KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. Air Force Inspection Agency officials recently created a new team to increase the standardization and consistency of Nuclear Surety Inspections across the Air Force.
The establishment of a centralized team of nuclear inspectors, known as the Air Force NSI Core Team, is another critical milestone as Air Force officials continue ensuring unwavering standards of perfection and precision across the nuclear enterprise.
The core team concept of operations is to augment major command inspector general-led Nuclear Surety Inspections.
Maj. Gen. Garry Dean, deputy inspector general of the Air Force, said the purpose of the core team is to provide inspector general teams a tailored, dedicated group of highly skilled, very proficient nuclear inspectors whose primary mission is to augment 10 to 14 Nuclear Surety Inspections per year across all nuclear major commands.
"The desired effect is to help ensure exacting nuclear standards are applied consistently and effectively across the Air Force," Dean said. "An assignment to the core team will take subject matter experts from the field, train and certify them as nuclear inspectors and grow their experience across the Air Force nuclear enterprise."
The team merges with the major command inspector general team to form a single inspection unit, under the direction of the major command inspector general team chief, while the Air Force Inspection Agency provides the deputy team chief, said Lt. Col. Phillip Layman of the agency's Inspection and Oversight Directorate.
"The MAJCOM/IG team chief retains the authority as the on-site director and is responsible for determining the inspection grade and completing the inspection report to the MAJCOM commander," Layman said.
After an initial operating capability of four airmen, the core team will eventually grow to 20 airmen as the filling of key nuclear billets across the Air Force allows.
"New core team inspectors are selected based on past nuclear career experience and performance," Layman said.
The Nuclear Surety Inspector's Course, also was recently established by the Air Force Inspection Agency to help reinvigorate the nuclear enterprise, standardizes all training and certification of Air Force Nuclear Surety inspectors.
Additionally, core team members will support the semi-annual Nuclear Surety Inspections process review, the inspector training and certification program, as well as applicable conferences and meetings held through the nuclear enterprise.
"AFIA is proud to be gaining this new mission and we are the right organization to provide the standardization support to the MAJCOMs since we see all of the NSIs," said Col. H.B. Brual, the Air Force Inspection Agency commander. "Establishing a core team of inspectors is a significant step toward meeting the chief of staff of the Air Force's No. 1 priority."
The idea was conceived in fall 2008. In October, the Air Force Nuclear Task Force wrote in its roadmap, "Reinvigorating the Air Force Nuclear Enterprise," the recommendation of creating a central core team of Nuclear Surety Inspection inspectors. The Nuclear Oversight Board validated that recommendation in December and Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley approved it in March.