Leader Blues

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

TOP STORY > >Excellent inspection for base

By HEATHER HARTSELL
Leader staff writer

Months of preparation and practice exercises paid off for Little Rock Air Force Base as both the 314th Airlift Wing and the 463rd Airlift Group earned excellent ratings in their recent Operational Readiness Inspections (ORIs).

The ORI checked the Air Mobility Command’s and the Air Education and Training Command’s level of mission readiness and response.

The inspection team presented various scenarios which tested initial response, deployment, mission support and ability to survive and operate.

Col. Mark Vlahos, the 314th AW vice-commander, said the excellence rating pointed out the excellence done day in and day out at the Rock.

Chief MSgt Brooke McLean, 314th AW command chief, said he was “incredibly proud of the 314th team.”

“A lot of hard work and it paid off. It just represents what we do each and every day, though. I don’t think anybody was surprised by this — it’s what we do, combat airlift,” McLean said.

The 463rd was rated “Excellent” in scenarios which tested their initial response, employment and mission support. The group was rated “satisfactory” in the ability to survive and operate. When Col. Jeff Hoffer, the 463rd AG commander, learned of his unit’s score, he said he was excited and tremendously proud of all the 463rd Airlift Group and the 314th Airlift Wing.

“After the ROCKEX in March, I felt that we were at the top of our game,” Hoffer said, adding, the airmen were ready to tackle the challenges head on.

“Everybody has given 110 percent all the way through to the final challenge. All of this would not have been possible without our Airmen,” he said.

During the ORI outbriefings, the Inspector General (IG) team recognized exceptional team and individual performers from both the 314th AW and the 463rd AG.

Five individuals were recognized from the wing as superior performers and received the IG’s coin.

They include civilian Richard Myers, 314th Airlift Wing Safety; Airman Daniel Lemons, 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Max Shelton, 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron; Master Sgt. Robert Ray, 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron; and Major Matthew Wehner, 48th Airlift Squadron.

The 314th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Flight was the only flight to receive an outstanding rating, the highest rating possible.

Five individuals from the 463rd AG were also recognized and received the IG’s coin.

They include Capt. Kenny Bierman, 61st Airlift Squadron; Capt. Nick D. Callaway, 50th AS; First Lt. Matthew Mansell, 50th AS; Senior Airman Brian Edwards, 463rd AG Plans and Programs; and civilian Gregory G. Call, 463rd AG Plans and Programs.

Two teams also were singled out for recognition: Aircrew Flight Equipment Generation Team, 463rd Oper-ations Support Group; and the Flight-line Post-Attack Recon-naissance Sweep Team, 463rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.