MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — Air Force officials gave the 62nd Airlift Wing the highest-possible grade Aug. 24 following a week-long no-notice Limited Nuclear Surety Inspection of the wing’s role as the nation’s Prime Nuclear Airlift Force.
The wing’s PNAF mission plays a crucial role in the nation’s nuclear enterprise which requires a constant state of readiness and certification of all Airmen associated with that mission, to include the wing’s 4th Airlift Squadron, which executes all PNAF missions.
“This is another validation of the emphasis and professionalism we place on the PNAF mission,” said Col. Kevin Kilb, 62nd AW commander. “We take that responsibility very seriously … it’s such an honor to have this mission and I’m extremely proud of our Airmen.”
Airmen evaluated in the inspection here Aug. 17 to 24 received an overall grade of “Satisfactory” — the highest overall grade possible – by the Air Mobility Command Inspector General team. The grade follows the wing’s same top score of “Satisfactory” after a scheduled Defense Nuclear Surety Inspection in January.
“McChord is continuing a tradition of ‘Perfect … Always’ in regard to the PNAF mission,” said Col. John Almind, AMC IG team chief. “The professionalism and dedication of the Airmen at McChord really showed. You could see the pride they have in themselves and the wing.”
The nuclear surety program management and administration area of the inspection examined leadership’s involvement in the program. The Personnel Reliability Program area focused on the 62nd Medical Squadron, the 4th AS, and the 62nd Force Support Squadron.
The Safety area examined the Nuclear Surety managers and the 4th AS ability to follow the Two-Person Concept on assigned missions.
The Logistics Movement area focused on the wing’s ability to execute assigned PNAF missions, including operations, maintenance, and command and control.
Although, individual mission grades cannot be released, the wing was deemed “Outstanding” in three of the four major graded areas, with one “Excellent.”
The inspectors were especially impressed with the open lines of communication between all the units that make the mission possible, said Tom Thompson, 62nd AW Nuclear Surety manager.
“Even though several new commanders have taken over since the previous inspection, the inspectors were very impressed with how well they have done in the short time they’ve been here,” Mr. Thompson said.
There is a reason for that, Colonel Almind said.
“Everybody understands the importance of the mission … they knew the standard, and jumped right into it and continue to hold that tradition,” he added.
The respect and dedication to the mission each Airman shows on a daily basis across the board also made an impact on inspectors.
“The robust and targeted awareness programs ensured all wing personnel understood both the importance of the PNAF mission and their responsibility in maintaining the integrity of PRP,” wrote Colonel Almind in his outbrief.
Colonel Almind also called the 4th AS “the most professional flying squadron” that he’d seen in his three years on the IG team.
“I am so proud of every member in the squadron,” said Lt. Col. James Ray, 4th AS commander. “Their daily focus, professionalism and attention to detail are the essential elements that make our program so great. Perfection is always our standard and each Airman and civilian is committed to excellence.”