Mission Monday: Security Forces Innovation

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  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – It’s Mission Monday. Meet Alexander Erb, an innovations program manager at the Air Force Security Forces Center.

Erb and a small team at the center serve as the security forces enterprise innovation hub for 38,000 Defenders, providing technical guidance and support to units, major commands and headquarters Air Force. They also manage more than 200 vendors through the Small Business Innovation Research process. 

In the first quarter of 2023, Erb supported the award of $34 million in development funding to support Defenders in the field.

We asked the Cincinnati, Ohio, native to tell us a little more about himself and the work he does in support of the Department of the Air Force.

What do you love about your job?
This job is so exciting because every day is different in the innovation ecosystem. We get to seek out new cutting-edge technology to support the warfighter.   

When it comes to your job, what keeps you motivated?
The men and women in uniform out there doing the mission while deployed and at home station are always at the forefront of my thoughts.
Why are you and your team important to the Air Force and Space Force enterprise and your customers?
We seek out security capability gap solutions and work to develop innovations that solve or mitigate those vulnerabilities for the Air Force and Space Force. 
Describe a project or event you and your team worked on recently that gave you a great sense of accomplishment:
Our team was able to develop and scale moving robot live-fire targets. These targets can be synced to move together. When the robot is shot there is a sensor system that provides feedback to a tablet on where the shot hit. This capability solution provides much needed proficiency training on engaging moving targets. 

How does what you do support AFIMSC’s strategic priorities?
AFIMSC’s strategic priorities and the Secretary of the Air Force’s Operational Imperatives drive our daily mission. We find industry and grass roots solutions that address the strategic priorities and develop the innovations with Small Business Innovation Research dollars. For each project we sponsor, we’re typically able to secure $1.5 million dollars for development over a 22-month cycle.