Altus AFB Inspector General enhances mission effectiveness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Megan E. Acs
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The 97th Air Mobility Wing Inspector General Complaints and Resolution department team works to enhance mission effectiveness, morale and productivity through complaint resolution and fraud, waste and abuse prevention.

“One of the primary purposes the IG complaints section exists is to handle issues outside of the normal chain of command. Those issues are confidential,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Haines, 97th AMW Inspector General, “If someone took issue with their squadron leadership, individuals in their chain of command might be interviewed, but the name of the individual who came forward would be held confidential, though there may be exceptions based on the circumstances.”

If an individual is unsure where to go with a particular issue, they are welcome to pay a visit to the IG.

“People can bring us anything. They can come to the office with a broken leg if they want to, and we may not be the best people to help with that issue, but we can get them in touch with right people to help,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Adam Crane, 97th AMW Deputy Inspector General of the complaints and resolution department, “We don’t want to restrict people to only bringing us certain types of issues because we don’t want anybody to get discouraged over what they think they can or cannot bring to the IG. If you know of another avenue, go there first, but if not, pay us a visit.”

Individuals who choose to come forward and voice a concern with the IG are protected. This means it is illegal for someone to prevent another from seeking out the IG or to retaliate against someone for speaking with the IG.

If an Airman were to experience reprisal for voicing their concerns with the IG, the proper channel to handle the situation would again be the IG.

“If someone saw a complainant walking to the IG office, later heard of an investigation, and pinpointed the individual by giving them bad assignments or retaliating in other ways, this could be considered retribution, which is another channel of concern for us and something we try to protect against,” said Haines.

The complaints resolution department has several procedures and policies in place to assist them in resolving issues.

“We work as the eyes and ears of the wing commander. We serve as a place where all members of the wing can come and voice concerns they may have, and we help them resolve their issues,” said Crane.

There are five paths available to the complaints department, according to AFI 90-301: Dismiss, Assist, Refer, Transfer, and Investigate.

“Maybe what they give us isn’t quite the whole story. We have to go into the wing and pull some more data from different sources, compile our analysis and determine which resolution path we’re going to take,” said Crane.

IG assistance is used when there is no evidence of assertion of personal wrongdoing by a management official. It is the IG giving aid or support to quickly remedy a personal problem and the process includes making phone calls, asking questions, or soliciting helpful information from appropriate offices or agencies and putting complainants in touch with people, offices or agencies who can address their concerns.

A complaint is dismissed if a thorough complaint analysis determines it is not appropriate for an IG investigation. If there is no basis for wrongdoing, no violation of law or statute, or if the case were over a year old without extenuating circumstances, it may be dismissed.

A referral is a complaint that is determined to be more appropriately handled by an organization or agency outside the Air Force IG system.

A complaint is transferred when a complaint analysis determines an Air Force IG other than the one receiving the complaint should resolve it.

The IG investigates a complaint when a properly framed allegation is derived from the issues asserted or implied by the complainant and the IG determines that there is sufficient evidence collected during complaint analysis which indicates that an investigation is warranted.

While walk-ins are acceptable, a scheduled appointment is preferred.

“People can walk in, email or call and set up an appointment. Our door is always open,” said Crane. “We just like to have appointments scheduled so we can devote the appropriate amount of time to a particular issue without cutting the individual off to handle a scheduled case.”

If people want to voice their concerns anonymously, there are options for that as well.

“We have gotten anonymous phone calls and letters slipped under the door,” said Crane. “And we have an IG hotline which is available 24/7. We’re not here 24/7, but we have a voicemail, and we will address the complaint.”

For more information, call the Altus AFB IG complaints and resolution office at 580-481-6370, email, or visit them in building 1, room 216.