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“Bootcamp” brings Moody innovative solutions

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Erick Requadt
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs

Members from Team Moody participated in a National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) “Innovation Bootcamp” course, July 23-26, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.

Over the four-day bootcamp, 29 Airmen learned how to apply innovative solutions to Moody specific challenges under guidance of a team from the University of California, Berkeley.

“I think this is a great way to interact with some pretty innovative thinkers,” said Col. Benjamin Conde, 23d Wing vice commander. “No matter what your background is, we're going to work on these problems with a fresh outlook. This is an opportunity for our Airmen to take a look at challenges Moody deals with daily, and try to make it better. We want to come at it from an innovative perspective and find ways to help us manage those problems effectively to build a better future.

“I've served in the Air Force for about twenty-two years and I realized that we are full of (difficult) problems that are just really tough to solve,” Conde added. “It's important for us to have some tools in our bag to try to manage those tough problems.”

Bootcamp attendees had a chance to address a challenge specific to Moody through human-centered-design-problem-solving methodology.

“We want everyone to be engaged and for it to be meaningful,” said Rose Butchart, NSIN program manager. “We looked for attendees based on a connection to the challenge at hand: people involved in flight scheduling directly, and people whose jobs are affected by flight scheduling.”

The course had participants work together in teams to formulate solutions on how the base can harmonize inputs from operators and support personnel to maximize efficiency and minimize errors in flight scheduling. The training event culminated with participants pitching their ideas for the class to see which one would be the best option.

“The goal is to come up with solutions to this problem of operational efficiency,” said David Charron, Berkeley professor and one of the instructors for the event. “If there are good solutions, how do we move them forward and implement them within Moody? That's obviously important to leadership; it's important to us teaching and it's also important to those attending. That if they can affect the change, that's going to be a really great start.

“There's also the generalization of this,” Charron added. “How do they take the processes they get here and generalize it to other problems? That's much more of what we're teaching people to do, because we want to educate the people on how the process works.”

Tech. Sgt. Donald Armond, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron structural supervisor, who was chosen by his leadership to attend the class, highlighted the utility of not only getting to be an outside perspective, but also having the opportunity to bring the ideas he’s gained back into his workplace.

“I appreciate how the base has something like this to allow diverse groups of people to come together to share ideas, and to formulate one clear and concise solution to solving scheduling issues,” Armond said. “It's great to see how leadership realizes that bringing people together with diverse backgrounds and ideas is a proven way to create solutions. It takes a vast array of ideas and personnel to be able to successfully solve an issue.

“This class has taught me how to use the tools to solve issues in my own workplace,” Armond continued. “It’s given me a means to be able to address issues to begin to solve them.”