Michael Black, AFGSC project champion for bomber sortie modernization and standardization, discusses the challenges of the project with virtual and in-person attendees during a problem definition workshop held at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, Louisiana. (Sean Green/STRIKEWERX)

By Sean Green | STRIKEWERX Marketing and Communication Director

BOSSIER CITY, La. — STRIKEWERX, Air Force Global Strike Command’s innovation hub, is seeking solutions to modernize and standardize how bombers are prepared to take off for combat.

STRIKEWERX hosted a Problem Definition Workshop at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, June 21 to assist with the data collection and presentation of those efforts, also called bomber combat sortie generation.

Michael Black, AFGSC project champion, said bomber generation is “only the most complex thing the command does and one of the most important.”

“Bombers are a strategic level force projection asset. In order for bombers to compete that task, weapons must be loaded onto aircraft expeditiously using established steps and procedures. These events are tracked and reported to Headquarters Air Force,” said Black. “That reporting process is very labor intensive, inefficient and subject to human error. We’re trying to automate that process and simplify how the data flows.”

The workshop, STRIKEWERX’s first virtual workshop since 2020, saw subject matter experts from government join 20-plus academia and industry participants to assist AFGSC with market research for resolving existing issues and centralizing data into a near real time common operating picture.

Black noted that he is excited to collaborate with STRIKEWERX on solving difficult problems.

“We were able to give a good picture of the challenge to the vendors and received a lot of good feedback from them. Even as the project champion, the vendors’ questions helped me gain a better understanding of the nuances of this challenge,” said Black.

The Problem Definition Workshop uses collaboration techniques to have industry, small businesses and academia provide the ideas and technology to combat obstacles faced by the U.S. Air Force.

Master Sgt. James Puckett, section chief of weapons maintenance for the 2nd Munitions Squadron at Barksdale AFB, said generation tracking is cumbersome and hopes to see simplification of documentations and processes.

“The workshop was great at bringing together a lot of good perspectives and ideas and will be very helpful in developing something we can all use to update and get important information out to headquarters,” Puckett said.

STRIKEWERX is compiling the workshop input into a Request for Proposal that will be sent to select industry. Ultimately, the awarded vendor will provide a prototype solution for AFGSC.