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5th BW awarded Best Commanders Inspection Program in the AF

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Josh W. Strickland
  • 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

The 5th Bomb Wing Inspector General office was awarded the 2019 Maj. General Junius W. Jones Inspector General Award for having the most outstanding Commander’s Inspection Program in the Air Force at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

The Wing IG office is tasked with the evaluation of the Commander’s Inspection Program.  The office plans, executes, validates and verifies the program through self-assessments, exercises and independent evaluations of the wing processes and procedures ensuring compliance, but more importantly the safety and security of nuclear operations across the organization.

“We are so proud to receive Air Force recognition for our Commander’s Inspection Program,” said Lt. Col. Michael G. Middents, 5th Bomb Wing Inspector General.  “In the 5th Bomb Wing, we have a culture of compliance, cross-talk and innovation driven by our Commanders.   Their ownership of the program is the cornerstone to mission readiness and success as it provides the Airmen accurate information to assess risk, identify areas of improvement, determine root cause and precisely focus resources - all while  aligning with the Wing Commander's priorities and timeline.”

The IG office achieved this remarkable Air Force level award through hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence of the Airmen assigned to the Wing Evaluation Team.  They benchmarked the evaluation baseline for 11 wings thus establishing the inspection standard for rigorous and robust exercises in the first ever Air Force Global Strike Command readiness validation. Finally, the team facilitated 47 inspections base wide that culminated with the best Nuclear Surety Inspection in AFGSC’s 10 year history.

Col. Brad Cochran, 5th BW Commander said, “To be listed as the best commander’s inspection program in the entire USAF, especially at such a strategic place like Minot, with arguably some of the most rigorous and numerous inspections out there, should give the citizens of our great nation enormous confidence in the Airmen here at Minot AFB and their ability to accomplish the mission of being our nation’s shield.”

Not only did the IG office win an Air Force level award for its Commander’s Inspection Program but Mr. Bob Ogurek, 5th BW IG Chief of Inspections, was recognized with the Lt. Gen. Howard W. Leaf Award at the AFGSC level. The Lt. Gen Howard W. Leaf Award recognizes Mr. Ogurek’s leadership and skill as a top inspector in his category for 2019.

As the only base hosting both of the Air Force’s legs of the nuclear triad, the 5th Bomb Wing is always in exercise and inspection mode, says Middents. Through the execution of an inspection or exercise every other week on average throughout the year the Airmen of the IG office ensure Minot AFB’s exercises are rigorous, robust and challenge the wing to grow.

“They validate unit Commander’s Inspection Program compliance with a myriad of directives through comprehensive inspections and they do this while balancing an incredibly high volume of official base visitors,” said Middents. “In addition to this, our team provides the sole complaints resolution outlet for the installation, assisting Airmen in resolving issues in such an intense battle rhythm. We continue to strive for the ‘above and beyond’ standard in 2020.”

The 5th Bomb Wing Inspector General office’s accomplishments speak to the incredible and strategic role that every squadron and office plays in the Global Striker mission.

“To know that our inspection program here is the most outstanding in the AF, especially with the base’s history, is a powerful statement to everyone, as both our inspection program and our Airmen continue to thrive despite COVID-19” said Col. Cochran.