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Arizona fighter wing earns “outstanding” HSI rating

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Desiree Twombly
  • 162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Fighter Wing earned an "outstanding" rating during an Air Force Inspection Agency (AFIA) Health Services Inspection (HSI) here, Nov. 2.

The results announced during the HSI outbrief over the November drill weekend were met with cheers and applause in an auditorium full of wing members.

The wing's medical group scored a 98 percent--the highest of 50 Air Reserve Component (ARC) HSI's conducted this year by the AFIA team.

"This type of score is unheard of!" HSI Team Chief Col. John Flynn told Guardsmen at the outbrief. "My hat is off to you for achieving an outstanding record... this is certainly a unit I would go to war with."

HSIs assess Air Force Medical Service programs and processes to provide senior leadership with accurate data upon which to base policy decisions. It also evaluates the ability of medical units to fulfill their peacetime and wartime missions, to include evaluation of medical care and mission support.

The overall scoring system is based on points that correspond to ratings that range from "unsatisfactory" to "outstanding."

The inspection focused on four major categories: expeditionary operations, expeditionary medical operations, in-garrison medical operations and leadership. Each category was broken down into 45 elements and eight focus areas. Element scores ranged from 0 to 4. The medical group scored 4's in nearly every area, resulting in "outstanding" ratings in all categories.

In addition, AFIA inspectors recognized Maj. Christine Rhodes, Master Sgt. Lance Bonlender and Master Sgt. Tracey Jorgensen as outstanding performers.

"Great work by all of you. We talk about the importance internal excellence - well this is internal outstandingness!" said Brig. Gen. Rick Moisio, 162nd Fighter Wing commander. "The med group did a tremendous job, and the rest of our unit members participated in making sure our medical readiness statistics are at their highest in our history."

More than a year of work and preparation by medical group members facilitated the unprecedented rating.

"I would like to thank all the men and women of the 162nd Fighter Wing for their support in preparation for our successful Health Services Inspection," said Col. James Balserak, 162nd Medical Group commander. "Never before has there been so much support for our mission."

"To receive one the highest inspection scores in AFIA history is difficult to comprehend. Without the support of wing leadership, group, squadron and flight commanders, senior enlisted, the health care monitors and the members themselves, our success would have been a greater challenge. To my folks, you are absolutely the best at what you do in the Air National Guard! That bold claim is now undisputable," he said.

The HSI is like an operational readiness inspection for health services. In order to prepare, the Guardsmen focused on their self-inspection program. It was the tool guide credited with the success in the inspection.

"Our staff works well under pressure. They've had a lot of training under intense conditions. They've worked well as a team to get the job done. We've got good people working here and some of the best medics in the Air National Guard," said Maj. Christine Rhodes, 162 Medical Group deputy commander and HSI project officer.

"What was special about this HSI inspection is that a year prior 20 of our folks deployed out of cycle. They've done a great job upholding our flying mission," she said.

ARC HSIs are scheduled through AFIA in accordance with Air Force instructions, not to exceed 60 months from the date of the last inspection. Units receiving an overall rating of "marginal" or "unsatisfactory" are re-inspected within 18 months. With the recent "outstanding" rating, the 162nd will not be inspected for another four years.