Major assessments accomplished in true Swamp Fox fashion

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

The South Carolina Air National Guard recently completed three major assessments in three weeks, proving once again that Swamp Fox Airmen are mission ready. At the same time, preparations for a direct hit threat from Category 4 Hurricane Irma loomed, resulting in the SCANG’s direct support of Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands relief efforts.

These evaluations included a 1st Air Force Alert Force Operational Assessment (AFOA) during the last week of September. It was followed-up with a no-notice North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Inspector General Fighter Alert Force Evaluation (FAFE) a week later and wrapped up with a four-day Air Combat Command Inspector General Capstone assessment, Oct. 13-16.

Both assessments from 1 AF and NORAD tested the 169th Fighter Wing Aerospace Control Alert Detachment’s ability to support the homeland defense mission. The AFOA conducted an in-depth look at all the 169 FW/ACA’s programs and procedures, while the FAFE had an operational emphasis of the unit’s ability to execute its mission. The overall goal of these assessments was to evaluate the wing’s ability to generate around-the-clock, combat-ready aircraft at a moment’s notice which required a total Swamp Fox team effort.

“Maintenance killed it! Zero discrepancies, 100 percent weapons reliability and excellent overall knowledge from the sharp Airmen working in the 169 FW ACA Detachment,” according to U.S. Air Force Col. Keith Miller, commander of the 169th Operations Group, about the wing’s performance during the AFOA and NORAD/IG visit. “I want to thank every Swamp Fox who contributes to our homeland defense mission. Everyone has skin in the game.”

The ACC/IG Capstone rounded out these series of evaluations with a visit of approximately 55 inspectors and various virtual inspections. The Capstone was a four-year culmination of numerous exercises and evaluations conducted by the 169 FW/IG to validate the Commander’s Inspection Program (CCIP).

During the Capstone in brief, Col. Kevin Zeller, ACC/IG Team Chief, said his team’s role was to validate and verify the CCIP by evaluating the assessments conducted from the 169 FW/IG and the Wing Inspection Team (WIT).   

“We are that outside agency, that consulting firm if you could hire one, to come in here and take a look at your processes,” said Zeller. “We want to make this wing better. We want to make all the wings in ACC better. That’s our goal. So, we are a partnership in that process.”

After four days of assessments, which included nearly 125 Airmen-To-IG Sessions (ATIS), every wing function was thoroughly evaluated in its ability to support the wing to successfully complete its mission around the world and at home. These evaluations also looked at how the wing takes care of its Airmen and families, management of resources and improvement of the unit for future manpower, missions and facilities.

An overall “EFFECTIVE” grade was earned by the Swamp Fox team. According to AFI 90-201, The Air Force Inspection System, this rating is given to “indicate performance or operations meet expectations and mission requirements. Procedures and activities are carried out in an effective and efficient manner. Programs and processes are measured and repeatable. Risk-based criteria are usually applied when allocating resources and making decisions. Root-cause analysis is usually used to find and fix problems. Deficiencies exist that do not impede or limit mission accomplishment.”

“I am proud of the effort, attention to detail, professionalism and excellence that the Swamp Fox displayed during these last four years of our AFIS [Air Force Inspection System] journey,” said Col. Nicholas Gentile Jr., commander of the 169 FW. “As we begin our new four-year window, congratulate yourselves on a job well done and know that our state and nation count on us to be trained, ready and lethal.”