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AFTAC earns “highly effective” rating from Inspector General

Official shield of the U.S. Air Force Inspector General.  (U.S. Air Force graphic)

Official shield of the U.S. Air Force Inspector General. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

PATRICK SPACE FORCE BASE, Fla. -- A team from the Air Combat Command Inspector General’s Office traveled here during the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 to conduct a Unit Effectiveness Inspection of the Air Force Technical Applications Center.
 
A UEI is a method used to evaluate an Air Force wing’s performance, compliance and readiness, which are assessed based on four major graded areas: executing the mission, managing resources, improving the unit, and leading people.  It also provides an independent assessment of a unit’s effectiveness and validates the inspected unit’s Commander’s Inspection Program. 
 
The ACC team of 25, including a small cadre from 16th Air Force, consisted of experts in a variety of specialties – operations, security, logistics, cyber, training, support and other technical functions – and spent a week examining, inspecting, discussing and assessing AFTAC personnel and their respective processes they use to execute the center’s global nuclear treating monitoring mission.
 
For four days, the inspectors met with key subject matter experts to evaluate how AFTAC performs on a daily basis and the methods it uses to comply with all regulations, policies, instructions and requirements.  They addressed training and file plans, checklists, center instructions and overall adherence to higher headquarters guidance.
 
It was a first-time experience for AFTAC’s own Inspector General.
 
“The UEI is not just the wing commander’s responsibility, it’s an organizational responsibility,” said Lindsay Bloch, AFTAC/IG.  “Every single Airman – military and civilian – plays a part in the overarching success of our day-to-day business, which then parlays into a successful inspection.  It was also an incredible learning experience for me from start to finish.”
 
After the team returned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., they compiled their findings into a report that included the overall grade AFTAC received from the inspection team:  “Highly Effective” – the maximum rating an organization can achieve during a UEI.
 
“During COVID-19, the wing expeditiously shifted from surviving to efficiently operating, successfully maintaining continuous 24/7 nuclear treaty monitoring,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Murray, ACC/IG.  “This is the only ‘Highly Effective’ grade given under my watch over the last 18 months, which is a testament to the wing leadership and all the Airmen of AFTAC.”
 
The inspectors also noted that the center created an institutionalized culture of ‘Embrace the Red,’ where members were encouraged to identify areas for improvement and fostered an environment of compliance and effectiveness.
 
In addition to the four major graded areas, the team also recognized 16 individuals as Superior Performers and five groups as Superior Teams.  They are:
 
Mr. Keith Ewasiuk
Mr. Bruce Ludwick
Staff Sgt. Phillip A. Leffel
Ms. Alyssa Andrews
Tech. Sgt. Russell A. Mauldin
Mr. David Lubor
Capt. Beau D. Graham
Staff Sgt. James McCarty
Maj. Walter W. Miller II
Tech. Sgt. Steven A. Blake
Staff Sgt. Montana D. Beckham
Mr. James C. Griffieth Jr.
Maj. William S. Wood
Capt. Lee A. Aversano
Senior Master Sgt. Tonya Cobarruviaz
AFTAC Inspector General Team
IT Tech Support
Surveillance and Analysis Training Team
Cyber Quality Assurance Team
Logistics Flight
 
“Despite a global pandemic that has disrupted all ‘norms’ as we know them, Team AFTAC came up with innovative and creative ways to get the job done and they are deserving of the highest grade a unit can earn from UEI inspectors,” said Col. Katharine Barber, AFTAC commander.  “I am incredibly proud of the effort put forth by everyone in the center to showcase our strengths to the ACC IG team.  It was a total team effort that illustrates we are mission ready at all times.”
 
Superior Performer and AFTAC director of inspections Bruce Ludwick added, “And when you’re mission ready, you’re inspection ready.  AFTAC demonstrated that with flying colors.”