CI means time for the A-Team to shine

  • Published
  • By Mr. James R. Kelly
  • Director, 97th Maintenance Directorate
We knocked it out of the park during the Logistics Compliance Assessment Program, earning the first-ever Air Education and Training Command LCAP "Excellent" rating. Then we were represented superbly at the Air Mobility Command Rodeo, winning major awards. Later this month, we will have the opportunity to again show we are the best during the 2011 Compliance Inspection.

The CI will look a little different from the LCAP, but the same principles still apply. While the LCAP concentrated on personnel evaluations, with less than 1,500 evaluations, the CI will not only look at how we do our jobs on the flight line, in back-shops and hangars, but also how we manage our programs. We have reviewed our self inspections, looked at past inspection reports and completed final tasks. The following is what you can expect:

There will be more than 100 inspectors, who are all experts in their fields, inspecting all three shifts. That being said, in most cases, you are just as much an expert and have more experience than the inspector does, so enter the inspection confident but with respect. You only have one chance to make a first impression. That means know the Air Force instructions, technical orders, maintenance operation instructions and policy letters that pertain to your jobs. Have a positive attitude and directly answer any questions. Don't try to hide. If an inspector feels you are avoiding him, he will search for you.

The inspectors are reference experts. They know the applicable AFIs and technical orders very well. They will also familiarize themselves with our own directives. This is a compliance inspection--their job will be to verify whether we comply with all applicable references. The inspectors must attach a reference to all discrepancies. If you have a reference that proves we are correct, give it to them. If you still feel the inspector is wrong and you are right. Be respectful and then hand the problem off to your supervisor.

Everyone should be proud of what we do. Show off our strong areas and feel free to boast about our accomplishments.

Don't talk about another section's faults. We are one team with one fight and negative behavior could cost the wing a finding, as well as make the complainer look bad.

As always, have the approved technical guidance out and follow it to the letter when completing your task. Know what personal protective equipment is required and use it. Be sure to have the proper support equipment and tools. Clean as you go - foreign object debris will be inspected heavily. For example, after every launch, expect an inspector to examine the spot with a fine-toothed comb looking for FOD. Vehicles will also be a FOD target. Do not let safety wire or screws fall to the ground. As always, be careful not to have any detected safety violations, technical data violations or unsatisfactory condition reports - they will be looking hard for these. Finally, accurately depict your work in the forms.

If you manage a program, review your last self inspection and last CI one more time. The most accurate completed self-inspection checklist can be located on the Maintenance Quality Assurance SharePoint self-inspection tab. Ensure you are familiar with all applicable AFIs and local directives. Know where your documentation is because the evaluator will ask you for it. Being able to quickly locate requested data will impress the inspector and help confirm you manage a good program.

The bottom line is we will accomplish our tasks, with the book and by the book, safely. Before beginning your task, have all required PPE, tools and support equipment available. Take the time to accomplish each task step by step. Clean as you go, leaving nothing behind. I look forward to seeing you prove you are the best.