By Stacey Tinsley | BIZ. Magazine
Air Force Global Strike Command officially opened its new innovation center, STRIKEWERX, during a virtual ribbon cutting event May 28 at the Cyber Innovation Center.
STRIKEWERX is the command’s official storefront to traditional and non-traditional industry partners, to include small businesses, start-ups, and academia.
The innovation center will provide an “outside the fence” venue to engage and collaborate with non-DoD partners in new and efficient ways.
These partnerships will be pivotal to finding unique solutions to the command’s challenges.
During the May 28 event, patrons heard in-person comments from Craig Spohn, Executive Director of the Cyber Innovation Center.
WHAT IS STRIKEWERX?
With thousands of square feet of collaboration space in the heart of the Ark-La-Tex and proximity to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana Tech University, and LSU Shreveport, the STRIKEWERX Innovation Hub connects people and resources across government, industry, and academia to solve the most challenging problems faced by Air Force Global Strike Command.
“In April of this year we marked the CIC’s 10th anniversary. Today is a celebration of effort over those past ten years to bring a space like this into existence. Over that period, we’ve strived to build transformative economic change in NWLA to improve the quality of life for all members of our community,” Spohn said.
“This new state-of-the-art facility outside of Barksdale AFB will allow us to connect local businesses, entrepreneurs, [and] academics, with AFGSC Headquarters. It is a “walk-in” Innovation Hub to facilitate solutions to challenges Gen. Ray faces as commander of AFGSC and the US Strategic Command Joint Force Air Component Commander,” he added.
“While we are a “brick and mortar” storefront to the local solution providers, we are a virtual connection nationwide for the business and education sectors to provide solutions to AFGSC’s challenges. We will transition these technologies, knowledge and expertise from the commercial world and apply them to Gen Ray’s mission set,” Spohn concluded.
Patrons also heard from General Timothy Ray, Commander Air Force Global Strike Command.
“We are a very small command, but with a huge mission set. We know that we’re going to have to think about things differently. We are going to have to move faster,” Ray said. “What we’re able to see now is a chance to come up with great ideas and scale them quickly across our command.”
“Our idea is to come into this facility with a clear picture of the gaps and the things that we need closed,” he added.
Also during the event, patrons heard special video messages regarding the opening of STRIKEWERX from Congressman Mike Johnson; Senator Bill Cassidy; and Governor John Bel Edwards.
“One of the most exciting aspects of this project is this walk-in hub at the Cyber Innovation Center. We’re going to have the brightest minds from business and academia that will come together with General Ray and his team to solve some of the greatest challenges facing our military,” Johnson said.
“Our community is going to be involved and be a integral part of maintaining what President Reagan used to say so well. “Peace through strength”. This truly is a special day for our community,” he added.