WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- In a quest to find new and innovative ways to improve, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center held its inaugural 2016 Innovation Challenge and Ian Morris, a contract negotiator with the F-16 System Program Office at Hill Air Force Base, Utah was recently named the winner.
During the competition, 128 military members and civilians throughout the center’s nine operating locations submitted ideas for the chance to win a $5,000 operation and maintenance award for their unit.
In a format similar to the hit TV show “Shark Tank,” the top ten finalists in the competition presented their ideas via video teleconference to a panel of experts comprised of senior Air Force leaders, who engaged the contestants to determine the benefits and feasibility of their ideas before ultimately selecting the winner.
Morris proposed an idea to increase center efficiency by reducing the time it takes for new employees to get access to computers and other systems vital to doing their job.
He suggested that AFLCMC send all forms related to computers, clearance and security access along with hiring forms to new employees well in advance of their first day at work, so when they arrive they are able to immediately do their job.
“My idea came from my frustration with being a new hire and not having access to a computer for a number of weeks,” Morris said. “When it came down to it, I wasn’t able to do the job for which I was hired.”
Morris added that winning the award was bittersweet, and while his idea wasn’t revolutionary it has the potential to save the Air Force money and increase productivity throughout AFLCMC.
Lt. Gen. John Thompson, AFLCMC commander thanked all of the participants in the challenge.
“Thank you to all of the innovators for your great ideas,” Thompson said. “Although the official competition has ended, the work will not stop. My staff and I will implement as many of the 128 submissions as we can to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Center. If AFLCMC innovators represent our next generation, I know our Air Force is in high-quality and innovative ‘good hands.’ I’m very much looking forward to what next year’s competition will bring!”
AFLCMC is charged with the life cycle management of Air Force weapons systems from their inception to retirement. The center’s portfolio includes Information Technology systems and networks, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance systems, armaments, aerial platforms and various specialized or supporting systems such as simulators. AFLCMC also executes sales of aircraft and other defense-related equipment while building security assistance relationships with foreign partner nation air forces.