HomeNewsArticle Display

ACC recognizes innovation, announces Spark Tank finalists

General Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, speaks to judges during ACC’s 2020 Spark Tank competition at the Creech Conference Center on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Oct. 16, 2019. Six teams of Airmen from bases across ACC presented their ideas. The winning teams will move on to the finals in Washington D.C. to compete at the Air Force level against finalists from other commands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson)

Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command commander, speaks to judges during ACC’s 2020 Spark Tank competition at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 16, 2019. Six teams of Airmen from across ACC presented their ideas. The winning teams will move on to the finals in Washington, D.C., to compete at the Air Force level against finalists from other commands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson)

Air Combat Command Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Christopher P. Weggeman, holds a portable magnetic aircraft cover, during ACC’s 2020 Spark Tank competition at the Creech Conference Center on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Oct. 16, 2019. The competition, which is part of an Air Force-wide innovation initiative, encourages Airmen of all ranks and careers generate innovative ideas that save time, money and maintain readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson)

Lt. Gen. Christopher P. Weggeman, Air Combat Command deputy commander, holds a portable magnetic aircraft cover during ACC’s 2020 Spark Tank competition at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 16, 2019. The competition, which is part of an Air Force-wide innovation initiative, encourages Airmen of all ranks and careers to generate innovative ideas that save time, money and maintain readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson)

Senior Airman Brett Geisler, 9th Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental technician, Beale Air Force Base, California, and Tech. Sgt. Jean-Paul Trevino, 9th MXS E&E noncommissioned officer in charge, present their idea to the judge’s panel during Air Combat Command’s 2020 Spark Tank competition at the Creech Conference Center on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Oct. 16, 2019. Geisler’s idea to remedy seals on the latch assembly of aircraft canopies has the potential to not only save thousands of dollars, but also reduce man hours by 26 percent. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson)

Senior Airman Brett Geisler, 9th Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental technician, Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and Tech. Sgt. Jean-Paul Trevino, 9th MXS electrical and environmental noncommissioned officer in charge, present their idea to the judge’s panel during Air Combat Command’s 2020 Spark Tank competition at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 16, 2019. Geisler’s idea to remedy seals on the latch assembly of aircraft canopies has the potential to not only save thousands of dollars, but also reduce man hours by 26%. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. (AFNS) --

Air Combat Command announced its two 2020 Spark Tank finalists moving on to compete in the finals in Washington, D.C.

The finalists competed against four other teams of contestants from a multitude of career fields and experience levels. They will move on to the finals at AFWERX, where they’ll compete against winners from other major commands at the Air Force level. From there, the judge’s panel will choose six finalists from a pool of more than 20 semi-finalists — two from each MAJCOM, plus two AFWERX wildcards.

Airman 1st Class Brett Geisler is a 9th Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental journeyman from Beale Air Force Base, California. Geisler pitched an idea to Spark Tank judges for a latch-seal track case. The latch-seal track case is an assembly Geisler crafted with computer-aided drafting at home.

Geisler’s idea is projected to prevent failures during operational inspections of aircraft canopies and save thousands of dollars and cut man-hours on the flightline by 26%.

“It feels great,” Geisler said. “It feels like I actually put my name out there and accomplished something. I was really hyped to see all of the other ideas because they were awesome.”

Geisler also described how enthusiastic his fellow Airmen will be when they see his idea come to fruition.

“They’re definitely going to be happy,” Geisler said. “My coworkers were excited about my idea before I even entered into this competition.

“They hated redundant maintenance actions just as much as I did,” he continued. “At the end of the day, it’s more promising to see that our parts are going to be in a secure location.”

The second finalist, Tech. Sgt. Daniel Caban, a 1st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron F-22 Raptor crew chief from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, articulated an idea to the judge’s panel for portable magnetic aircraft covers, or PMAC. Caban said his idea came from the desire to help pilots bring their large, bulky aircraft covers with them in flight to use during arrival to deployments and temporary duty assignments.

“It feels good to see my product move forward and come to life,” Caban said.

Not only does Caban’s idea increase F-22 readiness, PMAC can also be used on any fighter aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory. Caban’s idea is projected to cut individual costs of aircraft covers by more than 50%. It will also eliminate the unit cost of aircraft cover transport.

Caban’s leadership also showed how proud they were of the Spark Tank results.

“Caban is known to be an innovator,” said 1st Lt. Marlene Myers, 1st Fighter Wing aircraft maintenance officer. “He has a lot of great ideas and we’re just really excited for him to be able to showcase PMAC. I think he’s inspired younger Airmen to come forward with good ideas that they have.”

