TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- In an effort to keep up with the demand for innovation, leadership at the 621st Contingency Response Wing recently created a new position to assist the development of innovative ideas and continued process improvement.
“Innovation is not a nicety. It’s a necessity,” said Lt. Col. Lindsey Bauer, the newly appointed 621st CRW chief innovation officer.
The roles and responsibilities of this new position are still being solidified, but they will revolve around three main principles, said Bauer.
“First and foremost, I want Airmen to come to me with their ideas,” said Bauer. “My job will be to assist Airmen to get their ideas moving forward.”
Airmen of the CRW are no strangers to innovation. In 2019, a Devil Raider placed second out of 64 submissions to the Air Mobility Command’s Phoenix Spark Tank competition.
“A few small leaks can bring down a dam. Therefore, no idea is too small,” said Capt. Kyle MacDonald, former wing innovation coordinator and currently the 321st Contingency Response Squadron aerial port flight commander at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.
Bauer’s second priority will be partnering with off-base companies to take advantage of their creativity.
“I’ll also be working with small businesses to seek out new products that we can employ for our dynamic missions anywhere around the globe,” said Bauer.
Devil Raiders on the East Coast have been partnered with Pvilion, a small business based out of Brooklyn, New York, over the past year to develop solar panels that can be mounted on top of the tents used for joint or tactical operation centers.
“This can help us in many ways,” said MacDonald. “But one of the biggest benefits is it allow us to be less reliant on fuel to power the electricity needs of the JOC and TOC, which can be critical especially in remote areas.”
The third priority for the CIO is on-going processes improvement.
“The use of CP2I (continuous process improvement and innovation) is very important to ensure the Airmen of the CRW can respond even faster to the ever-changing environment,” said Bauer. “With open-minded, innovative Airmen, nearly every process can be improved and I’m looking forward to working with them to get this done!”