IG inspections aim to help and teach, not hurt

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

When it comes to 39th Air Base Wing’s Inspector General’s office, there is more than just the complaint process that contributes to the support and protection of NATO missions and people throughout Turkey.


The IG team works to ensure all units are effective by gauging the status of the unit’s performance through inspections and assessments.


“Our key phrase during inspections is ‘undetected non-compliance’,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Lindley, 39th ABW IG superintendent. “Often units know what processes or programs they are not able to do efficiently based on limitations such as funding, host nation issues, training, equipment and/or resources.”


According to Lt. Col. Jeremy Hamilton, 39th ABW inspector general, the goal is to guide and teach.


“We inspect to teach, we don’t inspect to ‘beat down,’ and we use our wing inspection teams because they are the subject matter experts in the fields they are inspecting,” said Hamilton. “The WIT also mentors unit members during the visit and if they see a problem, it is not outside their lanes to assist and guide them on how to fix or run certain programs correctly.”


WIT reports enable the IG office to give commanders the pulse of how well their units are performing. 


“From the inspection standpoint, it’s important for everyone to understand we don't have an official ‘inspection day,’” said Lindley. “Every day is a chance for members to evaluate themselves and raise issues to their chain of command through self-reporting on what they’re capable of or what they need so they can function better.”


It is important for the IG office to have a direct relationship with commanders because they may not know each specific issue the unit may be facing at various levels.


“In the past, no one wanted deficiencies when it came down to inspections,” said Hamilton. “But actually, the intent is to have documented all your deficiencies so when higher headquarters comes down to inspect, we can see what you’ve recognized and pre-identified.”


The term inspection may not inspire excitement among Airmen, but the Inspector General is trying to make things better.


“It is more of a problem to have undetected non-compliance when it comes to inspections, than to know exactly where you’re falling short,” said Hamilton. “If units are finding all the areas of non-compliance, it’s a good thing. We want to drive continuous process improvement and help make things more efficient and effective.”


The end goal is identifying issues within a unit or organization so that we can try and fix them,” he added.


“It all comes back to trying to take care of the Airmen,” said Hamilton. “Through the inspection process, we can identify problems so we can help resolve them and hopefully make that member’s job easier and ultimately, reduce stress on them.”