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Minnesota National Guard
A New Way of Doing Business

Minnesota National Guard DULUTH, Minn- Back in 2011 and 2012, the Inspector General (IG) completed a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Air Force Inspection System (AFIS) and found it to be wasteful, inadequate and unsustainable in the current and future resource environment In short, the inspection system that was currently in place did not meet Title 10 requirements for commanders and the IG to inspect and report on the efficiency, economy, state of discipline and readiness of Air Force units Something had to be done

Born from this assessment is the new Commander's Inspection Program (CCIP) and it is now the foundation of the Air Force Inspection System (AFIS) The new inspection system is structured to report in accordance with the four key areas of Managing Resources, Leading People, Improving the Unit and Executing the Mission "What's great about seeing these four Major Graded Areas (MGA's) is that AFIS is finally in-line with what our Bulldog Action Plan and Minnesota National Guard Campaign Plan (MNNG CAMPLAN) look like, said Master Sgt Jennifer Long, 148th Fighter Wing, IG Superintendent AFIS is finally mirroring what commanders have been doing all along"

148th Fighter Wing AFIS is going to help the name (148FW) by eliminating the wasted effort and resources of preparing for large scale inspections "The goal is to usher in a cultural change from spending countless hours and resources to present an unrealistically discrepancy-free program, to a process of continuous self-assessment and improvement, said Maj Paul Thornton, 148th Fighter Wing, Director of Inspections We need to know our jobs well enough to recognize discrepancies and inefficiencies, be honest and admit them to ourselves and continuously find ways to get better at what we do"

The culture change associated with the new AFIS is not going to happen overnight "Airmen need to realize that the 148FW IG is here to help them do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible, said Thornton It is much better to seek out deficiencies than to hide or ignore them We can't fix what we don't know (or won't admit) is broken"

As part of the new AFIS, the 148FW now has four fulltime and one traditional member making up the IG team The IG along with the support of Subject Matter Experts (SME's) will report on the health of each 148FW section through inspecting programs and core capabilities

In order to improve, each Airmen needs to be a critical thinker and be creative in presenting solutions at a time when budgets are tight "If a process in your shop is inefficient or does not make sense to you, do something about it Just because "that's the way we have always done it" doesn't mean there isn't a more effective or efficient way to do it," said Thornton

Ultimately, we all need to be open to feedback and change in order to improve Remember that we all have the common goal of being the best shop that we can be and the 148FW IG team is here to help you accomplish that goal

April 18, 2014
by Master Sgt Ralph J Kapustka
148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."

Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."

Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.

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