We are ready to succeed

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. O.G. Mannon
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
For more than a year, the men and women of Team Sheppard have been hard at work preparing for our Unit Compliance Inspection.

On top of our normal business of delivering Warrior Airmen and NATO combat pilots, we've been conducting exercises, reviewing records, evaluating plans, enduring staff assistance visits and doing a hundred other things to prepare for this inspection.

The time has come and the wait is over. When we all arrive for work Monday morning, the AETC Inspector General Team will be on the ground.

I hope Team Sheppard will join me in welcoming the team to North Texas. Yes, inspections can be tough and stressful. But the bottom line is that the I.G. Team is here to make us even better than we already are, and we should all be grateful for the time and effort they are investing in helping us continue to improve and excel.

The team will begin its work over at the 80th Flying Training Wing. That doesn't mean we in the 82nd Training Wing can rest for a week, though. Part of our mission is to support their mission, so we need to be ready at a moment's notice to provide whatever support they require. We are Team Sheppard, and we will succeed together.

And we are ready to succeed. We've worked hard and we're prepared. Your commanders have asked a lot of you over the last 15 months, and now there are just three more things I need you to do:

First, be professional. First impressions are critical. Make sure uniforms are perfect and observe the proper customs and courtesies. Be responsive and respectful to inspectors. In short, show them that Sheppard is outstanding because it has outstanding people.

Second, be prepared. That may sound redundant after a year of preparing, but it matters now more than ever. Make sure buildings and work centers are clean, inspectable items are ready and accessible and that you know the answers you're supposed to know. If an inspector brings something to your attention, be ready to fix it, explain it or respond to it.

Finally, be proud. Sheppard is AETC's biggest, most diverse and in my opinion, best installation. Be proud of the fact that we deliver more than half of all technical training graduates, and host the only internationally managed pilot training program. Sheppard is unique -- no one else can match the scale, scope and quality of what we do. The same holds true in your work centers, so don't be afraid to show off your successes and shiny pennies.

The next couple of weeks will feature busy days and some late nights -- and I thank you in advance for the hard work you will put in. Undoubtedly, the I.G. Team will find some things we can improve on. That's OK -- that's why they're here, after all. In the end, though, I'm confident they will leave Sheppard knowing that we have some of the world's best people building outstanding warrior Airmen for tomorrow's Air Force.