MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Brig. Gen. Bill Rew said he wasn’t going to use the “d-word.”

Humbled, maybe, but not disappointed.

The 35th Fighter Wing this week received an overall grade of “satisfactory” in the Pacific Air Forces Inspector General’s Unit Compliance Inspection. Satisfactory indicates the wing meets mission requirements but is a middle-of-the-road grade in a five-tier scale ranging from “outstanding” to “unsatisfactory.”

“It means the wing met the standards we set … but there are minor deficiencies — which most wings have — that weren’t significant enough to detract from the mission,” said PACAF Inspector General Col. Jerry Siegel.

More than 100 PACAF inspectors and augmentees pored over paperwork, policies and procedures Feb. 28 to March 4, evaluating wing compliance with Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force and PACAF regulations, instructions and other requirements.

The wing was briefed on the 60-page inspection report Tuesday. “The grade was humbling,” Rew told his troops after the briefing, considering Misawa has had much recognition in the past few years, from flying combat sorties over Baghdad to competing two years in a row for best Air Force base.

“But I was also humbled,” he said, “that we did so well in a lot of areas where a lot of people have been deployed for a long time, including a lot of our people in leadership positions” leaving many young airmen and noncommissioned officers “filling in the gap.”

But Rew stressed deployments and Misawa’s high operations tempo don’t excuse the wing’s performance in some areas. “The UCI is an open-book test. We know when the IG is going to come. We know what they’re going to look at. We know that they’re going to look at everything, top to bottom,” he said.

All units were found in compliance with requirements. The 35th Operations Group was the top performer at the group level, earning an overall grade of “excellent.” The 35th Maintenance Group, 35th Mission Support Group and Wing Staff all received a “satisfactory.”

Rew highlighted three units that did exceptionally well: The 35th Comptroller’s Squadron, wing historian and public affairs were rated “outstanding.” The general noted that 13 units also scored “excellent,” eight received a “satisfactory” rating and two units — ground safety and the 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron — were graded “marginal,” indicating “the performance or operation does not meet some mission requirements,” Rew said.

Ground safety did have some successes, notably its traffic safety, ‘don’t drink and drive’ campaign, Rew said. But its confined-space program and industrial inspections need work, he said.

In the logistics readiness squadron, fuels, vehicle operations, vehicle maintenance and aircraft parts were graded highly, Rew said, while material and traffic management had deficiencies.

PACAF inspectors will return to re-evaluate units rated marginal in the next few months.

“I’m very confident in all our war-fighting skills across the spectrum, but some of our programs and some of our paperwork needs attention,” Rew said. “The IG team has highlighted those areas for us and we will aggressively work to correct them.”

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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