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NEWS | Jan. 10, 2020

AFIMSC announces 2020 Innovation Rodeo finalists

By Shannon Carabajal Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs

The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center announced finalists for the 2020 AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo Jan. 9.

Eight finalists were selected out of 143 submissions and nearly 2,000 online votes to compete for a share of $1 million in funding and resources to implement their ideas. One finalist is from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The finalist teams will spend the first week of February in San Antonio learning from leading innovators, honing their pitches and trying to convince a board of senior Air Force installation and mission support leaders that their idea is the best.

“We asked installation and mission support Airmen to give us some game-changing ideas and they delivered,” said Marc Vandeveer, AFIMSC chief innovation officer. “The AFIMSC Innovation Office is excited to help them refine their pitches, partner with innovation accelerators and bring their ideas to life. We look forward to seeing them in February.”

The top ideas are:
Air Force eSports
Submitted by: Capt. Simon Pena, 7th Force Support Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
Idea: Establish an Air Force intramural and varsity eSports program where Airmen can bolster resiliency, forge camaraderie and hone warrior lethality in preparation for the future fight.

Submitted by: Senior Master Sgt. Berenice Lailson, 633rd Mission Support Group, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and Senior Master Sgt. Sarah McDonald, 90th Force Support Squadron, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.
Idea: Similar to food delivery apps, Airmen can order food and have it delivered to their work center. The service would include options from installation force support food operations facilities, including the club, bowling alley or golf course, and include a range of offerings from healthy to comfort foods. The service would increase facility customer bases and help them reach units such as security forces; logistics; intelligence or any work center that must be operated 24/7.

Submitted by: 1st Lt. Steven Brandt, 48th Contracting Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom
Idea: Leverage the resources and integration of commercial ride-hailing companies to give Airmen across the Air Force enterprise-level solutions to parking and transportation shortages. Airmen living in dorms, in particular, often lack adequate transportation getting to work and around base. This solution could be implemented via partnership with private industry through a scooter service, scooter lease program or through buying and maintaining.

Radio-frequency identification/electronic inventory management system for security forces squadron and logistics readiness squadron armory tracking systems
Submitted by: Senior Master Sgt. Berenice Lailson, 633rd Mission Support Group, and Master Sgt. Katrina Medley, 96th Test Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Idea: Develop a system that can be adapted via LRS and SFS needs to virtually track the issue and return of every weapon through RFID technology.

Communications Infrastructure Augmented Reality
Submitted by: Senior Airman Tyler Strauser, 96th Communications Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Idea: Use of augmented-reality glasses to assist in on-site locating and surveying buried and underground communications infrastructure for dig-permit processing. Current communications infrastructure locating practices are time consuming and can take days or weeks to identify and mark communication pathways depending on the area’s size and amount of cable congestion.

Improve Real Property Records Utilizing Bots
Submitted by: James Fitzpatrick, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland
Idea: Use "BOTS" computer scripts to do repetitive tasks, such as reviewing data and correcting errors during the end-of-year real property accountability process.

Semi-autonomous/autonomous mowers for airfield mowing operations
Submitted by: Master Sgt. Jason Griffith, AFRC 932nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
Idea: Flightline mowing is problematic for the operations groups, civil engineer squadrons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and flight safety. The bird-aircraft strike hazard increases greatly during mowing operations because of birds following mowers around the flightline to prey on the bugs that get disturbed by the mower. A fleet of autonomous mowers operating around the flightline and controlled by the tower for use during non-peak flying hours such as nights, weekends and holidays would reduce the Bird/wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazards, or BASH.

Fire Truck Positive Interlock Latch
Submitted by: Airman 1st Class Jordan Vesey, 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
Idea: The JB Lewis-McChord fire truck maintenance team was presented with a problem on the firefighters’ structural fire truck rear upper compartment. When unloading hoses from the compartment, firefighters must open two 75-pound doors that are each supported by a single gas shock. On a windy day, these shocks had not been enough to support these doors and they collapsed on the firefighters leading to injury. A positive interlock latch will secure the doors without worry.

For more information about the 2020 AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo, visit