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Ready For Inspection

BALTIMORE -- Inspections are a fact of life in the military, so it should come as no surprise that as 2009 gets into full swing, the Maryland Air National Guard's 175th Wing has already undergone an average of one inspection per month.

But of the men and women of the Middle River-based unit are feeling any put upon, it isn't showing up in the inspection results, which covered a number of different areas at Warfield Air National Guard Base.

Standardization/Evaluation Inspection
2009's first inspection occurred January 26-29. According to Lt. Col. James Coolahan, chief of Stan/Eval, 175th Operations Support Flight, a team from the 9th Air Force spent three days going over wing's A-10
Stan/Eval program, which includes the 175th Operations Group and the 104th Fighter Squadron. The inspection included flight evaluations for unit fighter pilots, which were conducted once a month over the previous six months.

The overall evaluation was an excellent. Inspectors found the means performance to be excellent, and that procedures in effect exceeded requirements and enhanced overall effectiveness.

Environmental Safety Occupational Health Compliance Assessment Management Program
Next up was the ESOHCAMP, which came to base March 2-6. Although according to Maj. Peter A. Loebach, 175th Wing environmental manager, the ESOHCAMP is an assessment on how the base is doing on environmental, health and safety programs rather than a formal inspection, the team does look for compliance with federal, state and local regulations in addition to Air Force regulations.

"It is an in-depth look for where the base commander's program really stands," said Loebach. "They will look at the root cause if something is not in compliance. They also provide information assistance and guidance on possible solutions."

Because the ESOHCAMP is not an inspection per se, there is no formal rating. The inspectors do note "positives," which are practices usually not seen before.

Warfield received a positive for an outstanding explosive safety lesson plan. Senior Master Sgt. Will Wright, 104th Fighter Squadron aircrew flight equipment superintendent, provided a superb explosive safety lesson plan on the specific hazards of stored munitions, transportation of munitions and actions to be taken in case of a mishap. He provided extensive training to personnel to safely operate around explosives and attend to any situation or emergency.

Air Force Vulnerability Assessment Team
The vulnerability assessment team was on base March 2-5 to identify vulnerabilities and mitigation factors in capabilities or systems installations, projects or plans as it relates to national security, according to Capt. Rose Calarrudo, a member of the 175th Operations Support Flight.

The team assessed the base's security operations, structural engineering, infrastructure engineering, emergency management and communications for potential vulnerabilities to hostile acts. 

According to Col. Scott Kelly, 175th Wing vice commander, the assessment found that base has made significant strides in eliminating or mitigating potential vulnerabilities.

Base Food Vulnerability Assessment
A team visited the base on March 5 to check the operations of the dining hall according to Chief Master Sgt. Dale Sanders, 175th Wing Services Superintendent.

According to Sanders, the purpose of the assessment is to verify that procedures the unit claims to follow on paper are actually practiced in fact. Items looked at included: whether the food delivery driver's identification is checked, whether the vehicle is checked by security forces and if the building is secure.

They received an assessment of outstanding. Sanders stated one item that impressed them was the ability to use the base wide recall system to let members know if the dining facility is closed.

Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Craig Wheeler summed up the successful inspections as examples of a team effort can achieve.

"All areas of the wing were involved. It took a total team effort by all members of the wing," he said. "It proved again that our people are outstanding performers. It shows our members are the best of the best."

But it's not over yet.

The medical group will have a Health Service Inspection from April 28 to May 3.

According to Lt. Col. Barbara Lee, 175th Medical Group chief administrator, that inspection will look at documentation and processes in the medical group. They will examine how the medical group supports the wing. They will see if members are getting done what they need, for example - physicals and immunizations.