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DNSI/NSI Prep – Mighty Ninety “All In”

  • Published
  • By Col. Christopher Coffelt
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
Team -- while our #1 priority and daily focus must always be to keep our weapons and our warriors in a state of top combat readiness for our alert mission, we have also begun important preparations for our upcoming Defense Nuclear Surety Inspection (DNSI)/Air Force Nuclear Surety Inspection (NSI) and subsequent Nuclear Operational Readiness Inspection (NORI). While all inspections are important, the DNSI/NSI is, arguably, the most critical one. In Mr. Dave Clark's (90 MW Chief of Weapons Safety) recent article with tips about how to do well in the NSI, he likened the NSI to a wing's Superbowl -- and he is absolutely right! The NSI is our one shot every two years to demonstrate our uncompromising nuclear surety to assure our leadership, elected officials, and American citizens that we are living up to the great responsibility and special trust they have bestowed upon us.

The Air Force Global Strike Command Inspector General, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the Air Force Inspection Agency will arrive with approximately 120 inspectors. The AFGSC/IG and DTRA teams will conduct a week-long, intense, DNSI/NSI where they will assess our compliance with nuclear surety standards covering a host of maintenance, support, security, and operational procedures, orders, and instructions. It is critically important that each of us recognize how important this event is and that we are doing all we can to ensure we know the instructions, technical orders, and authoritative guidance that define our jobs and programs and that we are fully and strictly complying with those directives. Every single one of us has an important role to play to ensure we are able to fully and competently demonstrate that we live up to the high safety and security standards required for those few of us entrusted with custody of the world's most devastating weapons. Now is the time to re-read the governing AFIs, your Technical Orders, etc, one more time and critically think about what that guidance says, test whether or not we are in compliance, and ensure we can PROVE IT to an outside observer. Don't expect someone else in your organization or unit to do this for you -- each of us is responsible for knowing our jobs, doing our jobs, and being a team player. Now is also the time to practice those operational procedures that will be observed and critically assessed to ensure the maintenance operation, check ride, security operation, or support operation under inspection is executed with the practiced precision of a Thunderbird airshow maneuver. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of your individual role and responsibility for your Area of Responsibility (AOR).

I will hold a series of commanders calls in late March to talk a little bit more about the DNSI/NSI and to give you the Rules of Engagement that we will operate under as well as some tips on how to perform your personal best (and our collective best) in front of the inspectors. I want us to fully demonstrate the excellence and nuclear surety, safety, and security that exists in our wing every single day, empty the IG's pocket of coins, force his hand to award the maximum number of Professional Performer and Professional Team Awards he is allowed to award, and capture our team's awesome inspection performance and ratings in every teammate's next performance report as well as numerous award packages over the next year!

Preparation for such an important inspection requires extra hours, extra effort, and extra understanding/support from families to ensure mission and inspection success. The good news is that we already work hard to create and sustain a culture of daily discipline, strict compliance, precision, and excellence that delivers maximum combat capability and readiness for the President commensurate with the highest standards of nuclear surety and personnel safety. Because we prepare every single day for the alert, technical operation, security posting, etc., NOT the check ride, inspection, or QC, favorable inspection results will follow -- they will merely be a reflection of what we do operationally every day. However, whenever we have the opportunity to sharpen skills, polish procedures, and maximize preparation efforts to ensure we renew and reaffirm that special trust and confidence bestowed by the American people, we are going to capitalize on that opportunity. It is time to kick it into high gear, leave no stone unturned, and show our IG what a top-notch combat outfit looks like. I have the utmost confidence in each of you and our team to knock this one out of the park in true 90 MW fashion -- Mighty Ninety is "All In"!