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Commander’s Inspection Program at Minot AFB wins best in Air Force

Submitted Photo Minot Air Force Base’s 5th Bomb Wing Inspector General office has received an award for having the most outstanding Commander’s Inspection Program in the Air Force. Photo from Minot AFB.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – The 5th Bomb Wing Inspector General office was awarded the Maj. Gen. Junius W. Jones Inspector General Award for having the most outstanding Commander’s Inspection Program in the Air Force for the year 2019 at Minot Air Force Base.

The Wing Inspector General office is in charge of 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 Inspector General 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, according to Minot AFB information. 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. The team also facilitated 47 inspections basewide that culminated with the best Nuclear Surety Inspection in Air Force Global Strike Command’s 10-year history.

Col. Brad Cochran, 5th Bomb Wing 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.”

Bob Ogurek, 5th Bomb Wing Inspector General chief of Inspections, was also recognized with the Lt. Gen. Howard W. Leaf Award at the Air Force Global Strike Command level. The award recognizes 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, said Middents. Through the execution of an inspection or exercise every other week on average throughout the year the airmen of the Inspector General 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 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 Cochran.

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