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Mission Readiness is Inspection Readiness

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. --  

While the Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 514th Air Mobility Wing were carrying out their duties and obligations during the recent January unit training assembly, the Freedom Wing’s inspector general office has been busy working behind the scenes in preparation for the February UTA.

The Airmen working in the wing IG office act as the commander’s eyes and ears and conduct periodic inspections on wing units and various wing programs, reporting what they learn back to unit leadership to address as they see fit.

“It is our responsibility to inform the commander of the status of his wing,” said Lt. Col. Gwendolyn Soden, the 514 AMW IG chief. “That includes its ability to meet the mission, its ability to be compliant with laws and regulations, and the overall well-being of his airmen.”

They also schedule and coordinate wing exercises of all kinds, such as readiness, deployment, active shooter, and public health exercises.

In addition to these responsibilities, the Airmen of the 514 AMW IG office have been preparing for a unit effectiveness inspection that will take place during the February UTA.

“The UEI happens approximately every 3 years,” said Soden. “Air Force Reserve Command-level inspectors will visit our wing to validate and verify our programs. The inspection is less of ‘snapshot in time’ and more of a ‘portfolio’ review of our work over the past three years.”

The UEI evaluates the wing commander’s inspection program for accuracy, adequacy, and relevance. It determines if the wing commander performs self-assessments to identify non-compliance in their squadrons and if the wing IG catches deficiencies the squadrons may have missed.

“We are primed to showcase our benchmark programs, genius solutions, and stellar Airmen,” said Soden. “The UEI is a time to offer valuable feedback to these visiting experts and share what is working and what isn’t working in your office/function/program. It’s such a fantastic opportunity to shape the future of the Air Force Reserve.”

Not every office, function, or program in the wing will be inspected during the Feb. UEI.  The Air Force Reserve Command inspectors have chosen specific areas to evaluate in the short amount of time that they are at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. 

The 514 AMW IG will spend the next few weeks printing base maps, updating wing phone rosters, and preparing rental cars for transportation. They are also available to counsel and support any sections that have concerns or questions about the UEI.

“We have a saying in the IG - Mission readiness is Inspection Readiness,” said Soden. “Which is to say, there is nothing for us in the IG or the rest of the wing to “prepare” for the UEI—our consistent work speaks for itself.”

In the past three years, the 514 AMW navigated through COVID operations, immediately responded to Operation Allies Welcome, transitioned from the KC-10 Extender to the KC-46a Pegasus, worked through the KC-46a de-association, and successfully deployed hundreds of airmen during the recent RCP/AFFORGEN cycle. Through it all, we welcomed three wing commanders and celebrated countless award winners. 

“The 514 AMW is a mighty wing,” said Soden. We should be proud of our accomplishments this past UEI cycle.”