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UCI: A Time to Shine

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Mark Trudeau
  • Chief, Wing Plans
Do you know your role in the upcoming Unit Compliance Inspection?

You, as an individual, play a key part in whether the wing succeeds or fails in our preparation efforts for this inspection.

Every Airman's responsibilities are different depending on their job and level of expertise, but there are things that everyone can do during the inspection that will pay off big dividends later. But before I get into your role, I should define exactly what a UCI is.

A UCI, according to AFI 90-201, "is conducted to assess areas mandated by law as well as mission areas identified by senior Air Force and MAJCOM leadership as critical or important to assess/assure the health and performance of organizations."

The UCI inspection team will evaluate each Common Core Compliance Area (e.g. transition and voting assistance programs, sexual harassment education, etc.), Special Interest Items (e.g. handling of classified material, etc.) , and 24 key mission areas (aircrew protection, chaplain, maintenance, etc.). The UCI is an administrative review of all the core functions of the wing that enable us to do our jobs.

Bottom-line: This inspection completes the Air Force compliance picture that enables us to go to war effectively, and continue to take care of our people and equipment.

If you haven't already heard, the inspection team wants to talk with the people who make our mission happen -- that's you. They want to talk to each and every one of you, from the youngest Airman to the crustiest colonel, and everyone in between.

Each person holds a piece of the puzzle that will ensure 100 percent compliance. That's the ultimate goal of the inspection, 100 percent compliance with governing directives.
Now that you know the purpose of the UCI, I'll tell you some of the things you can do in order for the wing to succeed.

Be prepared
Have all the checklist questions answered, referenced and available to share with the inspectors before they arrive. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be for the inspector to review your program, which makes for happier inspectors.

One team, one goal
The goal is to earn an "Outstanding" rating. Promote the quality folks that you have in your section, flight or squadron, and avoid trash talking others. Remember, this is a wing inspection not an individual person/squadron inspection. It's OK to brag about your accomplishments; in fact that is highly encouraged. Show them what you can do, but don't hurt another unit in the process.

Positive attitude
You may have heard the phrase "Attitude is everything!" Keep a positive mental attitude and others will benefit by your example.

Understand your topic
Try not to ramble. Speak clearly and concisely, but ensure you answer their questions thoroughly. If you don't know an answer to a particular question, look it up in the appropriate Air Force Instruction or technical data -- that's what they're there for. Use your continuity book to help guide your thoughts.

Demonstrate job knowledge
Show the inspection team you know your job, and you care about getting the job done right. Do your job safely, by the book and on-time, all the time. Make sure you know your processes backward and forward, and that all the people in your work area are equally knowledgeable. If you are not the expert, have your experts available to do the talking when it comes time for the interview.

Maintain sense of urgency
Focus on the task at hand, and keep the inspectors' attention.

Don't try to cover up
They will find it and look for more. If you've encountered problems with your program, fess up and show them what you are doing to fix and prevent any further problems.

Stay calm
Be confident in what you're trying to convey to the inspectors. They want to know about what you do.

Your responsibility to the wing for the UCI is enormous, and these are just a few guidelines to help you out. The application is up to you. Use your training and common sense, and the wing will succeed in its goal. You all are the best at what you do, and everyone is working hard to prepare for this inspection.

Remember, on game day, you can make a difference. Show them what Team Pope is all about.