SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.- --
Although the 50th Space Wing is the master of space, it must continue to innovate, integrate and elevate operations to remain ahead of its adversaries in the ever-evolving space and cyber domains.
In response, leadership is seeking ideas or proposals from Airmen throughout the wing through its iWAR, Innovative Warfighters Advancing Readiness, program based on Air Force Space Command’s “Shark Tank” program and the Air Force’s “Spark Tank” competition.
These programs provide 50th SW Airmen a way to submit ideas at higher Air Force levels in line with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein’s initiative to encourage innovation throughout the force.
iWAR’s four primary purposes are:
1. To highlight leadership empowerment of Airmen to develop new ways to conduct the wing’s missions.
2. To make all Airmen aware of their responsibility and opportunity to increase their unit’s effectiveness.
3. To inform Airmen of the proper process for determining risk and elevating potential process improvements to the right level of implementation.
4. To highlight successful efforts to innovate, integrate and elevate operations.
While the Air Force attributes its foundation to time tested traditions, customs and the sacrifice of those who served before, it is the innovation of all Airmen now and in the future which can fine tune or potentially redefine the Air Force.
“Harnessing young Airmen's creative and innovative ideas has always been critical to making improvements, not just here at Schriever, but Air Force wide,” said Shana Allen, management analyst with the 50th Force Support Squadron and a lead developer of the program. “We've got brilliant minds all over this base and we have to provide an opportunity for them to share their ideas.”
Airmen are encouraged to submit an idea or proposal after consulting their respective leadership chain. Ideas or proposals should enhance mission, save Airmen’s time, increase customer satisfaction and provide other benefits to the wing.
Submissions should include submitter information, supervisor information, proposal title, identification of problem or issue, background of problem or issue and a proposed solution or resolution with an actionable decision for leadership and the cost of the proposed project.
After submission, Airmen are then given a chance to present their ideas to leadership. In person presentation to leadership should include background on the old process and how the new process enhances the mission.
“I implore anyone with ideas to bring them forward,” she said. “This is a platform for anyone - government employees, reservists and active duty to pitch their ideas. No idea is off limits if it is mission related and has the potential to improve the base.”
Winning ideas will be awarded funds or innovation dollars and leadership recognition.
“This program allows us to skip all the bureaucracy and lets Airmen present their ideas directly to those with the resources to implement them,” said Maj. Stephen Cash, commander of the 50th Comptroller Squadron. “It allows us to create an environment where innovation is at the forefront.”
Maj. Matthew Blystone, assistant director of operations with the 2nd Space Operations Squadron, who was an initiator for a 2nd SOPS Mission Planning Cell multimedia computer to increase their ability to support users in theater, has undergone the iWAR process and saw the idea come to fruition.
“We saw taskers coming down and thought having these computers would greatly alleviate the process,” he said. “It was satisfying to see our idea receive funding. This is a great opportunity for people who have good ideas but not enough money to get it done.”
By sharing one’s ideas, Airmen can ensure the wing’s continued dominance in space and cyberspace.
“Your impact can be huge,” Cash said. “One Airman can have an impact not only at this wing and on this installation, but the major command and ultimately the Headquarters Air Force level.”
To submit your ideas or for more information, contact Allen at 567-2780.