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What’s Broke? ... Let’s fix it!

By Master Sgt. Justin McDonald | JBER Public Affairs | Dec. 6, 2018

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —

In an effort to modernize and inspire innovation, the 673 Air Base Wing leadership team has raised the bar with “Arctic Spark” providing a unique way of looking at your workplace problems or ideas on how to better or overcome them. 

During the U.S. Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference in September 2017, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, discussed the state of the Air Force.  She stated, “Adversaries are modernizing and innovating faster than we are…we have to be able to evolve faster, to respond faster than our potential adversaries.” 

This leadership driven road to innovation starts with the lowest ranking Airman.  Secretary Wilson stated “Innovation is the hallmark of the United States Air Force.”  Here at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, the 673 ABW leadership is looking for YOUR ideas and problems to begin the modernization of the Wing’s processes. 

In October 2018, U.S. Air Force Col. Patricia Csànk, directed the 673 ABW to stand up an innovation cell to establish a foundation for leap ahead ideas to support Team JBER operations.  The result was the establishment of the 673 ABW’s Arctic Spark Cell. 

The mission of Arctic Spark is to Empower Airmen to bring tomorrow’s tools to the Warfighter today with the vision to ignite and sustain the most innovative culture in the Pacific Air Forces. 

The focus of Arctic Spark is to review innovation initiatives at the appropriate level to determine the merit and viability of action plans.  The intention is to create an environment which helps identify a problem set and foster an area to create, prototype, and experiment with hardware or software solutions, collaborate research with academic institutes, and provide academic or practical opportunities for individual or organizational learning.

What does this mean for Airmen?  Your leadership, from the top down, is providing a unique opportunity for every Airman’s voice to be heard and have a physical outlet for ideas to manifest and have some sort of “skin in the game.”  The process is simple, just submit an idea with or without a proposed solution to the 673 ABW Arctic Spark and the Spark Cell will reach out to you to help solve your problems.

The fuel for the Arctic Spark Cell is ideas and problems.  Without your ideas, they will not have the ability to solve the problems you face every day at work.  If you go in to work and think, “This is broken” or “there is a better way”, the Arctic Spark Cell wants that input.

You can begin submitting your ideas now to Arctic.Spark@us.af.mil or simply scan the attached QR code for submission via personal email.  Please include your contact information so the Arctic Spark team can work with you to find the best solution.