The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center kicked off its second annual Innovation Rodeo with a call-for-topics campaign Nov. 1, 2019. The campaign gave military and civilian members of mission support groups worldwide a chance to win part of $1 million in funding and resources to implement their ideas.
Out of 143 submissions and nearly 2,000 online votes, eight finalists were selected to come to San Antonio in February to learn from leading innovators and convince a board of senior Air Force installation and mission support leaders that their idea is the best during the 2020 AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo on Feb. 7.
First Place: Kinderspot, Maj. Jacque Vasta, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Kinderspot is a web-based platform or application for parents of children enrolled in military child development centers to sublease their child's spot to eligible families with short-term childcare needs. With a subletting solution, parents of children enrolled in CDCs can advertise, match, and sublease their child's spot to eligible users.
Second Place: Augmented Reality for Utility and Communications Infrastructure, Senior Airman Tyler Strauser, 96th Communications Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. This idea would replace the current manual mapping of underground cabling and wiring with the use of augmented reality glasses to save time and simplify processes.
Third Place: Autonomous Mowers for Airfield Mowing Operations, Jason Griffith and Byron Icenogle, 375th Civil Engineer Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Their innovation proposes using autonomous robotic lawn mowers to cut the grass in and around airfields at night, which would reduce aircraft bird-strike hazards.
In addition to the top three, judges surprised the teams by selecting two other ideas for further development:
- Additive Manufacturing, Staff Sgt. Nate Klingbeil and Airman 1st Class Jordan Vesey, 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Their innovation uses 3D printing to create metal replacement parts for fire trucks and potentially other military fleet vehicles.
- Real Property Records Software Bots, Susan Lasiter and Catherine Ward, Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. In order to attain and maintain complete data for Air Force real property, the bots capability would significantly reduce the time and cost to input and retrieve data and reports.
Presented by: Second Lt. Thomas Sullivan and Senior Airman Ny’Daisha Moore. Sullivan is with the 633rd Force Support Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Moore is with the 90th FSS, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.
Idea: Similar to UBER eats or door dash, Airmen can order food and have it delivered to their work center. The service would include options from installation force support food operations facilities, including the club, bowling alley or golf course, and include a range of offerings from healthy to comfort foods. The service would increase facility customer bases and help them reach units such as security forces; logistics; intelligence or any work center that must be operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Presented by: First Lt. Steven Brandt, 48th Contracting Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England
Idea: Leverage the resources and integration companies such as Lime and Uber to give Airmen across the Air Force enterprise-level solutions to parking and transportation shortages. Airmen living in dorms, in particular, often lack adequate transportation getting to work and around base. This solution could be implemented via partnership with private industry through a scooter service, scooter lease program or through buying and maintaining.
Radio-frequency identification/electronic inventory management system for security forces squadron and logistics readiness squadron armory tracking systems
Presented by: Staff Sgt. Nicholas S. Mullins and Tech. Sgt. Anastasia Sobania. Sobania is with the 96th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Mullins is with the 633rd Security Forces Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
Idea: Develop a system that can be adapted via LRS and SFS needs to virtually track the issue and return of every weapon through RFID technology.