/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
'Highly Effective:' 148th Fighter Wing Excels

148th FW DULUTH, Minn. - For four days in early August, a team of inspectors from the Air Combat Command's Inspector General team (ACC/IG) inspected, evaluated, verified and validated the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing (148FW) in Duluth.

The results were impressive.

From Thursday, Aug. 3rd to Monday, Aug. 7th, during the course of the 148FW's August Drill Weekend, nearly 50 inspectors flew up to northern Minnesota to take a closer look at the 148FW during a Unit Effectiveness Inspection (UEI).

Their white IG badges conspicuously dangling around their necks, the inspectors spoke at length with the 148FW Airmen, asking them about their training plans, and their file plans, their checklists and their ability to accomplish their given mission. Documents were reviewed, reports were validated and equipment was inventoried. The inspection was as thorough as it was exhaustive.

At the end of it all, the 148FW was rated "highly effective," a designation no other ACC-gained ANG unit can claim, according to the ACC/IG Team Chief. To further add to the sense of accomplishment, the 148FW was also notified that they're only the third ACC unit since 2014 to earn the "highly effective" rating.

"BUSINESS AS USUAL"

Prior to the inspection team's arrival, Col. Jon S. Safstrom, 148FW Commander, sent a message to the approximately 1,000 Airmen under his command. Safstrom's guidance to the Airmen was simple yet inspiring. In a base-wide email and also in staff meetings, his words motivated and gave assurance. "The only 'prep' you should do for this inspection is the same thing you would do for any other visitors to our great wing - make sure your shop is clean, organized and safe," he wrote in a base-wide email.

"It's business as usual this weekend," he told a meeting of his senior leaders the week prior to the inspection.

THE INSPECTION

A UEI is an inspection of the Commander's Inspection Program (CCIP), the 148FW's own in-house team of inspection experts. "They're not coming to inspect our members, they're coming to inspect the Commander's Wing Inspection Team," Safstrom said during the pre-inspection senior leadership meeting.

This particular UEI was known as a "Capstone" inspection, meaning it was an in-person inspection by the ACC inspectors. For Air National Guard units, capstone inspections take place once every four years versus every two years for Active Duty units.

In the last four years, Safstrom's CCIP has taken a magnifying glass to the unit's processes and methods to identify areas of need, areas in need improvement and resources, and areas of exceptional performance. It's the CCIP's mission to detect areas of non-compliance at the 148FW.

After that, it's the ACC inspectors' mission to validate Safstrom's CCIP, to make sure the CCIP hasn't overlooked anything. "The ACC inspector team is looking for undetected non-compliance, if we haven't detected it, then there's a problem," said Lt. Col. Thomas Ruud, 148FW Inspector General.

THE RESULTS

By the end of the weekend the meetings had been held, the checklists had been checked and the results were in. The 148FW had themselves a very good weekend. The praise was abundant and the gratitude was plentiful.

"A model program," "excellent," "one of the best," "another first," were just a few of the accolades the inspection team used to describe the 148FW.

In Major Graded Areas Three and Four (MGAs) the 148FW was rated as "HIGHLY EFFECTIVE."

In numerous sub-MGAs the 148FW was rated as "HIGHLY EFFECTIVE."

The 148FW was singled out for "exceptional performance" in each MGA. The inspection report spotlighted a 2016 OSHA Inspection "Star" rating, a demanding certification. The "Star" rating recognizes an organization's dedication to worker protection and a continuous pattern of improvement.

The inspection leadership team commented, "I haven't seen a wing receive such high marks... it's apparent they are doing a lot of things right."

"I shouldn't be surprised by this, and I'm not," Ruud said. "We're a strong organization."

Referring to past inspection successes, Ruud made a connection to the 148FW's motto. "You've seen the 'Legacy of excellence' up on walls? That's where that came from," said Ruud.

"It's more than just a motto, it's who we are," Safstrom said.

In a follow up email to his Airmen at the close of the inspection, Safstrom thanked them for their effort and congratulated them on their success. "Your professionalism, attention to detail and full embrace of the inspection system has helped make us one of the best units in the Air National Guard!"

"Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, for our state and our nation."

August 24, 2017
by Capt. Nathan Wallin
148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs



Download best photos





Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Article archive
 
top