Air Force senior leaders and AFWERX created the competition to spur innovative ideas for operational implementation worldwide. Spark Tank also identifies opportunities for Airmen at all levels to save time and money, maintain readiness, increase lethality and ensure cost-effective modernization across the service.

The annual Spark Tank competition empowers Airmen to constantly examine functions and missions, as outlined in the ACC Strategic Plan. In terms of forward-thinking, this ensures Airmen foster a culture of process-improvement within their units and work centers.

“We’re looking forward to make things better all the time,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jason P. Colón, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing command chief master sergeant, Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. “Evaluate. Re-evaluate. Never maintain that status quo.”

By driving Airmen to examine capabilities and identify areas for improvement, Spark Tank competitions help the Air Force streamline processes to enhance lethality, readiness and air superiority.

“I think the risk is in not considering those ideas because nobody has a monopoly at any echelon on good ideas,” said Col. Brian J. Tyler, Commander of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. “To the extent we create experts within our fields, those are the Airmen who are closest to the problem. Those are also the ones who are probably most in tune with providing solutions that are feasible.”

Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of ACC, thanked the semi-finalists for developing and submitting their ideas up the chain.

“We’re really proud of you for putting your brain power to work and for having the confidence to come forward and bring a suggestion to us,” Holmes said. “Supervisors and commanders were willing to listen to suggestions, help shape them and bring them forward.”

Overall, AFWERX judges and Air Force senior leaders make their selections based on which projects have the highest probability of delivering a game-changing impact to the Air Force within six months to two years. Some of the criteria Spark Tank judge’s panels are looking for include: potential for impact, solution feasibility and the ability for contestants to articulate a path forward.

The six Air Force level winners will then move on to the final round early next year at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida, where Airmen will not only present to Air Force senior leaders but also industry experts and famous investors from the CBS TV show “Shark Tank.”

Engage

Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III returns to @TeamCharleston after evacuating to Ellsworth AFB. Ellsworth has a support agree… https://t.co/vtHhp1ETVC
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD in 1949, the DOD was formed, unifying the military under the secretary of defense. Our thanks to everyone who serve…
Twitter
Starting off the week with some air power! . An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 3rd Wing takes off from Joint Base Elme… https://t.co/cjvCe6fSOk
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: “We need out-of-the-box thinkers to succeed in our mission of developing the base of the future,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Mel…
Twitter
“With accelerating disruptive technologies...rewriting Air Power for all nations, not just the U.S., continuing our… https://t.co/WDD6LsQGkr
Twitter
#Resilience: The story of the Peck family’s and their battle with breast cancer. #TotalForce @ScottAFB https://t.co/PYGgSOQwcu
Twitter
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Maintaining resiliency in paradise - https://t.co/IXktGzGgWc (Story by the @624RSG) #ReserveResilient https://t.co/ta8mMTP…
Twitter
RT @hack_a_sat: Tune in at 11 AM PDT to watch the LIVE closing ceremony with Dr. Will Roper and @bjgol. 🚀It's all happening at https://t.c…
Twitter
Difficult, but not impossible. @GenCQBrownJr addresses the challenges the Air Force faces going forward. https://t.co/kF4FdxN5S6
Twitter
“I want to show people the power of having faith & sticking to what you say you’re going to do.” - Staff Sgt. Gerem… https://t.co/524l6BUsyI
Twitter
What operates 24/7 ensuring the safety of aircraft & aircrews, AND provides prompt service to whoever is flying?… https://t.co/JMaYsTV5XH
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr explains what the Air Force can expect from his leadership: https://t.co/bxeqgZ1NSi
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: Your daily @usairforce news! ✅ @Team_Tinker Airmen are using 3D printing to manufacture metal components successfully…
Twitter
5-year-old Wilder Umbarger, who suffers from X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy, wished he could see a real plane and me… https://t.co/nUtEk9e0u4
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr assumed his new role as Air Force Chief of Staff Aug. 6. https://t.co/kk8y15fOYe
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: "Their exceptional service in conducting over 100,000 COVID tests set the conditions to reduce the effects of this pandem…
Twitter
Botinsol Analytics has developed a portable precision chem-bio lab for people who need to do real-time analysis in… https://t.co/XgOq8ROkSE
Twitter
#FollowFriday: The 22nd Air Force Chief of Staff @GenCQBrownJr https://t.co/UOG0JDKTVJ
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,263,878
Follow Us