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Keys to Inspection Success

  • Published
  • By Col. Mark Whinnery
  • 375th Mission Support Group commander
We have all been preparing for the Combined Unit Inspection for months. For some, it's their first compliance-type inspection and for others, it's just one of many. In any case, you might be wondering what you need to do to ensure a successful result. There are many keys to success, but I would argue that three key ingredients are enthusiasm, expertise and execution.

First, when the inspectors arrive, you must be enthusiastic. Every job in the 375th Air Mobility Wing is important, so act accordingly. Show the inspectors that you are proud of the important work you do, and how well you do it.

If you run into challenges during an inspection, it becomes even more critical to be enthusiastic. Even the most impressive office will have some room for improvement. Listen to the inspector's comments, thank them for their feedback, and begin to plan how to correct any issues they may have identified.

The next ingredient is expertise. You must know your job. A key aspect of knowing our jobs is complying with all applicable guidance. You should have the most current copy of all applicable Air Force Instructions handy, preferable in both paper and electronic forms.
Paper is handy because you can highlight critical areas while electronic copies are useful because the search feature can often help you find little-known passages that you may not work with on a daily basis. Having these reference materials is important, but even more importantly, you must know what is in them and perform your job every day in accordance with their direction.

A third key ingredient for success is execution. Being enthusiastic and having expertise is important, but now you have to go out and actually execute the mission. One way to know if you are executing the mission correctly is to test yourself using all applicable checklists. If an honest self assessment using the most current checklists indicates you have solid programs, then you are probably ready for the inspection.

During your last minute preparations, ensure the inside and outside of your building proudly show that we are the AMC's Showcase Wing. Everything should be neat and clean. Make sure your inspectors have reserved parking, and before the inspectors arrive, walk through your work areas as if you are seeing them for the first time and try to notice if there is anything out of the ordinary you need to fix.

And one last piece of advice, if you haven't done so, watch the wing's video on how to professionally interact with inspectors. It is located at: I think you will find it amusing and informative.