AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates (AFNS) --
The office of the inspector general can be described as the eyes and ears of the commander, working directly for the wing commander to ensure compliance of Air Force instruction and guidance.
“We observe and report,” said Lt. Col. Justin White, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing IG. “We observe what’s going on, we weigh it against the guidance that’s out there and we report.”
The IG office is open to all Airmen and federal employees to hear complaints of wrong doings; they also provide an independent look during exercises and inspections, giving them the ability to identify undetected non-compliance and possible risks.
At home station, the IG ensures readiness for various in-garrison contingencies. In a deployed environment, readiness remains a priority, but the scenarios may look different. Each planned exercise at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing is at the discretion of the wing commander.
“Everything that we do is based on the wing commander’s intent,” said Senior Master Sgt. Randy Bray, 380th AEW IG superintendent.
While deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base, Airmen will play out some exercise scenarios. Bunker dives, individual protection equipment issue and accountability exercises are performed regularly to ensure the right mindset of the personnel assigned to the base.
“Where we really see results is when we advise commanders of risks that they can accept as well,” Bray said. “What risks can they accept? Where do they need to focus their efforts? We help them to really apply that effort towards what is critical to their mission instead of wasting it.”
The term inspection may not inspire excitement among Airmen, but the inspector general is trying to make things better.
“We want to drive continuous process improvement,” Bray said. “We want the wing to be the best it can be; make things more efficient and effective.”
The way to do this is to go out and see what is being done, but they don’t do it alone. The IG uses wing inspection team members, also known as WIT, to assist. The WIT member is a subject matter expert in their field, therefore assisting the IG in understanding their specific mission as it relates to the whole.
White said that it is satisfying to know that when he goes out and performs inspections, he is able to touch and experience all the different missions across the wing, though he doesn’t directly perform them.
Inspections and exercises are perhaps what IG is known for most, but complaints resolution is another aspect of the career.
“It is also satisfying to know that we can help Airmen out here of all ranks from junior Airmen all the way up to senior officers,” White said. “We are here as a point of contact to report wrongdoing or willful violations of AFI or other guidance or laws.”
If there are people within the wing breaking the rules, Airmen or any federal employees can go to the IG to have protected communication in order to report that wrongdoing.
“We have the ability to drive change,” Bray said.
The inspector general observes and reports, as well as listen and act, and their door is always open.