By Jeff Mullin, Senior Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The men and women of Vance Air Force Base are doing their jobs well and meeting all standards set for them.
That was the finding of the Inspector General team from Air Education and Training Command that visited Vance April 8-12, to conduct a biennial Consolidated Unit Inspection.
The 71st Flying Training Wing received an overall rating of satisfactory on the report, that will remain unofficial until it is signed sometime next week by AETC commander Gen. Edward A. Rice.
Satisfactory is the middle rating in the five-point grading system that includes marks of outstanding, excellent, satisfactory, marginal and unsatisfactory. That was the same grade the wing received in 2011 and 2009.
Col. Darren James, 71st FTW commander, received the decision of the inspector general’s team Wednesday, and delivered the news to the wing Thursday afternoon during an after-CUI picnic held indoors at the Armed Forces Reserve Center on base, due to the unseasonably chilly weather.
At that time, 51 members of Team Vance were recognized for being “Professional Performers,” singled out by the inspectors for going above and beyond Air Force standards in the course of their duties. Of those, five were singled out by James to receive wing coins for being the best of the best. Those individuals were Chaplain (Capt.) Jon Bravinder; Master Sgt. Kendall Kirk, contracting officers’ representative superintendent; Staff Sgt. Amanda Lenamond, non-commissioned officer in charge of 71st Medical Group Family Practice Clinic and deputy chief of the Exercise Evaluation Team; Senior Airman Taylor Buchea, NCOIC for 3rd Flying Training Squadron aviation resource management; and Wayne Anderson, 71st Student Squadron registrar.
James said he was pleased with the IG team’s findings. He said the satisfactory rating means “the wing’s performance meets all mission requirements. The wing’s procedures and activities are carried out in an effective and competent manner, and all resources and programs are efficiently managed.
“Team Vance excelled during our Consolidated Unit Inspection (CUI) and Logistics Compliance Assessment Program (LCAP) inspection. The senior leadership of the 71st Flying Training Wing is extremely proud of the collective effort put forth by our entire team,” James said. “Throughout the CUI, only minor discrepancies were found, we did not have any repeats of write-ups from previous inspections, we performed very well in all AETC emphasis areas and we passed the special interest item inspection, leading to an overall rating of satisfactory.”
Vance improved its LCAP score from marginal to satisfactory, said James, and missed an overall excellent mark by just 0.5 percent.
Individual squadrons and programs received their own grades from the IG team. Records Management received an outstanding rating and was found to be the best such program seen to date by the IG team. Commander Programs exceeded mission requirements and received an excellent rating. Wing Staff Agencies, 71st Operations Group, 71st Maintenance Directorate, 71st Mission Support Group and 71st Medical Programs all were rated satisfactory.
More than 130 inspectors from headquarters Air Education and Training Command arrived April 8 at Vance.
They traveled on a C-17 Globemaster III from the 58th Airlift Squadron at Altus Air Force Base.
“The Inspector General commented on the overall positive climate at Vance, and mentioned the great attitudes of all being inspected,” said James.
The inspection was shortened this year due to federal budget cuts. The reduced schedule saved nearly a third of the normal CUI per diem costs.
The inspectors spent three days examining how Vance conducts its operations, ranging from protecting Privacy Act information to training student pilots.
“The purpose of the inspection was to, one, determine how effectively, efficiently and safely our organization accomplished its mission and responsibilities; two, identify obstacles which impacted mission accomplishment; three, eliminate waste, improve morale, increase readiness; and four, provide information to other units for use in improving their operations,” said James. “The inspection included an examination of leadership and management procedures at all levels.”