Spark Tank finalists announced
By Kayla Prather, Air Force Materiel Command
/ Published October 12, 2021
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Air Force Materiel Command named its 2022 MAJCOM Spark Tank finalists during the command Senior Leader Conference, Oct. 8.
Spark Tank brings forth the innovative knowledge and powers of Airmen and Guardians, reflecting leadership’s continued efforts to empower and provide them with a platform to pitch innovative solutions to operational problems.
This year, there were 97 submissions to the AFMC-level competition. From these submissions, five semi-finalists were selected to present their ideas to command senior leadership, with the top two ideas progressing to the Air Force-level competition.
The two AFMC finalists are:
- Flight Log Interactive Test System submitted by Gregory Monroe, Air Force Lifecycle and Management Center
- Looking toward “combatting controlled chaos,” Monroe presented the idea of a web-based system that would provide coordinated test planning and eliminate unnecessary tests. This would be a global effort and planned across geographically-dispersed teams. With acquisitions and new technology changing rapidly, this will positively combat how systems are planned, executed and reported within the Department of Defense.
- F-22 Open Systems Architecture Rack submitted by Maj. Allen Black, Air Force Test Center
- The F-22 was recently upgraded with an Open System Architecture Rack. Black’s Fighter Optimization Experiment seeks to leverage and partner with the F-35 FoX Table effort to enable interoperability between the systems and airframes. Black’s presentation shared that DoD weapon systems software acquisitions must change if we are to remain competitive in a great power conflict. This includes portable software, cyber tools and widespread integration.
It was also announced that the other three semi-finalist projects would be funded by AFMC internally.
“Spark Tank gave me a wonderful opportunity to bring forth my idea for changing how we perform tests in the Air Force and possibly the DoD,” said Monroe. “I am grateful for the chance to compete, and look forward to the next steps.”