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AFRC gives rescue wing top marks in mission execution

Senior Master Sgt. Teresa Lapcheske, Air Force Reserve Command Inspection Team member, observes Master Sgt. Jeremy Burton, 920th Maintenance Group quality assurance evaluator, as he evaluates Senior Airman Nick Camis, 720th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, fixing an HC-130 July 9, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Senior Master Sgt. Teresa Lapcheske, Air Force Reserve Command Inspection Team member, observes Master Sgt. Jeremy Burton, 920th Maintenance Group quality assurance evaluator, as he evaluates Senior Airman Nick Camis, 720th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, fixing an HC-130 July 9, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Senior Master Sgt. Marguerite Gallegos, left, and Master Sgt. Kenneth Plummer, right, Air Force Reserve Command personnel inspection team members, interview Master Sgt. Marian Castillo, 920th Force Support Squadron installation personnel readiness specialist, during the 920th Rescue Wing Unit Effectiveness Inspection Capstone July 9, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Senior Master Sgt. Marguerite Gallegos, left, and Master Sgt. Kenneth Plummer, right, Air Force Reserve Command personnel inspection team members, interview Master Sgt. Marian Castillo, 920th Force Support Squadron installation personnel readiness specialist, during the 920th Rescue Wing Unit Effectiveness Inspection Capstone July 9, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE -- It’s been roughly two years in the making, and the unofficial results of the 920th Rescue Wing’s Unit Effectiveness Inspection Capstone event are in -- it is highly effective at executing its mission and effective in all other aspects.

A team of 47 subject matter experts from Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command visited the wing July 7-10, to meet with Airmen and ensure their programs are compliant with Air Force standards.

“I’m proud of each and every one of you,” said Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th RQW commander, to his rescue family. “We were graded highly effective at executing the mission and that couldn’t have been highlighted any better than during the midst of the inspection when we got that call from the U.S. Coast Guard Miami District 7 that there was a sailboat sinking 525 miles off shore.”

“This is Friday prior to the (unit training assembly weekend),” he continued. “We generate four aircraft, Guardian Angel spins up, orders start processing, people start flying and we save two lives. This is the first time in 16 years that our wing has done a paradrop off shore and it went flawlessly.

“It was an incredible effort and it just highlights the fact that we have a culture of readiness. We are ready for inspections like this because of your programs and the great work that you do day-in-day-out, so thank you all for that.”

Each wing undergoes a UEI Capstone roughly every two years in which they are graded in four categories: executing the mission, leading people, improving the unit, and managing resources.

In the months leading up to the inspection, wing organizations use an online Management Internal Control Tool devised by AFRC to assess how they are doing business and complying with standards.
AFRC inspectors then review the MICT checklists and determine those programs they would like to assess in person during the capstone.

“This is basically the culminating event of the two-year cycle where we finish up validating and verifying the pulse of the unit,” said Senior Master Sgt. James Hettinger, AFRC inspections team member. “We do the interviews in person with individuals and try to find those areas within their programs that may be lacking. The end state is that commanders here can work to get those non-compliance areas fixed that they may not know about.”

In addition to the interview portion of the capstone event, each wing is also required to conduct a mission assurance exercise in which inspectors evaluate the unit’s emergency response efforts to an array of threats to military personnel and equipment. However, the four-hour exercise headed by the 920th RQW Inspector General Inspections team in February was performed so well that AFRC IG evaluators determined it was not necessary to reevaluate the wing during the July capstone.

“Good job to the 920th Rescue Wing team,” said Maj. Nicholas Philpitt, 920th RW IGI chief. “Everyone has worked hard and it’s nice to see those efforts validated in the results of the capstone.”

While the AFRC evaluators made their rounds to various units throughout the wing, they also noted a handful of Citizen Airmen who they thought were especially sharp and deemed them superior performers. Those individuals will be recognized in front of their peers during the next 920th RQW commander’s call in October.