Confidence in Our Team’s Performance

  • Published
  • By Maj Gen Tom Owen, Commander, WR-ALC
  • WR-ALC
The fantastic team here at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center just finished a challenging Operational Readiness Exercise that involved almost everyone across the Air Logistics Center. We exercised our ability to respond to Emergency Management scenarios, deploy, provide Wartime Materiel Support, and conduct operations while deployed. After observing many aspects of the exercise first-hand, I'm confident we can do very well for the Air Force Materiel Command Inspector General in the Operational Readiness Inspection in April.

My confidence is high because you performed the hardest parts of the exercise very well. The core function of what we do for a living is solid--that's the tough part. We also did a great job at the "pre-deployment fair" in catching discrepancies that would have been write-ups in the actual deployment line.

Dr. Steve Butler and I were justifiably proud of what we saw when we observed the 78th Air Base Wing deployment machine go about its business during Phase I. The challenging Wartime Materiel Support scenarios were quickly taken to conclusion and were as professional as I've seen. Our emergency responders reacted to an exercise terrorist simulation with razor-sharp professionalism.

However, these successes are not enough because we didn't ace this last test when we easily could have. An ORI is a unique, all-encompassing, tough inspection that needs each and every one of us to pay close attention to our role on this team. For example, some individuals maintained discrepancies in the actual deployment line which had been identified in the pre-deployment fair we ran two days earlier. When we make it easy and give an individual a specific action to take, we really expect them to pitch in and help.

Let me pull this together. The flawless execution of a Wartime Materiel Support scenario for the inspector general (one of the many tough parts involving complex coordination among several organizations) has little value if the IG finds complete "For Official Use Only" documentation in a recycling bin in a hallway.

We know what the IG will say about our team in their report if we successfully confront and detain one "inspector" posing as a terrorist, but others ignore procedures designed to protect the base from further attacks when Force Protection Condition Delta was exercised.

The fact is that we are all members of this team, and we will not succeed if others (incorrectly) decide what they do is not important and don't properly execute their duties.

At this point, I challenge you to take personal ownership for every part of the preparation that you touch. Every commander, director, supervisor and employee needs to personally recognize that they have both a professional responsibility and a personal responsibility to prepare for our ORI in April. Feb. 11 is the kickoff date for our next major ORE.

With April just around the corner, this exercise should be closer to a final dress-rehearsal than a routine practice. I need everyone to join in the effort to ensure complete success on the "easy" parts of preparing for and executing the inspection. This includes not allowing unknown individuals to freely operate in your work area without challenging them, getting involved and personally taking checklist actions to implement the appropriate Force Protection measures, and making sure you properly dispose of any documents with personal or FOUO information.

Preparation for an exercise has three distinct aspects. First and foremost is the real capability to perform the mission. We know our business! You know that, I know that, and with our record-setting production and materiel support, those who depend on us know it.

Second, you need to understand inspectors are human beings presenting a simulated problem and they expect certain responses in a certain fashion. We have been practicing our inspection performance and have made improvements, but I think this area is perhaps where we are the weakest right now and needs more focus and attention to detail by all involved.

Finally, with the right emphasis on preparation, we will develop confidence in our ability to perform both our real mission and solve those problems presented by the inspection team.

With a focused preparation, I believe we will all take pride both as a team and as individuals when we demonstrate our skills to the headquarters AFMC inspection team from April 12-21.