The 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing Inspector General team won the Department of the Air Force 2020 Maj. Gen. Junius W. Jones Inspector General Award. The award recognizes the Air Force’s most outstanding Commander’s Inspection Program, whose performance is proactive and goes above and beyond day-to-day mission requirements.
The 521st AMOW consists of two groups, ten squadrons, two detachments, and seven operating locations conducting operations in 15 countries spread across 5,135 nautical miles and six time zones.
The Wing IG team executes the commander’s inspection program and evaluates unit effectiveness and warfighting readiness while sustaining continuous data-driven improvement to mitigate risk to the wing’s mission.
“This award reflects the wing’s culture of critical self-assessment and significant investment in full-spectrum readiness,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Kelley, 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing Inspector General. “The IG team helped build the framework to test the resilience of the entire enterprise collectively. But it remains our Airmen and commanders that harness these opportunities to develop Agile Combat Employment capabilities with en route Multi-Capable Airman.”
The IG office achieved this outstanding Air Force level award through hard work and commitment to the wing’s strategic priorities. During the initial COVID-19 response, the IG office members pioneered the wing’s first enterprise control center and wrote the command and control standards that helped synchronize over 270 contaminated patient evacuations.
The team concurrently led a wing-wide pandemic operations audit across 14 weeks and ten installations resulting in 11 process improvements. Additionally, the IG team benchmarked the wing’s biannual Nodal Lightning readiness exercise, which fuses live and constructed events across eight bases and 18 separate operating locations in two theaters. Nodal Lightning is now the Air Mobility Command standard for en route enterprise exercises.
“To be recognized as the best commander’s inspection program highlights the innovation and commitment to excellence of our amazing Airmen,” said Col. Adrienne Williams, 521st AMOW commander. “We continue to strengthen the global mobility team, and the 521st AMOW stands ready to project power across Europe, Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East amidst complex and uniquely challenging conditions.”
Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Barger, 521st AMOW Inspector General superintendent, was also recognized with the Lt. Gen. Howard W. Leaf Inspector General Award at the Air Mobility Command level. This award recognizes Barger’s leadership and skill as a top Air Force inspector for 2020.
The 521st AMOW, with elements at ten other installations, relies every day on strong partnerships to execute the mission, care for Airmen and families, and prepare for the future. The IG team harnesses these partnerships to plan and execute exercises like Nodal Lightning, building muscle memory under contested conditions, and expanding nodal capability.
“To know that our inspection program is the most outstanding in the Air Force is an affirmation that the nation can depend on us to put the rapid in Rapid Global Mobility,” said Williams.