The EOD Rapid Robot Deployment idea was submitted by TSgt Kenneth Dunn & TSgt Thomas Gilbert at the 509 BW. (Courtesy photo)

By Sean Green | STRIKEWERX Marketing & Communications Director

STRIKEWERX Spark Sprint (S3) will see six airmen from across AFGSC pitch the ideas next week on how to help the command, and then progress on to pitch at the 2021 Air Force Spark Tank competition.

The event will be held Oct. 30 from 1:15-2 p.m. and streamed live on AFGSC’s Facebook page, which you can view right here.

Spark Tank is an annual competition where Airmen pitch innovative ideas for solving unit challenges to Air Force leadership and a panel of industry experts. The event is hosted annually at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium, where attendees watch the top six finalists pitch their solutions to senior leaders who have the ability to further develop or implement the Airmen’s solution. The six finalists will be selected based on which projects have the highest probability of delivering game-changing impact to the Air Force within six months to two years. Specific criteria include:  operational impact, prototype feasibility and cost, and ability to articulate a path forward.

AFGSC will invite and fund all wing finalists to Barksdale AFB to pitch their ideas at the fall Wing Commanders Conference.  To prepare for the event, Airmen will receive coaching for how to best “pitch” their project. Each finalist will have three minutes to explain their idea, pitch their solution and present their video. They then have two minutes to answer questions. Gen. Timothy Ray, AFGSC commander, will announce the two AFGSC finalists who will represent the command at the 2021 Air Force Spark Tank competition.

When AFGSC finalists are selected as one of the six Air Force finalists, AFWERX will assign them a pitch coach who will help them improve their pitch for AFA. Finalists will also attend a pitch training event, funded by AFWERX, to help further develop their presentation and pitch story. AFGSC Chief Scientist Office and A9L will remain engaged with the finalists and Spark Cells to continue to develop the Airmen’s project and ensure it has the most competitive advantage for the AFA competition. 

The S3 finalists are below, with links to their video submissions:

1. MagRug – 509 BW – A1C Paul Olexa

2. PRP App – 5BW & 91 MW – Ms. Joyce San Nicolas & Capt Eric Schoenhals

3. Vaccine Storage Bin – 377 ABW – TSgt Mircho Plaza

4. Launcher Closure Door Hydraulic APU Replacement – 341 MW – SSgt Justin Latham & SSgt Matthew Thorn

5. StrikerAF App – 7 BW & 509 BW – SrA Kalei Sloan & Capt Ben Kram

6. EOD Rapid Robot Deployment – 509 BW – TSgt Kenneth Dunn & TSgt Thomas Gilbert