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Preparing for the ORI in June 2013

  • Published
  • By Col. David Almand
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing commander
It seems like it was just yesterday when the wing completed its Operational Readiness Inspection with a super result of an "Excellent" rating. That came after 18 months of planning and practicing! So, it's no surprise that we find ourselves back in the game as we launch our efforts for the June 2013 ORI!

We recognize that to have a repeat performance, we've got to focus on those processes that made us successful. We've just come from a summer of changes in leadership and personnel, and we've been working to pinpoint those folks who will help lead us through our preparation efforts.

What made us successful then--and what continues to make us successful now--is the showcase attitude displayed throughout the wing. That attitude encompasses responsiveness, readiness, our ability to react authoritatively in stressful situations as well as competence in doing our job. Other aspects are our appearance, adherence to safety standards, leadership and, of course, followership.

Those are things that we just can't all of sudden show up to the fight with. Those are characteristics and skills that we need to possess now, so that it's all standard operating procedure by the time we're in a situation where we're being rated on how well we perform together.

Every agency should be working to ensure any one of their members can perform the duties required. After all, that is the true measure of readiness--not just sending your A-team, but sending a team who will and can perform together with the right attitude, competence and responsiveness.

To focus on those activities and processes, we've been taking advantage of wing training days every second Thursday of the month. I extend my appreciation to Team Scott for their patience as many of our service-oriented workcenters have taken critical time out of their day to ensure they're deployment ready. This will continue as we ramp up to our big test.

We are launching our full-scale ORI preparation with our first Operational Readiness Exercise, which is a home-station, 10-day exercise, with a few "pauses" to ensure we are able to focus on other important objectives throughout the week. It's time for us to don those chemical warfare suits, go through a deployment line, ensure our bags are packed and make sure our team knows how to respond in crisis situations so we can Enable Combat Power for our combatant commanders!

We'll be looking at additional exercises in the beginning of 2013 where we will partner up with our sister wings for this effort: the 130th Airlift Wing (Guard), Charleston, W. Va., the 153rd AW (Guard), Cheyenne, Wyo., and the 89th AW, Joint Base Andrews, Md. All of our units were selected by the Air Mobility Command Inspector General's staff to undergo the ORI together during this timeframe, and although we'll be inspected together, each team will receive an overall separate rating.

We're fortunate to be paired up with these units for several reasons. They have a robust team of people who are able to provide continuity of operations, and they have a lot of great procedures already in place that will help with our efforts.

All of this training mirrors the areas that we are evaluated on: Our initial response, our employment (getting folks to the fight), our mission support functions and our ability to survive and operate in a wartime situation.

We're off to a solid start, and we're headed in the right direction. Many of us are new to the processes here and a few recent mobility exercises show where we need to refine our procedures, so let's not set it aside to fix until next year. Let's fix it now and work on it internally.

ORI prep may not be the only requirement on our plates these days, but being able to get our combat-ready Airmen to the fight--and then be able to accomplish the mission safely--is the most important focus area for members of the mighty 3-7-5 as we march full steam ahead! Let's go!