The 4th Air Force successfully orchestrated the second annual Inspector General’s Inspection conference at March Air Reserve Base

  • Published
  • By Stanley Thompson
  • 4th Air Force

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, California – The second annual Fourth Air Force Inspector General’s Inspection (IGI) conference, a significant event in our calendar, occurred at March Air Reserve Base, California, from 7-9 May 2024. The focus of this conference was the Fourth Air Force, the largest numbered Air Force in the Air Force Reserve, with over 32,000 airmen assigned to 18 wings and one support group across 16 states, and how its Inspector General’s Inspection (IGI) team can fulfill the Commander’s Inspection Program (CCIP). Leading this Numbered Air Force (NAF) IGI team were Lt Col Gerard Guevara, 4th Air Force IG Director, and Senior Master Sgt Tiffany Johnson, 4th Air Force IG Superintendent, under the guidance of Maj General D. Scott Durham, Commander, Fourth Air Force.

The conference was a powerful demonstration of the unified spirit within the Air Force Reserve Command. It united nearly 50 personnel from diverse IGI Teams across the Fourth Air Force and representatives from the 10th Air Force, 22nd Air Force, and Headquarters personnel from Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC). This Total Force initiative served as a platform for discussing evolving policies, sharing best practices, and providing updates and solutions through collective partnerships.

In his opening remarks to the IGI team, Durham commented on the importance of this weeklong collaboration with the NAFs, HQ/AFRC, and attending units. The general spoke about the AFFORGEN model and how the IGI team is crucial in ensuring respective preparedness by implementing various evaluation methods. “It is imperative to have commander buy-in on this because it’s their program, not the IGI’s, so they need to own it,” said Durham.

“Our job is to ensure every wing under the Fourth Air Force has an opportunity to collaborate,” said Johnson. “It is the chance to talk with rather than talking at, thereby creating a powerful bond.” In the past, IGI offices worked independently, which would occasionally cause minor inefficiencies. Still, when they came together in unison, the NAF IGI office acted like a binding agent, holding everything together while creating a more robust and resilient team. Ultimately, a more coherent and powerful IGI team moves in unity. Unity, however, begins fundamentally by working jointly and cooperatively.

“Focus on the fundamentals,” says Durham, “We must be prepared as our Air Force evolves, and focusing on the fundamentals is part of our core doctrine as laid out in Air Force Instruction (AFI) 1-1, The Air Force Standards, and AFI 1-2, Commander’s Responsibilities.” AFI 1-2, specifically Chapter 3.4.3, describes the Commanders Inspection Program (CCIP), which explains how commanders have the legal authority and responsibility to inspect their subordinates and subordinate units. “By focusing on the fundamentals, the ‘P’ in ‘CCIP’ no longer dilutes the inspection program because it is not ‘another thing’ commanders must focus on but ‘The Thing.’” Says Guevara. “By synchronizing our teams in the Fourth Air Force, we focus on the fundamentals which ultimately move us in the right direction, forward."

“Events like the Fourth Air Force IGI conference are key to effectively communicating the Commanders’ intent on best practices throughout the NAF. This is important among the AFRC IG and the other NAFs representatives as we accelerate change,” said Senior Master Sgt Jullian Walker, 22nd Air Force IG Superintendent.

Guevara underscored the crucial role of the IGI process in our readiness for war. It helps us answer two fundamental questions: Are we ready for battle? And how do we know? This process provides measurable and quantifiable results from programs, training, exercises, and various forms of documentation through the self-inspection and wing inspection programs, ultimately guiding the NAFs and their respective units in achieving readiness goals. “I love how we can collaborate collectively on programs and discover ways to support our wings through various tracking systems. It is a game changer,” stated Master Sgt Andrew Patrick, 10th Air Force IG Superintendent.

Guevara often uses the “glass half full, glass half empty” analogy by emphasizing the 4th Air Force as a “Glass half full” similarity because the IGI office does not own the CCIP program but are the tools or weapons used to promote and carry out the process. By bringing the NAFs and respective units together at this conference, a unity of effort was formulated among the participants, which included the NAFs, Major Command, and the Air Force Inspection Agency (AFIA).

“This event is awesome because we are opening up multiple channels of communication, which is imperative for strong collaboration,” said Master Sgt Laura Stredney, AFRC IG Analysis. By focusing on the fundamentals, the IGI foundation grows stronger and stronger, allowing the programs created to rest steadily upon it. “This conference has been outstanding and well organized. The bottom line is that anytime we can bring the NAFs together, it leads to positive synergy, period,” stated Lt Col Clifford Franklin, 22nd Air Force IG Director.

In the end, Guevara is confident that what is achieved at this conference and forward will align with the 4th Air Force commander’s objectives because he strongly believes in the CCIP program and the importance of focusing on the fundamentals.