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New year means inspection prep

Col. Kerry Kohler, 439th Maintenance Group commander

Col. Kerry Kohler, 439th Maintenance Group commander

WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- As we hit our stride in 2013, I want to remind everyone that as a wing we were exceptionally successful last year. You, as a member, either accomplished something great or were a key part of any one of those accomplishments. As an individual you helped make Team Westover the wing of choice by those who needed something done, done quickly and correctly. Congratulations.

As 2013 proceeds we are faced with challenges; some we know about and some we aren't even aware of yet. The fiscal cliff came and isn't going to go away any time soon. The Middle East is still an extremely volatile part of the world. Military operations in Afghanistan are slowly coming to a close. Closer to home, we have multiple major inspections this summer. And these have to be done while still fulfilling "routine" high-tempo dailyoperations.

Sounds rough, but it's not. Those inspectors will want you to talk to them straight, be transparent, and practice accountability. It all starts with "trust" from this day forward and carries on after the inspection is completed.

The wing is currently in the process of accomplishing our respective Management Internal Control Toolset checklists. These checklists allow us to track and manage our programs and identify discrepancies. Brute honesty is very important as we evaluate each question.

At this phase we get to talk straight and call things what they are. The next step in the process requires we tell the truth about our programs. The inspectors are going to review our checklists before they even arrive. It's important that we be genuine by answering each checklist question accurately. Remember the inspector is going to want to see the data.

Lastly, hold yourself accountable; then hold others accountable. If our process needs fixing right now, say so. Then we can get it fixed before the inspectors arrive. If we can't get a process fixed before the inspectors arrive, then we'll need to be clear about what we are doing and our final solution.

We are a wing with a reputation for doing things right. Here is our chance to show the inspectors Team Westover's pride and effectiveness. Best of luck in the coming year.