20 things every Airman should know

by Lt. Col. Lance Wikoff
Ramstein UCI Prep Lead

You are ready! The preparation for success began months ago with our “Back to Basics” push, continues today and will continue all the way up to the UCI, which is scheduled from March 22 to April 2.

Be proactive. Ask your supervisor what you can do to help. Every Airman’s preparation tasks will vary depending on job and level of responsibility, but there are things we all can do during the inspection that will benefit Team Ramstein immensely.

Achieving an “Outstanding” rating is process-oriented and not based on a “zero findings” misperception. Know the standard and work toward it with purpose.
Outstanding – The grade given to indicate performance or operation far exceeds mission requirements. Procedures and activities are carried out in a far superior manner. Resources and programs are very efficiently managed and are of exceptional merit. Minimal deficiencies exist.

Excellent – The grade given to indicate performance or operation exceeds mission requirements. Procedures and activities are carried out in a superior manner. Resources and programs are very efficiently managed and relatively free of deficiencies.

Satisfactory – The grade given to indicate performance or operation meets mission requirements. Procedures and activities are carried out in an effective and competent manner. Resources and programs are efficiently managed. Minor deficiencies may exist but do not impede or limit mission accomplishment.
Use the checklists loaded on the Ramstein Self-Inspection Web page – wwwmil.usafe.af.mil/SIC/welcome.aspx.

These checklists were submitted by your unit and should be the most current guidance available. While checklists are usually not all inclusive, they provide inspectors an excellent framework on which to build.

Conduct regular UCI preparation meetings. Unit leadership should be meeting frequently with their teams to tackle issues and set suspense dates for corrective actions. When you set a deadline, stick to it and hold individuals accountable if they don’t.

Maintain strong continuity books in every section. Plan for the unexpected (emergency leave, TDY, etc.).

The mission does not stop for an inspection. If you have a customer or mission requirement pause, handle it and then continue the inspection. The mission should not be adversely impacted by an inspection.

Understand the basic inspection deficiency definitions:
Critical Finding – Could result in widespread mission impact or failure.
Major Finding – Could have significant mission impact.

Minor Finding – Procedurally incorrect but has only modest mission impact.
Monitor self-inspections closely. An “Outstanding” rating is only achieved when the unit complies with nearly every inspectable item. Double check each item prior marking as complete on the self-inspection checklist.

Practice. Units should conduct mock interviews to help each other prepare.
By giving members the opportunity to verbalize answers and talk about their programs, they will have increased confidence and knowledge during the inspection. Remember to keep the “show me attitude,” thus forcing them to provide the documentation to backup claims.

Know your strong programs as well as you do your weak ones. Be sure members highlight those programs in which you are excelling.
If a program is not where you want it to be then be able to provide a clear roadmap of how you will take it there.

Success is not just fixing every discrepancy, but it is also having a working process to identify them and track your progress during the restoration process.
Squadron commanders own and track findings to closure.
Research current UCI trends. Compare recent UCI reports or query your peers at USAFE units who have been recently inspected.

Proper customs and courtesies are a must. Presenting yourself in a professional manner goes a long way.
Don’t be argumentative. An inspector may reach a conclusion that you don’t agree with. Tactfully explain your position, but don’t allow it to become contentious. This may require you to disengage and allow the validation process to work for you.
Have all documentation readily available. The inspector will expect to see the documentation to verify your compliance.

Answer what you know, research the rest. If you are asked a question you don’t know, do not guess. Tell the inspector you will research and get back to them. As a subject matter expert, they most likely knew the answer before they asked. Now, your goal is to find the correct answer and documentation and provide it to them before they ask again.

You are each keys to Team Ramstein’s success.
The inspection team is interested in talking to as many of you as possible from the lowest ranking Airman to the wing commanders and everyone in between.
Each person holds a piece of the puzzle that will help us prove we are indeed fully compliant.

Work with your UCI preparation team. They’re here to help you:
Lt. Col. Lance Wikoff, 480-8173
Maj. Roman Miazga, 480-5441
Maj. Michele Ashley, 480-2964
Master Sgt. Gary Record, 480-5441
Master Sgt. Janet Woodard, 480-8173

(Based on information provided by Pope Air Force Base UCI Preparation Team and Lt. Col. Prospero Castelluccio, Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station)