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NEWS | March 5, 2021

Tech Tuesday brings Air Force innovators together

By Aryn Lockhart Nineteenth Air Force Public Affairs

Nineteenth Air Force and Second Air Force held their first virtual Tech Tuesday event March 2 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

This event was the first in a series designed to bring together innovative individuals and teams from across the Air Education Training Command. The goal was to collaborate and showcase the variety of ways Airmen are moving training forward.

The open forum allowed peers and leaders to ask questions and poke holes in their problems while providing suggestions on how to make it better.  

“So often we ask ourselves the question, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we could....?’ and then continue on with our daily tasks or training methods using the tools we’ve been given,” said Maj. Kimberly Hoffman, Nineteenth Air Force deputy of pilot training transformation. 

“When we asked the question throughout AETC, the result was multiple answers to the same problems,” Hoffman said. “We decided to collect those well-thought-out plans and connect them with other resources to work towards a sustainable solution that allows Airmen to focus on their primary mission.” 

Solutions collected varied in depth and scope. Some answers were organically created, using only the Airmen within their organization who had the passion to create something from scratch. Other solutions involved extensive research on how funding and contracts work to procure or develop something with industry or academia. 

The first session covered applications from basic aviation communication training and interconnecting databases to wargaming course of action analysis. The following is a breakdown of the presentations: 

Air Traffic Control Pocket App (334th Training Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi) – Briefer: Maj. Matthew Francom 

  • ATC training tools outside the classroom and operational ATC facilities 
  • A training tool that Airmen have “in their pocket” that organizes an abundance of pertinent ATC knowledge in one place   

  Wargaming Commodity Course of Action Automated Analysis Method (WCCAAM) - (Air Force Institute of Technology – Air University) – Briefer: Dr. Ken Hopkinson  

  • Applications applied towards advancing Air Force and Space Force wargaming  
  • Inserts war gaming inputs into algorithms to find the most effective COA 
  • Creator – Capt. Tyler DeBerry    

Multi-Agent Space Simulation (MASS) Framework (AFIT – Air University) – Briefer: Dr. Ken Hopkinson 

  • Facilitates the rapid development of AI-based approaches for space scenarios 
  • Creator – John Beighle   

Low Code NEST’D  (97th Training Squadron – Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma) – Briefer: Lt. Col. Matt  Tarnowski and Brian Walker 

  • A system of apps that bring information together in a “Data Lake” instead of the multiple silos that we operate in currently  

PlaneEnglish (479th Flying Training Group – Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida) – Briefer: Maj. Marshall Nye 

  • An aviation communication app that allows undergraduate aviators the opportunity to listen and practice ATC radio calls on their own time outside of regularly scheduled upgrade events. 

One success from the event was the real-time/on-call connection of the Second Air Force’s ATC Pocket and Nineteenth Air Force's PlaneEnglish. Each team was aware that other units were working on similar apps, but had never connected or collaborated. Now the two organizations gained the information necessary to expand the discussion and design greater solutions.  

"The innovations are really phenomenal to listen to and watch. I enjoyed the presentations, the passion. I really look forward to more of the same,” said Brig. Gen. Lisa Craig, Air Force Recruiting Service deputy commander.  

Presentations are available at https://www.milsuite.mil/video/41178.