HWK-i: Off the shelf solution for Agile Combat Employment operations

  • Published
  • By Craig Rodarte
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

As the Commander of the 187th Operations Support Squadron at Dannelly Field, Alabama, Lt. Col. Brandon ”Boar” Baughman knows the importance of reducing the need for bulky support equipment.

Baughman recognized that reducing the physical space needed to move support assets for agile combat operations enables support squadrons to load aircraft more efficiently. His HULK, WOLVERINE and KRAYT initiative, maximizes pallet positions and universalizes support packages to decrease the logistical footprint and tailor solutions for specific missions.

We asked him a few questions about his idea, being a finalist and his thoughts on innovation and empowering Airmen and Guardians.

Q: What is the name of your idea? 
HWK-i (HULK, WOLVERINE, & KRAYT initiative)

Q: Please briefly describe your idea: 
HWK-i is a one-stop-shop package of capabilities providing units supporting Agile Combat Employment Operations with commercial off the shelf solutions for shelter, power, water, communications and security. HWK-i takes up two-to-three pallet positions, does not require a forklift or cargo loader and it reduces the need for bulky support equipment.  

Q. How will your idea help the Air Force deliver installation and mission support capabilities, improve installations or support families in a better way?
Project HWK-i offers bases a multi-purpose platform for Airmen and Guardians to utilize during home station, TDY or deployed operations while reducing the need for outside agency support. This commercial off-the-shelf solution resolves capability gaps caused by large equipment that is not multi-purpose. 

Q. How does it feel to be selected as a finalist for the 2023 Innovation Rodeo? 
It is an honor to be selected! It gives me hope that others see the benefits from Project HWK-i.

Q. As a finalist, you’ll be learning from leading innovators, collaborating with industry partners, and networking with peers, senior leaders, and innovation teams. What are you hoping to gain from that experience? 
I have been working with these entities and I look forward to building stronger relationships with them to help advance the warfighting capabilities for our military.

Q: Why do you think innovation and a culture change that empowers Airmen and Guardians is important in today’s Air and Space Force? 
In my experience, the military will take years to develop the perfect military specification solutions for the warfighter. However, in this era, we need to get 80% solutions out to squadrons quicker to validate the innovated solutions and continue to improve the next version or capability. The only way to do that is to allow innovative Airmen and Guardians to showcase their ideas and help transition them into warfighting capabilities.

The 2023 AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo finals will be held July 21 in San Antonio. For more information, visit https://www.afimsc.af.mil/innovationrodeo/