The IG System and How it Relates to Airmen

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Alan "Keefe" Beaty
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Inspector General
Although I've been the 92nd Air Refueling Wing Inspector General for just a short period of time, I've had experience with the IG system for most of my U.S. Air Force career. The role of the IG has changed several times over the years, but the need for the IG has not. The IG system is based on the concept that IGs serve as an extension of their commander by acting as his or her eyes and ears to be alert to the issues that affect the organization.

The IG at all levels, from a wing to the Department of Defense, includes a vigorous complaint resolution system. The complaint resolution program is designed to enhance the organization's discipline, readiness and warfighting capability. The IG is also responsible for training all members of the organization on IG processes, as well as fraud, waste and abuse issues.

The inspection function of the IG is less standardized and exists formally only at the Air Force and Major Command levels. At most wings throughout Air Mobility Command, the inspection program resides in the Wing Plans and Programs office and is designated as XPI. Routine practice generations of both the conventional and nuclear mission are required by regulation, important for wing leadership to gauge mission readiness, and vital to prepare for Headquarters IG inspections.

As was suggested earlier, the primary charge of the Air Force IG is to sustain a credible system by ensuring responsive complaint investigations and FWA programs. As an installation IG, I serve as an extension of the wing commander. No briefing or article on the IG program is ever complete without also including a comment about the chain of command.

Our Air Force culture demands that we understand, utilize and respect our chain of command. This is instilled in us from our first day of service. Experience has shown your immediate supervisor, first sergeant or commander is in the best position to provide a solution to your issue or concern. This should be the first place you go to handle any issues or concerns. However, there is no requirement, prior permission or approval from their supervisor before talking to the IG or filing a complaint at any level within the IG system.

Additionally, AFI 90-301 outlines the Inspector General Complaints Resolution program and ensures Airmen have the right to present a complaint without fear of reprisal. The IG will serve as a fair, impartial and objective fact-finder, and analyze all issues brought to us and utilize many different processes to accomplish the problem-solving mission.

One of the simplest and yet most important keys to accomplishing a wing's mission is to ensure every Airmen knows exactly his or her role. A professional Airman knows the job, knows the recurring training and mobility requirements, and is 100 percent prepared to perform the wing's mission anytime, anywhere, in peacetime or war.

It is important that every Airman has a clear understanding of the IG's role, and how it relates to accomplishing the mission. Our goal is to get you back on the line performing your duties and being an active member of the wing. Please never hesitate to talk to your IG.