HomeNewsArticle Display

AF to fund squadron innovation that improves mission effectiveness

ORLANDO, Fla. (AFNS) -- Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein announced that Air Force squadrons will receive a new funding authority to accelerate implementation of the National Defense Strategy Feb. 23, 2018. The funds will be used for Airmen-led innovations that increase readiness, reduce cost, return time back to Airmen or enhance lethality of the force.

The Air Force will distribute the $64 million “Squadron Innovation Fund” across all total force squadrons to reduce resource barriers that are preventing ingenuity.

“We need our squadrons to be aggressively persistent and take risks in the pursuit of new ideas and solutions,” Goldfein said. “No one knows the problems we face day-to-day more than the Airmen in our squadrons.”

The goal, according to Goldfein, is for squadrons to think and act like start-ups. The infusion of funds will serve as “seed money” for squadron-level innovation initiatives that deliver bottom-up solutions.

“Our roots are in a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. We tinker. This fund will support the bicycle mechanics in our squadrons,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “As I travel around our bases and visit flight lines and shops, I find Airmen building better tools and trying out new ideas. This fund will enable more innovation from the squadron up, not the top down.”

The concept for the initiative was inspired by the success of the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, California, in procuring solutions to their mission needs independent of Pentagon oversight.

“Part of the job of leaders is to unleash that brilliance and to create an environment where young folks with good ideas actually can get a hearing,” Goldfein said. “And we can give them some resources and time and energy to allow them to pursue those ideas and see where it goes.”

Central to the Air Force leadership’s vision for squadron innovation is the value of learning from failure.

“We know not every idea is a homerun,” said Goldfein. “If an idea fails, we want it to fail fast and our Airmen to learn even faster. And because we’ve shown them we believe in their ideas, I want them to keep swinging until we find the answer.”

The Air Force will leverage AFwerX and its innovation network to assist squadrons and wings in connecting, sharing and learning from one another.

“Innovative Airmen find better ways of doing the mission,” Goldfein said. “Their intrapreneurship makes us more lethal, more efficient — they must be supported by leaders who not only remove unnecessary barriers to success, but who also lift up and champion their ideas.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri
RT @USAFReserve: Loadmaster first Reservist to complete USAF Weapons School Advanced Instructor Course (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveRe
.@secafoffical will speak about America’s footprint in space going forward at 5:45 EST. Watch live at https://t.co/aSlw5ceGJj
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD delivers keynote remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum. #RNDF https://t.co/ZXhuaTOQTm
Today, we help Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, combat veteran and American legend, celebrate 💯 sorties aroun… https://t.co/bcmcDr4IYW
December 7, 1941. #PearlHarbor and six other #military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were attacked, beginnin… https://t.co/4GvB8yPpGV
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Take a look at @usairforce Airmen assigned to the @109thAW using their ski-equipped C-130s to deliver supplies to the Arct…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you to Gen CQ Brown & the @PACAF team for the outstanding work organizing one of largest gatherings of Pacific A…
RT @DeptofDefense: Flying side by side gets the mission done. @usairforce and @RoyalAirForce participated in exercise Point Blank with @NAT
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Getting to see a chaplain in a remote location is a #blessing. Archbishop of U.S. Military Services Timothy Broglio recently…
RT @AFWERX: Did you catch @EdwardsAFB’s first-ever @TEDx event? There’s no doubt their theme, “Laying the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Innovat…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to get motivated by watching this video of exercise #MobilityGuardian19, Air Mobility Command's largest full-sp…
.@SecAFOfficial Barbara Barrett recently testified to the #SenateArmedServicesCommittee on privatized #military hou… https://t.co/XktLL4cXBB
RT @US_Stratcom: Whether it’s a defender, missile alert facility manager or a missileer, everyone is vital to the intercontinental ballisti…
RT @AFResearchLab: The @AF_SBIR_STTR team alongside the Wright Brothers Institute hosted the first @usairforce Technology Executive Office…