• Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. David J. Loeffler
  • 144th FW PA
Nearly one thousand Airmen of the 144th Fighter Wing took part in a 72 hour Phase One Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) held June 3 through June 5. The hard work and long hours of preparation resulted in a pass for the Fighter Wing's evaluation by the Inspector General team and reinforced that the 144th Fighter Wing's performance met mission requirements.
The Inspector General's team consisted of fifty-five specialized inspectors from throughout the United States. The inspectors, who were subject matter experts in the arenas they examined, used the AFI 90-201, ACC Supplement 1, Addenda A Pamphlet Inspection Guide, to grade four major areas of inspection: Initial Response, Employment, Mission Support and Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO).

The Phase One ORI challenged the Fighter Wing to deploy nine F-16 aircraft, nearly three hundred personnel and over one hundred short tons of cargo. All facets of the simulated deployment were scrutinized by the inspectors as personnel and equipment were deployed to different theatres of operation. The members of the 144th met the challenges head on and although they were faced with tumultuous situations they received "outstandings" in eleven critical inspection areas.
"We took the test as a team and received the grade as a team." said Lt. Colonel Doug "Spike" Weskamp Vice Commander, 144th Fighter Wing. "Even though we stumbled in one area, we will work on that area as a WING so we will be prepared for the phase II for an overall higher grade."

The Operational Readiness Inspection tested the Fighter Wing as a whole and put the brass tacks to individual airmen as well. Mountains of mobility bags were scoured through, paperwork was analyzed and every nut, air intake and AIM-120 fin lock pawl was pored over as the members of the Fighter Wing were tasked to complete the mission safely.

"During the ORI the inspectors checked our personal bags, our mobility bags, training records, shot records, you name it." said one airman preparing to simulate deployment. "They even counted my socks! Then they grilled us with questions, but it was OK because we studied our ATSO (Ability to Survive and Operate) guides as a shop and we were well prepared."

The green light on the Phase One ORI does not mean stop for the Fighter Wing's readiness training. They will be preparing for the Phase Two inspection to take place April 2011. The phase two ORI focuses on the Fighter Wing's ability to operate in the theatre of operations with heavy emphasis placed on self aid and buddy care (SABC), response to chemical, biological, nuclear and ground attacks and mission support.

"Our efforts paid off. " said Command Chief Master Sergeant Michael W. McNiff. "We worked as a cohesive team to meet the challenges that were set before us during the phase 1 ORI. We hit a few bumps along the road, but they will only make us stronger... more aware of what we need to do to pass the phase 2 ORI and to be even more mission ready."