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Home : News : News
NEWS | Nov. 11, 2020

AETC launches 2021 Innovation Challenge

By Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

Do you have a great idea that just needs funding, but first support from leaders?  Have you tried an idea that didn’t quite work out, but you learned enough to try again, if only you had funding?  Here is your chance to get that support and highlight your unit’s innovative spirit!

This week, Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Education and Training Command, launched the AETC 2021 Innovation Challenge or iChallenge.

The intent of the iChallenge is to capture and fund innovative ideas that directly align with the chief of staff of the Air Force’s ‘accelerate change or lose’ action orders or AETC Strategic Action Plan priorities. The first prize is $75,000, which is given to the winner’s wing and the second prize is $50,000 for the winner’s wing.

Also included in the iChallenge is the Adapt Award.  This award recognizes Airmen who had a great idea, accepted the risk to try it out and didn’t quite hit the mark. AETC will reward those who made an attempt that led to a learning experience and will therefore recognize two Adapt Award winners; each will receive $25,000 for their wing.

“Here at the First Command we have the distinct honor of being charged with establishing the foundation of excellence for our entire Air Force and part of this foundation is excellence with an innovative approach.” said Webb, “I challenge every Airman in AETC to participate in the iChallenge by either submitting an idea or voting on the ideas submitted that can positively impact our organization and the mission.”

Here is how the iChallenge works 

Airmen must submit their idea through IdeaScale at AETC 2021 iChallenge by March 5, 2021. Each nomination must support at least one of the following categories/focus areas:

Category 1: CSAF Accelerate Change or Lose Action Orders (The Accelerate Change Award)

Focus Area A - Airmen

Focus Area B - Bureaucracy

Focus Area C - Competition

Focus Area D - Design Implementation/USAF Force Structure

Category 2: AETC Strategic Action Plan Priorities (The Torch Award)

Focus Area A - Advance Force Development

Focus Area E - Enhance Lethality and Readiness

Focus Area T - Transform the Way We Learn

Focus Area C - Cultivate an Environment of Excellence

Up to 21 nominees will present a three-minute virtual idea pitch in April 2021, to the AETC Selection Committee, chaired by Lt. Gen. Brad Webb.


 Nov. 9, 2020 – March 5, 2021: Idea submission window

April 2021: Finalists pitch presentations

Spring 2021: AETC Gathering of the Torch—winners announced

Call to Action:

For more information about the iChallenge, contact HQ AETC/A9, Innovation and Analysis, at