Six secrets to UEI success

An inspection team consisting of 133 people from Air Force Materiel Command are here at Edwards for a two-week inspection. The Inspector General will validate and verify the Commander’s inspection Program, observe a Wing Inspection Team-led active shooter exercise, conduct Airmen-To-IG-Sessions and independently assess unit effectiveness through task evaluations, audits and observation. The inspection includes the 412th Test Wing along with the Air Force Test Center, Air Force Research Laboratory Detachment 7 and Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Detachment 3 and 4. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jet Fabara)

This photo shows an inspection team visiting an Air Force base for a unit inspection like the one the 45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., is expecting in December 2015. The Inspector General ‘s itinerary can include validating and verifying the Commander’s inspection Program, observing wing exercises, conducting interviews and independently assessing unit effectiveness through task evaluations, audits and observation. The inspection includes Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and base support to 45th SW tenant units. Tenant units will not be evaluated by inspectors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jet Fabara)

Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. -- With the Unit Evaluation Inspection creeping up on the 45th Space Wing in less than two months, this is a perfect time to share a bit of insider information.

There are six secrets to UEI success that I learned when I volunteered to go behind the scenes as a member of an Inspector General team who evaluated Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, in August.

The following tips may help our wing be successful:

1. Be ready to answer one main question, "what's your plan for that?" Everyone, in every rank, from colonel to Airmen needs to be ready to answer this question for something in their work center. The IG UEI team will ask each and every person because they want to ensure that effective communication is taking place at all levels.

2. Make your problems transparent and have a plan to fix them.  There two types of write-ups, detected and undetected non-compliance. If a unit has identified an issue but has done nothing to fix it, that's detected non-compliance. Have a plan ready if you recognize a problem.

3. Look into your past inspections and staff assisted visits. Inspectors will look to ensure these items have been completed if they have been closed out.

4. Face-to-face interviews with Airmen and their families drive a majority of the inspection. Inspectors will talk to anyone while they are out and about on base. Commanders and supervisors need to make sure that they communicate their mission, vision and goals for their units to everyone in a way it can be articulated by any interviewee.

5. The three main categories many write-ups fall into are safety, training and equipment. Ensure your work center's programs are well ran and proper documentation is being kept.

6. Management Internal Control Toolset (MICT) is an assessment tool for the commander and a planning tool for the IG. They use this online application to look into certain programs and preplan what they will look deeper into based on the info you provide in MICT. MICT checklists are not write-ups, but the programs represented in them are. Ensure your checklists have been assessed correctly and you are ready to answer any questions related to your inputs.

In my experience, the IG believes the UEI tells a story of how well a unit performs. They use deficiencies, recommended improvement areas and strengths as specific examples to support that story.

Your interactions with the inspectors set the tone for the report and the IG's approach toward your programs. The best course of action is to be polite, helpful and respectful towards the IG members to ensure they perform a thorough and proper inspection.

T-minus two months to UEI. Good luck!