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12 rules of engagement for the ORI

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 30th Space Wing is gearing up for an Operation Readiness Inspection. Col. Steve Tanous, the 30th SW commander, offers these 12 Rules of Engagement to ensure an "Outstanding" inspection:

1. SAFETY FIRST - During every demonstration or exercise we perform, we cannot lose sight of safety considerations in our zeal to wow the inspectors. Remember safety is a state of mind-write about it and talk about it every opportunity.

2. BE PREPARED - Work your weak areas the hardest. Take advantage of recent IG reports at other units. Cross-feed findings and recommendations--we shouldn't make the same mistakes the IG has already pointed out to a recently inspected unit. Use your functional, ORI Space Inspection Guides and AFSP Checklists. Both the AFSPC and 21 SW web pages can help you in this area. Document problems in your group, develop corrective actions, and establish get well dates.

3. NO REPEAT DISCREPANCIES - Look at the last ORI report. Don't let the inspector catch you making the same mistakes we made the last time they were here. If you're still making the same mistakes, there will be no acceptable explanation. Guaranteed operations security, communications security and computer security is on the IG's radar screen this time around. We must go the extra mile, everyday, to safeguard sensitive and classified information.

4. BE POSITIVE - You must appreciate the significance of this inspection. The ability to convey a confident, positive attitude becomes a direct reflection of individual professionalism. Inspectors perceive commitment to mission when observing individuals in your unit--they draw obvious conclusions when they see the "What a stupid game." This is ridiculous," or "I'd rather be fishing" attitude.

5. FIX IT NOW - If the IG identifies a small problem, fix it on the spot, if you can. Show an inspector you're both receptive and responsive; these little problems may be dismissed.

6. USE THE CHECKLIST - If you got'em, use'em. Lack of knowledge is understandable. Lack of discipline, like failure to use required checklists, is unforgivable. Discipline problems are killers any time and the IG punishes them accordingly.

7. ASK QUESTIONS - Throughout the inspection, you may be tasked by members of the inspection team to demonstrate your proficiency or knowledge. If you don't understand what an inspector wants you to do or precisely what the question is, ask the inspector to restate or clarify. Once a rating is given, the "I didn't understand" argument won't fly. Ask questions up front, before you do the task or answer the questions, if you are unclear about the inspector's objective.

8. MAXIMUM DEMONSTRATION - Avoid task simulation unless told to do so by the inspector. Demonstrate tasks during the ORI just as you would do them day-to-day. Simulation causes added confusion and detracts from our performance for the IG. We want our inspection performance to mirror our day-to-day operations as closely as possible.

9. HUSTLE - If the situation demands a display of urgency; convey that urgency to the inspector. For example, if an exercise presents a situation where cops or fireman would normally run, then they should run during the exercise. It's a direct reflection of how we locally train and evaluate. Lack of hustle conveys lack of intensity and damages the portrayal of readiness we want to paint for the IG.

10. EVERY DAY IS DAY ONE - An ORI is an exhausting event. Keep your team "FIRED-UP"! Approach every day, first to last, as if it were the first day of the inspection.

11. DON'T ARGUE - Argument is a big "NO-NO" during an IG inspection. Elevate concerns. If higher headquarters' (Air Force or major command) policy or guidance is unclear, the group commanders/wing commander will resolve with the IG and the MAJCOM staff, individuals will NEVER ARGUMENTATIVELY CONFRONT AN INSPECTOR.

12. PERSONAL APPEARANCE AND CUSTOMS AND COURTESIES MAKE A DIFFERENCE - The IG looks at how we present ourselves in these areas. Presentation is a direct reflection of professionalism and commitment to excellence. Poor marks here can negate a good showing in all other areas. A good haircut, a sharp uniform and a crisp salute say a great deal to an inspector.