INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
One of many components that contribute to the support and protection of NATO assets and people throughout Turkey is the 39th Air Base Wing’s Inspector General Office.
“There’s a requirement by AFI to do an inspection every Unit Effectiveness Inspection cycle,” said Maj. Stephen Serniak, 39th ABW Director of Complaints. “That is when the Major Command Headquarters comes down and looks into all of our programs and units. In that cycle we’re required to inspect each unit individually at the wing level once.”
The frequent turnover at Incirlik makes the inspection process unlike that of most other bases.
“The Wing Commander understands that it’s a one-year remote,” said Master Sgt. Jose Favela, 39th ABW Inspections Scheduler. “He wants all commanders to be looked at once a year, combining inspections that, in most bases, would take two or three years to plan. We’re planning them all in one year and we’re making sure everyone gets an adequate look for the Wing Commander.”
“There are potential risks associated with high turnover in 12-month tours,” Serniak said. “The Wing Commander has deemed it necessary to look at every unit every year, and this way each commander gets the opportunity to see how they’re leading their unit properly.”
When Airmen question standards of integrity in the workplace, adherence to Air Force Instructions, and whether or not policies are being maintained, they may also meet with members of the IG Office. This helps IG members uncover things such as fraud, waste and abuse.
“There’s two parts to the IG,” said Serniak. “People understand that we do inspections and exercises. We’re also responsible for the complaints program. The complaints section deals with providing an avenue for individuals to come and identify violations of laws and standards and get some sort of resolution that they may or may not be able to get through their chain of command.”
Airmen are not the only ones who are eligible to file a complaint, however.
“Really anyone here is available to file a complaint,” Serniak said. “We take complaints from all services here; DoD civilians as well as local national civilians can also file complaints.
“There’s a number of ways you can file a complaint; you can file it through the DoD hotline, you can file a congressional complaint, you can come into our office and file a complaint, you can send an email, or make a phone call.”
Supporting the 39th ABW Mission is indeed part of the mission of the IG office.
“We need to make sure that all units are all in compliance, doing what they’re supposed to,” said Favela. “We’re not just winging it or playing it by ear. We’re following AFIs and Technical Orders, because of the surety mission that we do have here.”
For information, contact the IG main line at 676-8878, or send an email to 39ABW.IG@us.af.mil. The DoD Hotline can be reached at www.dodig.mil/hotline if you wish to remain anonymous.