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6th ARW welcomes new Inspector General

The Air Force Inspector General badge. (Courtesy graphic)

The Air Force Inspector General badge. (Courtesy graphic)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 6th Air Refueling Wing welcomes a new Inspector General (IG) who plays a vital role in ensuring the readiness, discipline and efficiency of every aspect of the wing’s global reach mission.

Air Force Lt. Col. Kenneth Sierra is the new 6th ARW IG who is responsible to provide service in support of the 6th ARW commander for complaint resolution and inspection support.

Sierra is replacing Lt. Col. Ricardo Lopez who served as the wing’s IG since August 2019.

“Our primary responsibility is to ensure units assigned to the wing are meeting Air Force standards,” said Sierra. “If they are not, we identify any discrepancies and allow the commander to manage it.” 

For complaint resolutions, the role of the IG is to serve as a fair, impartial, and objective fact-finder and a problem solver.

The IG also conducts inspections on behalf of the wing commander and the commander's inspection program as part of the Air Force Inspection System. These duties include monitoring and maintaining readiness for ongoing unit effectiveness inspections.

For complaints resolutions, the primary charge of the IG is to sustain a credible Air Force IG system by ensuring a responsive complaints resolution program and active fraud, waste and abuse program.

“Airmen of all ranks, civilian employees, retirees, family members and other civilians can submit a complaint,” explained Sierra. “The IG office is responsible to review violations of law, regulations, instructions, policies, procedures or rules, fraud, waste and abuse of authority, restriction and reprisal.”

Restriction is preventing or attempting to prevent members of the Armed Forces from making or preparing lawful communications to members of Congress and/or an IG.

Reprisal is taking or threatening to take an unfavorable personnel action or withholding or threatening to withhold a favorable personnel action on a military member for making or preparing to make a protected communication.

“The IG complaints resolution program should not be used for matters normally addressed through other established grievance or appeals channels, unless there is evidence those channels mishandled the matter or process,” said Sierra. “IG complaints and reports of fraud, waste and abuse may be submitted anonymously.”

The wing-level IG inspections office is primarily responsible for developing, curating and directing the wing commander's inspection program.

The IG is responsible for the Air Force inspection program and does continuous evaluation on units within the wing to ensure that most of the work and preparation is completed before a large inspection.

“The IG ultimately supports the wing commander, but also supports group, squadron and flight commanders as they prepare for inspections and validate compliance,” added Sierra.

Complaints may be submitted in-person to the IG, on behalf of another Airman, or anonymously using an Air Force Form 102. Additional information about filing complaints can be found at:

https://www.afinspectorgeneral.af.mil/Resources/File-a-IG-Complaint

“Complaints should be filed within a year of the alleged wrongdoing with only factual and relevant information to the investigating authorities,” explained Sierra. “All statements submitted within Air Force channels to the inspector general are considered official statements.”

If you need to file a complaint or have any questions, contact the inspector general office at (813) 828-4961 or email 6ARW.IG@us.af.mil