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February Chief's Concerns

Chief Master Sgt. Robert Wright, with the 169th Operations Support Flight at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., poses for his official portrait Jan. 11, 2013.
(National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Robert Wright, with the 169th Operations Support Flight at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., poses for his official portrait Jan. 11, 2013. (National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- As we take the next step on the road toward our November 2013 Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI), I'd like to briefly reflect on where we've been since our last ORI in December 2008. We have prepared for and excelled in at least 11 different inspections and 11 major deployments with 5 of those deployments being in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and our last being the largest deployment since Operation Desert Storm. With every inspection and deployment we have faced adversity in the form of higher headquarters mission changes, procedural changes, equipment shortages and manning shortfalls. Our success in all of these deployments and exercises can be attributed to unit preparedness and the Swamp Fox "Can Do Attitude". We continually "raise the bar" for ourselves, clearly separating the 169th Fighter Wing from any Active or National Guard component. One thing is for certain, our leadership's expectations for this ORI are no different and adversity is to be expected. Our schedule has been set, now we must execute. Every Airman in the SCANG is expected to come to every UTA prepared to "get in the game" and not "sit on the sidelines" waiting for someone else to take the lead. The SCANG is a lean forward, get the job done organization and with your continued selfless service and warrior ethos, any obstacle can and will be overcome with Extraordinary Success!

If you have not heard, the Phase I and II is now a combined inspection covering four calendar days. On inspection days 1 and 2, which we just exercised in January, we will first be graded on our ability to deploy personnel and cargo, followed by the regenerating of aircraft for combat. On inspection days 3 and 4, February UTA, the grade will be based on the aircraft employment, force sustainment and our Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO). When you look at the fighter wing's ORE Inspection Calendar, we only have 21 training days remaining to prepare for our inspection. That being said, we need to make the best out of each and every training opportunity. This month we need to focus on everything from sortie generation to ATSO training, which includes Post-Attack Reconnaissance Teams (PAR), and Self-Aid and Buddy Care (SABC). It's our understanding PAR and SABC are special interest items for the current IG team. This means everyone is susceptible to a little face time with an EET or IG team member. So prepare yourself by reviewing your Airman's Manual, Section 5/Survive. This section also covers everything from Base Recovery to the Code of Conduct. So get it out and make yourself familiar with this book of answers! If you can't find the answer to your questions, ask your supervisor or give me a call.

We will continue with our robust training calendar during April, June, July and September UTA's. Each of these training periods have been extended and designated as mandatory, so be sure to schedule your year accordingly. During April and September, we will exercise full scale ORE's, executing ORI Timeline inspection days1-4 or the combined Phase I and II. These training periods will set the stage for our performance in November. Again, focus on capitalizing on every training opportunity and report any roadblocks to the EET or your supervisor. The members of our Emergency Management Team have done a fantastic job consolidating ATSO training into individual stations, and there may be further training opportunities covering SABC with the station training concept in the near future. During September we should be riding on a wave of successful exercises to carry our momentum through the ORI.

The pay off for the 21 days of preparation should be an Outstanding ORI with no obstacle too high to slow our momentum! When you receive that IG input, telling you that you just lost a PAR Team member, an aircraft just lost "B" system hydraulics, or the ever feared "Bug Out", there will be no hesitation in your actions. You will show the IG Team what it means to be prepared and what it means to be a Swamp Fox! We will continue to ride the waves of our success for many years to come, all the way to the F-35!
Semper Primus