stocker, visited the 45th Space Wing last week to discuss plans for better, more effective inspections.

In light of recent incidents around the Air Force, Colonel Stocker said that he is "looking to Patrick Air Force Base to give the very best to improve the inspection process."

While traditional Operational Readiness and Unit Compliance Inspections will still have 60-90 day warnings, the biggest change to the program will be the addition of No Notice Focused Inspections across Air Force Space Command. Planned to start in the near future, unit members will find they're in one of these 1-2 day inspections only when the inspection team knocks on the command post door.

When in the past, units knew an inspection was imminent, members would spend time "polishing programs" to ensure passing according to Colonel Stocker. With no-notice inspections, he said more attention can be given to normal day-to-day operations. Further, the colonel wants input to come from a wider variety of unit members. "We want to hear from folks fresh out of training as well as those who've been in the field for years," he said.

The 45th Space Wing IG agreed. "Colonel Stocker urged senior leaders to identify trends and critical processes they'd like to see inspected," said Lt. Col. Nick Seaward, adding that this is an opportunity for units to identify to higher headquarters areas that require more attention, whether that be additional manning, funding, etc.

"For instance," he asks, "what is the impact of additional duties on the ability of our folks to execute their primary mission? In this new era of transparency, the role of the commander's Self-Inspection Program be-comes even more important in the identification, tracking and resolution of trends."

Some of the trends the wing needed to address were identified at the meeting, including improvement of records management, deployment readiness, and the enlargement of the inspector general's office here.

To Lieutenant Colonel Seaward, the changes mean a recommitment to the Air Force core values of integrity first, service be-fore self, and excellence in all we do.

"I think this represents an emphasis on accountability for us as Air Force members down to the lowest level in our units to comply with Air Force and Department of Defense instructions," he said.

"I'm confident this compliance is happening and upcoming Air Force Space Command IG no-notice inspections will give us the opportunity to demonstrate this," he said.