Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

August 3, 2012 at 3:40am

McChord Airmen set sights on fall readiness inspection

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August is almost here and the highpoints of the summer for the 446th Airlift Wing have passed. We've moved past the operation group's aircrew standardization evaluation, the Air Expo is over, and the various Fourth of July celebrations are in the bag. Time to relax except for one thing - the pending operational readiness inspection.

The 446th and 62nd Airlift Wings and the 627th Air Base Group will go through an Air Mobility Command Inspector General Operational Readiness Inspection Oct. 13-20. But before that, those tapped to participate will make another practice run with an operational readiness exercise Sept. 7 to 14.

August is really a time to push forward, not relax.

"UTAs are scarce and valuable commodities that need to be fully utilized," said Senior Master Sgt. Nicole Carman, 446th Airlift Wing Combat Readiness. "August is the last primary UTA left for the members playing in the ORI; they need to use it wisely. Let the polishing, pep talks and motivating speeches begin."

It's time to re-gage our sights on the wing's top priority for the past 12 months- the ORI.

"As a player myself, there are a few things that I'm doing to prep for September's ORE," said Lt. Col. Ray Luevanos, 446th Mission Support Group deputy commander. "First, I've dusted off my Airman's Manual and am keeping it on my desk so I can review a page or two each time I sit down.

"A significant portion of the ORI is open-book, meaning that if an exercise evaluation team member or IG Inspector asks you an ATSO (ability to survive and operate) question, you are encouraged to break out your Airman's Manual and talk him or her through the answer," Luevanos said.

Of course, it helps if that book is current.

"Make sure that you have the most current edition of the Airman's Manual dated 1 March 2009," Luevanos stressed. "You should also have sticker updates to pages 41, 69, 126, 127, 202, and Critical Information page 2. If you don't have this version of the Airman's Manual or you are missing these stick-on updates, please contact your unit deployment manager as soon as possible."

And Luevanos offered this tip for finding answers with speed: "Put tabs in your Airman's Manual to help you turn to specific sections even faster."

If you're feeling rusty on your chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, high yield explosive training and self-aid buddy care skills, you're not alone. The 446th AW readiness section is coordinating a basic ATSO skills review to allow inspection players to get some more hands-on training. This refresher training, time and place to be announced, will be on Sunday of the August UTA.

In the meantime, reservists need to make sure they accomplish all of their Total Force Awareness Training and Tier 2A training.

"The TFAT and Tier 2A training will be reflected in every mobility folder and eligible for inspection during the ORI," Carman said. "Completion of the required items and personal focus on the standard mobility folder will help expedite the team's audit."

TFAT training includes information assurance, force protection, human relations, information protection and suicide awareness.

Tier 2A training includes self-aid buddy care, CBRNE, counter IED, explosive ordnance reconnaissance, Air Force culture, Law of Armed Conflict, professional/unprofessional relationships.

Other mobility requirements include a current fitness test, small arms training, passport, immunizations, physical health assessment and dental exam, M-50 fit test, dog tags and security clearance, and at least 45 days retainability.

"If reservists are coming due for any medical requirements, focus on getting the questionnaires, health assessment, dental appointment, lab work and immunizations completed in a timely manner, rather than waiting until the last moment when appointments are limited," Carman said.

Another easy thing you can do is check your common access card to see if it expires in October or November. Making certain that CAC card is effective throughout the notional 45-day deployment can save you significant delays in the deployment line.

Other items you can inventory right now are your dog tags, flashlight, protective equipment (gloves, ear protection, eye protection), and gas mask inserts.

"Don't worry about reflective belts," Luevanos said. "These will be issued to everyone so we can be identified as 446 players. But you may want to bring an extra reflective belt if you have a backpack. Remember, the key is to be visible from any angle at night. By inventorying these essential items right now, you can save yourself some frantic, last-minute scrambling immediately prior to your departure."

So much for a laid-back August. But fear not, your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

"Wing leadership saw multiple examples of players with positive attitudes and can-do spirit during the May ORE," Luevanos said. "I have no doubt that by investing a little bit of time in preparation, we'll continue to build upon our success as we move toward October's ORI."

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