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News | July 20, 2021

JBER hosts innovation competition

By Airman Andrew Britten 673d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Arctic Spark lab hosted seven teams at an innovation competition at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson July 7.

The Arctic Spark Council accepted submissions for six weeks to compete. When submissions closed, the council had seven ideas to vie for approximately $170,000 in funds. 

The council also enlisted the help of installation leaders to judge at the event. Judges included U.S. Air Force Col. Kirsten Aguilar, the JBER and 673d Air Base Wing commander, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Lee Mills, the JBER and 673d ABW command chief, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Casey Wyman, the 673d Comptroller Squadron commander, and Donald Weckhorst, the JBER and 673d ABW executive director.

“The entire council is thrilled the event was such a success,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Kenneth Griffing, Arctic Spark Council chief executive officer. “We’re also happy that base leadership was able to award funding to so many innovative ideas, which will help front-line members execute their mission to the fullest.”

One of the propositions was a kiosk for the Professional Military Education Center that streamlines the in-processing experience by digitizing identification cards and other documents. 

“Gen. C.Q. Brown [U.S. Air Force chief of staff] is asking for us to lead from the front with innovation,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Dalven Adams, a 673d Air Base Wing Staff Agency professional military education instructor. “Innovation is the new key to pushing the force forward and it really means a lot for the 673d ABW to give us this opportunity.” 

Another concept was displaying digital command photos and other messages on televisions instead of printed photos in frames which require expensive regular updates.

“It’s the 21st Century and we’re almost a quarter of the way through it,” said Aguilar, who noted the propositions will help modernize processes and facilities.

The Arctic Spark Council’s competition is over, but innovative ideas are always welcome; if you have an idea for a way to improve a process, contact Arctic Spark at arctic.spark@us.af.mil.