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The Year of Conspicuous Compliance; keep charging

  • Published
  • By Col. Lenny Richoux
  • 6th Air Mobility Command commander
America has entrusted you and me with missions vital to our national security. These are no-fail duties. We must ensure we're always ready to perform them, and that requires an incredible amount of attention to detail every day, not just when the klaxon sounds. Part of that effort is being certain we carefully and faithfully follow checklists, tech orders, and a host of other regulatory guidance designed to help us avoid overlooking something that might lead to mission failure.

That's why I announced in January that 2012 is the 6th Air Mobility Wing's Year of Conspicuous Compliance. We're using this year to focus additional energy on the fact we simply can't afford to achieve less than 100 percent when America's security is at stake. The recipe for conspicuous compliance is pretty simple; achieving it is a lot tougher. Here's how we're going to do it.

Hit the Books. Make sure the info you need to do your job according to regulations and rules of engagement is current, that you fully understand it and you follow it always! We have tools to help us in these sorts of tasks, like our self-inspection checklists. You can use these any time to make sure your program is tight. So run them more than the mandated two times per year. Then, have someone else run your checklists to expose any blind spots you may have.

Exercise. Running checklists is key for mission success, but it's not enough to guarantee you'll succeed when called, any more than having your piano in tune and in good repair will enable you to flawlessly play the Bach concerto you've studied dozens of times. Hours and hours of live, repetitive practice is what makes beautiful music beautiful to the ear. Our rigorous exercise program does the same for our key missions. There's nothing like a test drive to see what kinks need to be worked out. By the way, inspections like our Combined Unit Inspection in November serve the same purpose. They're perfect opportunities to have dispassionate experts examine us carefully and show us what we can and must do better.

Lead. We need every single Airman fully engaged to succeed in the missions we've been given. If you're a leader, that's doubly true for you. If your people detect that conspicuous compliance isn't important to you, there's little doubt it will be unimportant to them and to their subordinates all the way down the chain. Commanders have the greatest responsibility here, but each person in a supervisory position shares that responsibility.

That's the recipe. As we continue following it over the next eight months, we'll continue to benefit from the careful planning of the man behind the conspicuous-compliance curtain, Dave Cresswell of our Exercise and Inspections office. He and his Exercise Evaluation Team are doing a tremendous job helping us attain conspicuous compliance. Keep charging, ladies and gentlemen, as you skillfully hone the finest Air Mobility Wing on the face of the planet!