Need UEI inspiration? Try checking your rear-view mirror

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Matthew Kovich
  • 49th Materiel Maintenance Squadron
As we finish our last week of preparation before the Unit Effectiveness Inspection, it really isn't too hard to imagine the frenetic activity around the base. Yes, even after six months or more of preparation, except maybe for a lucky few, there is still work to be done. For most of us, this last week is the time to put the finishing touches on some lagging programs to ensure we are in compliance.

For supervisors, it is the opportunity to review the wing's guidance on what to do and what not to do when engaging the Inspector General and his team of inspectors. It is also an opportunity to prepare our subject matter experts on how to best demonstrate critical aspects of our core processes.

Self-inspection monitors are closing out the last checklists in the Management Internal Control Toolset. Shops are removing clutter from their areas, squadrons are picking up around their facilities, and dorm residents are policing the common areas. Selected speakers are preparing their presentations, and commanders are busy preparing their best practices and superior performer narratives while carefully crafting their believable get-well plans.

There is always another piece of documentation to check, another Air Force Instruction to reference, and there is seemingly no end to the preparation that can be done. However, after months of hard work, enduring countless hours vetting thousands of checklist items and endless line-by-line reviews, it is good to know the inspection is finally here.

As we eagerly cross items off the to-do lists and move toward the first day of the inspection, the last thing we want is another task, but I would like to recommend one anyway. Let's forget about the inspection for a minute. Forget about MICT. Forget about all the things we're worried about failing. Let's forget about all the stress and work that has gone into the inspection preparation and take a moment to look in the rear-view mirror. We need to take time to reflect on the many wins we have had across Holloman and the many successes each of us has had in our respective groups, squadrons and flights.

As painful as the inspection preparation has been, I trust that each of our units are better now than when we started, having improved a critical process here and validated core strength there. Intentionally, inspections have a way of forcing us to focus on the isolated details of our everyday mission. While that is obviously important, it can unfortunately also make it easy to lose sight of the larger context of our successes with our families, the City of Alamogordo, our local mission and the value each of us brings to the Air Force.

My advice is to not allow that to happen. Let's turn off MICT for a second and put down our program books. Then, sit back and identify our successes and the impact each of us has on the larger Air Force picture. I bet we'll be surprised at what we find, and it just might provide us the inspiration we need to keep the inspection preparation and execution in perspective. Best of luck! Go Fighting 49ers!