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Operational readiness inspection, our opportunity to demonstrate professionalism, skill

Col. Burns

Colonel Michael Burns, 302nd Mission Support Group Commander

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Our Wing's Operational Readiness Inspection is scheduled for October 2012. While that might seem like a long time away, it is right around the corner. The ORI is simply the culmination of more than two years of preparation with a series of training and exercises designed to continuously increase our proficiency.

An ORI is the Air Force's way to measure our wing's ability to deploy and conduct operations. This is what we do. This is why the AF Reserve exists. Despite our daily operations and continuous deployments, an ORI is the most important measure we have to show that we are capable of conducting operations in a deployed environment. If we can demonstrate our ability to do our jobs, sometimes in our chemical warfare suits, we will succeed.

We will take about 500 of our Reserve members to the inspection location while another 100 at home station will be in supporting roles, but every Reserve member may be called upon to "deploy" to the ORI and demonstrate their skills. I ask you to take advantage of every training opportunity. Every one of us needs to be properly trained at any moment, whether we are being inspected or not. This is what it means to be an Air Force Reserve member.

What do you need to know if you are going to the ORI? Other than knowing your job and your mission, there are a number of additional skills that we all need to be proficient in.

Weapons Familiarization: Knowing how to handle an M-16, knowing how to use a clearing barrel, or knowing how to clear a jammed weapon.

Self-Aid and Buddy Care (SABC):
This is basic life support and limb-saving techniques to help wounded or injured personnel survive in medical emergencies until medical help is available.

CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive): This involves the proper wear of our chemical warfare suits and mask, and includes chemical warfare training, IED and UXO identification, contamination avoidance and decontamination procedures.

SALUTE reporting: Size (of enemy force), Activity (of the enemy), Location (of the enemy), Unit (the type of military unit or their uniforms), Time (of observation), Equipment (that the enemy has). Any Airman might see something unusual; someone in an unfamiliar uniform, a suspicious package or activity or someone who looks out of place. If you see anything suspicious, remember your SALUTE report and communicate what you see to your Unit Control Center, a Security Forces member, or anyone who can get this information to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Know your Airman's Manual, AFPAM 10-100, March 2009: At the ORI, you will be expected to carry this with you everywhere and reference it as needed. Everyone needs one and everyone needs to be familiar with it.

Attitude: This is probably the most important skill you need. Approach the exercises, training and the ORI with an energetic and positive attitude and you will do well. I can't emphasize this enough. Every inspector will tell you that a good attitude will carry a wing through an ORI and can make the difference between passing and failing.

Embrace the ORI. Not only is it our Wing's opportunity to demonstrate our abilities, it is your opportunity to demonstrate your outstanding professionalism, skill and attitude. We have an outstanding cadre of trainers and planners who have been working hard for over a year preparing us for our ORI. If you have already been involved, then keep up the effort and keep your head in the game. If this is the first you have heard of the ORI or if you don't know what to expect, just ask the question of a supervisor, your first shirt, superintendent, commander, or me. This is a team effort for the 302nd and our active duty partners in the 52nd Airlift Squadron. With your dedication and help, I have full confidence in our ability to succeed.