UCI: an opportunity to excel

  • Published
  • By Col. Kevin Schneider
  • 80th Flying Training Wing commander
I would be hard pressed to think of anyone who truly looks forward to inspections like the Unit Compliance Inspection that begins here Jan. 25.

Our military and civilian leaders have given us resources, equipment and training to conduct our mission. Now it is our responsibility to make sure that we are complying by the instructions and standards that govern what we do each and every day.

It is a sacred trust. Every one of the militaries in the NATO Alliance is built on a foundation of discipline -- and that discipline is essential to success in combat.

Try not to think of the UCI as an event to endure; think of it as an opportunity to excel. The work that takes place in the 80th Flying Training Wing is absolutely second to none. The Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program is the premier pilot training program in the world and the training that takes place every day is critically important to our nations' combat operations.

Sheppard is also one of the busiest airfields in the Air force and we conduct and control more flight operations here each year than most of the world's air forces. But recognize that it is neither the facilities nor the airplanes that make us the best -- it is the people.

From my first day here, I have been absolutely impressed with the men and women of the 80th FTW. The list of unit and individual accomplishments are an ongoing testament to the outstanding efforts that take place on a daily basis. Find opportunities to highlight your successes and your top performers to the inspectors.

I do have a few expectations for the wing as we close in on the inspection. These come as no great surprise, but it is important to reiterate them as we enter the home stretch:

Keep preparing -- a lot of great work has gone on to get us to this point; now is not the time to throttle back.

First impressions are lasting impressions -- dress and personal appearance will be absolutely 100 percent in-compliance. Facilities and work areas need to be clean and should reflect your pride and professionalism.

Do not walk past a problem -- no matter how big or small, do not walk past a problem and leave it for someone else to fix. It could be trash on the floor or an issue with tech order compliance. If you see it; deal with it.

Fix what you can on the spot -- if an inspector highlights an issue within your work area, take steps to fix it right away. Not everything will be an on-the-spot fix, but do not give the impression of complacency.

Be professional -- an inspector may highlight problems in your work area; do not take it personally. Accept the critique, look for ways to improve the process and press on.

And lastly, take pride in your achievements and your people -- I certainly do.