By Tech. Sgt. William Bracy, Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — Striker Airmen pitched innovative ideas to Air Force Global Strike Command and civilian leadership during the STRIKEWERX Spark Sprint in Bossier City, La., Oct. 15.
The S3 event gives Global Strike Airmen the opportunity to highlight and amplify innovative ideas from across the command and select two finalists to represent AFGSC at the 2022 Air Force Spark Tank competition.
“Everyday problems are coming up through Global Strike headquarters and then they come over to us at STRIKEWERX, and in our innovation hub, we can bring those Airmen in and help them solve those problems,” said Russ Mathers, director, STRIKEWERX.
During the event, Airmen briefed their ideas to include a hybrid metal 3-D printer, a virtual visitors center, a GMP device, a virtual contractors website and a bomber security in a box.
“I was impressed to know that Airmen from across the command are coming up here and saying ‘hey, this is what I thought about’, I love it,” said Lt. Col. Luciana Augustine, Air Force Global Strike Command Executive Chief Scientist.
Brigadier General Kenyon Bell, director, Logistics and Engineering, and Chief Master Sergeant Charles Hoffman, command chief, Air Force Global Strike Command, announced that Staff Sgt. Daniel Brewer from Dyess Air Force Base, Tx., and Capt. Robert Moran and Tech. Sgt. Julio Torres from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., won the 2021 S3 competition. Their ideas for a new communications field kit and an upgraded B-52 ejection seat will represent the command at the 2022 Air Force Spark Tank competition.
“I hope that at the Air Force level, there are ideas better than ours”, Moran said. “That’s how we are going to remain combat effective and lethal for any of the near-peer competitions that are to come.
The ideas that did not win the competition will still receive support from STRIKEWERX and the command.
“We help the other Airmen push their projects along to where they need to go, so their voices don’t go unheard,” Augustine said.
This is the competition’s second year. In 2020, Airman 1st Class Paul Olexa from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., pitched the “Mag Rug”, which is a magnetic mat that rests underneath engines and other maintenance sites to catch dropped objects or debris. Also selected to advance from the 2020 S3 event was Senior Airman Kalei Sloan from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, who designed the “StrikerAF App” to improve a unit’s sponsor program and simplify the initial contact between Airmen and their new units.
Recently, the Mag Rug idea went to Texas A&M University in May 2021 to build the prototype in partnership with experts.