Creating a Sustainable CCIP in Phases
By Maj Danielle "Scooby" Minamyer, 111th Attack Wing
/ Published July 15, 2015
HORSHAM AIR GUARD STATION, Pa. -- When the AFIS PAD 13-01 was released in June of 2013 I was the relatively new wing XP and had been filling the role of the wing's MICT Administrator. We had just completed an inspection in the old system 6 months prior, so learning that we had a capstone in December 2016 was so far out that it would have zero pull in getting buy in from the base. So we came up with another way--a phased approach. I sent a copy of the PAD 13-01 to our wing commander and after reviewing it he agreed with the direction it was going to take inspections. He began briefing that the Air Force was going to introduce a new inspection system at his staff meetings. By the time the AFI dropped a few months later he had already sorted out that I would fill the role of the IG and that the former EET Chief, CMSgt Tobolski, would be an essential component to the interim Wing IGI team.
The two of us dove into the AFI and the PAD and we had a litany of questions. We started asking both the ANG/IG team and the ACC/IG team (our gaining MAJCOM) for guidance on the areas in which we were uncertain. Armed with fresh guidance we laid out a plan. We identified a small cadre of WIT members with the mindset that it would be easier to upgrade the manning than to cut people from the team down the road. Initially we stuck to lanes we were familiar with--Chief planned and scheduled the exercises, while I conducted both virtual and on-site MICT inspections of the units.
In the early stages at the end of 2013 we were able to effectively accomplish the basic concept of WIT-led events, but it was a far cry from where we are today. Those early exercises occurred prior to us grasping IGEMS, which led to reports being inconsistently formatted and often documenting deficiencies without references to back them up in the reports. On the inspection side, it truly was a MICT inspection instead of a unit or program inspection. Although our wing had been introduced to MICT, it was still relatively new, and people viewed it as more of a checklist than as a useful tool. I was just happy when a checklist was filled out with the applicable "Yes, No, or N/A" let alone any actual useful notes. I recall repeatedly telling people, "It doesn't matter to me whether you have everything as a "No" on your checklist. What is most important is that it is accurate and that when you do have a "No" there is a legitimate reason for the "No" or you initiate a way to resolve it." Of course some people were still nervous, but by explaining things in this manner the vast majority of people I inspected felt a lot more comfortable accurately annotating their shortfalls.
By the spring of 2014 ANG/IG declared us the first of 89 ANG wings to be CCIP-capable, but we still had a ways to go to fully develop our program. By mid-2014 we had a stronger grasp on IGEMS and Chief and I were comfortable enough with our new roles to reach across the aisle and assist in the other's areas. We began to rely more heavily on our WIT, and armed them with WIT Rules of Engagement and also some locally generated forms to capture the Deficiencies, Strengths and Recommended Improvement Areas in a format that would be easier to transcribe to IGEMS. Additionally, with regards to MICT, Chief had a great idea of defining it as a means of continuity. He started explaining to every shop he visited that MICT is a source of continuity not only for inspectors, but also for the shop in the cases of retirements, separations, or other shop turnover. By viewing it in this manner he was able to illicit more detailed self-assessment information from the users within both the "Assessment Notes" section and via the uploaded documents.
By the end of 2014, both the IGI and WIT was more comfortable with their respective roles that we tackled our first No-Notice inspection on the Fitness program. Our wing commander relied on the inspection program and directed a No-Notice on our wing's MEDCON process. These two unscheduled inspections simultaneously inspired us to be more flexible and more detailed in our horizontal inspection process.
By February of 2015 we had a new game plan to accomplish horizontal inspections--we decided to bring all of the unit reps and the program manager of that program into the Communications Flight's computer training room. Everyone logged into MICT and the Program Manager provided guidance to the unit reps about what they were responsible for and what the program manager handled, and what was handled at a level higher than the wing, or was not applicable. By bringing everyone into the same forum, members quickly became comfortable and started asking the program manager for clarification on very specific situations that had come up in their respective squadrons or shops. Additionally, when members had questions about either MICT as a system or the inspection program as a whole they voiced them and were immediately gratified with a response or explanation.
As of March 2015 we have officially hired an IG and an IG Superintendent. Additionally we have brought on a drill status guardsmen on a temporary tour to assist with MICT administration and data collection in preparation for CIMBs. We also routinely reach out to other wings to bounce ideas around which has tremendously benefited not only our IG team, but theirs as well. Every individual has different perspectives and ideas, and introducing a fresh take at something has improved our CCIP, thus ensuring its sustainability.