Gear Up, Get Ready, Mountain Home AFB….the CRE is coming!
By Col. Bruce Smith, 366th Fighter Wing Vice Commander
/ Published November 28, 2012
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- What? CRE? What is that all about?
Well, there is a change afoot in how the Air Combat Command Inspector General (ACC/IG) will inspect Mountain Home AFB. Instead of conducting an Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI), ACC/IG will observe the wing as we conduct an Operational Readiness Exercise (ORE), and validate our readiness in what is known as a Certified Readiness Exercise (CRE).
"Col Smith, what are you talking about? How is this inspection going to be any different than what we have done in the past?" I'm glad you asked that! I would like to take a couple of minutes to explain it to you!
Mountain Home AFB had a 180-day ORI Prep meeting last month to cover the details of what will be expected during the ORI. During the meeting, ACC/IG informed us that we will not be doing a traditional ORI; we will be accomplishing a CRE. A CRE differs from an ORI in that it is more of a "validation" versus "inspection." The ACC/IG will validate the wing commander's ability to exercise the wing to a level that determines the wing's overall readiness.
Who would better know if the wing is prepared to go to war than the wing commander? After all, it is the wing commander's main focus to "organize, train, and equip" Gunfighters to be ready at a moment's notice to deploy down range and accomplish the mission of the combatant commanders. The goal of the CRE is to test just how prepared we actually are...more of an evaluation of our readiness to go to war rather than our capability to prepare for an inspection.
During a CRE, the ACC/IG will send a reduced team, approximately 30 inspectors instead of 120, to "validate" our wing's readiness. The reduced ACC/IG presence places increased responsibility on the 366FW/XP and Exercise Evaluation Team (EET) to build, execute, and evaluate the exercise. Our CRE should look, feel, and smell like all of the OREs we will execute in preparation for the final validation.
Adjusting for this change, the wing changed the ORI logo. The logo now states "Mission Ready" and is consistently Green. This represents the change in focus from the "test" of the ORI to the "verification" of our Mission Ready status. It is consistently green, which indicates that the wing is always Mission Ready. "You Can't Stop Us!" is still the motto as it aptly represents the attitude of our Mission Ready Gunfighters as we prepare to demonstrate our readiness.
"OK, so how is this "CRE" going to be executed?" I am glad you asked! We will execute all aspects of the CRE to include developing the scenario, acting as outside agencies (HHQ, Exercise OPS, CAOC, etc.), providing exercise inputs and injects (Warlord, etc.), providing EET as evaluators, grading exercise events, and generating a final report IAW AFI 90-201, the ACC Supplement, and addendum. We will follow the addendum as the baseline for conducting the CRE and we will ensure all required items listed in the addendum are accomplished.
We will develop sortie taskings and review/edit script and submit it to the ACC/IG prior to the CRE. A reduced ACC/IG Team will then observe and sample most activities during the CRE, validate the results reached by the unit's EET, and publish a final report.
The final, validated grades assigned by ACC/IG will appear in the report using the same format as used for an ORI. The twist is that our wing inspection office will not only be responsible for conducting the CRE, but they will also be graded by ACC/IG on their planning, execution and evaluation of the CRE
The grades assigned by our EET will be the grades we get unless the IG team feels they were inappropriate for the applied section. Grades will be as follows:
OUTSTANDING: Asterisked items rated OUTSTANDING and two other items EXCELLENT, with the remaining at least SATISFACTORY.
EXCELLENT: Asterisked items rated at least EXCELLENT, with the remaining at least SATISFACTORY.
SATISFACTORY: Asterisked items rated at least SATISFACTORY, with no more than two other items less than MARGINAL.
MARGINAL: Asterisked items rated at least MARGINAL, with no more than three other items less than MARGINAL.
UNSATISFACTORY: Does not meet other criteria.
What does all this mean to you really? It means you keep doing the things that you are doing as outstanding members of the Gunfighter team! Keep executing with a sense of urgency, with a sense of pride, and with a sense of accomplishment! We all know what "Gunfighter Standard" means; keep that standard and we will do "Outstanding"!
Gear up! Get Ready! We have been through the crawl and walk stages, and we are on the constant path upward...ready to peak at exactly the right time...CRE time!