White Sands Missile Range had no deficiencies in dozens of areas during an Initial Command Inspection conducted by the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command Feb. 3 to 5; however, the inspection group did find areas with deficiencies that need attention.
“It’s not always nice to hear that you are doing something wrong,” said WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Timothy Coffin. “But it is critical that we know, so that we can change the way we are doing business.”
ATEC team members inspected 90 areas, of those 55 had no deficiencies. However, there were 14 observations, 24 low-risk assessments, 25 medium-risk assessments and 4 high-risk assessments identified for improvement.
As part of the follow-up procedure, the installation has 30 days to respond to ATEC with a get-well plan that includes corrective actions. Coffin asked that the workforce work together as a team to meet both the short-term requirement, but more importantly, to put institutional fixes in place that ensures we are compliant with Army regulations.
“I need you to talk with your counterparts at the headquarters and make sure you clearly understand the issues,” Coffin said. “I think this inspection has been a great effort on both sides. Now the key is to focus in on those areas where we have to do some additional work without giving ground in the areas where we are already doing well.”
Blanca Ceniceros, with the White Sands Test Center Operations Office, was tasked with tracking the corrective actions in response to ATEC’s findings. Coffin said he wanted to make sure each finding has a name attached to it, which Ceniceros confirmed.
“Command Inspections will inevitably find some sort of deficiency. Now that we know which areas have deficiencies, we have to work as a team putting processes in place to fix the findings, with emphasis on the high risk ones,” Ceniceros said.
“I want to focus on putting the processes in place,” Coffin said in reference to addressing the long-term findings. “If there are areas where the standard is wrong, then let’s comply with it, but let’s also work to change the standard.”
ATEC Chief of Staff Karen Taylor said there were a lot of areas with no deficiencies.
“That’s great news,” said Taylor. “You guys are doing a good job out here. You have a big mission. If you think we are going to come out here and not find anything, you are wrong. We are going to find something. That’s our job, but we are going to help you get it fixed.”
“We are here as a team, because if we make you better, we make us better, and we make the Army better,” she said.