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Air Force announces Spark Tank finalists

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force announced the six Spark Tank finalists who will showcase their innovative ideas to Air Force senior leaders Feb. 23, 2018, in Orlando, Florida, at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium.

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson first announced the Air Force’s Spark Tank competition during the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference Sept. 18, 2017.

The finalists are:

1st Lt. James Eimers, 90th Munitions Squadron,
F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, Air Force Global Strike Command
Brass to Bucks




Tech. Sgt. Bartek Bachleda, 22nd Air Refueling Wing,
McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, Air Mobility Command
KC-135 aircraft boom instructor platform




Senior Airman Christopher Caruso, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron,
Aviano AFB, Italy United States Air Force Europe

Mobile pod stand




Master Sgt. Thomas Crider, 164th Airlift Wing
Memphis Air National Guard Base, Tennessee, Air National Guard
Maintenance Operation Training Augmented Reality



Col. Tri Trinh, Lt. Col. Mike Fellows, Capt. Liquat Ali, Senior Master Sgt. Timm Huffman,
Air Force Reserve Command
Air Force Connect Mobile App




John Figgins, Joseph Motowski, Jeffery Hopkins, Micah Turner,
Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, Air Mobility Command
Graphic Airfield Suitability




The Spark Tank competition, which is co-hosted between the Airmen Powered by Innovation program and the newly-announced AFWERX innovation ecosystem, was conducted in a multi-step approach starting with participants submitting their idea through the API website. Each major command selected two innovative ideas within their commands to compete at the headquarters level.

“The pace of change is accelerating and the Air Force knows the next generation of innovators are the ones who will take us into our future,” Wilson said. “I know the true source of our military might is not merely in the investments we make but in the courage and ingenuity of our people, and the innovative spirit that has made our Armed Forces the envy of the world.”