GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Tracking the training of each airman in a squadron takes a lot of time and staff, but when a squadron has limited resources, innovation is put to the test in the hopes of finding a more modern solution.
The 319th Security Forces Squadron teamed up with the North Spark Defense Laboratory at Grand Forks Air Force Base to implement a new web-based training tracker that has been able to drastically reduce administrative task within the squadron.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Josue Tello, the 319th SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of training, and Air Force Senior Airman Moejha Calmes, the 319th SFS unit scheduler, were the first to notice a problem and look for a cutting-edge solution.
“Airman Calmes and I looked into ways we could improve our processes and save time since we’re limited on personnel,” Tello said. “We decided to reach out to North Spark because we heard how they were able to help other squadrons with their own operations.”
Previously, the 319th SFS had been using spreadsheets to input and track all the training records for their airmen, which made compiling specific information difficult, Tello said.
With the help of Space Force Capt. Adam Bordeau, a project arc engineer at North Spark Defense Laboratory, they were able to digitize the hand-written records into a new training tracker computer program, cutting approximately 80% of their usual administrative time.
“The importance of the training tracker is that it allows everyone from the trainers to squadron leadership to see the readiness of their people in real time,” Bordeau said. “With the new tracker in place, it no longer takes weeks to track who has done what training; now we get immediate feedback.”
Through the web-based program, the information can be easily input and presented as graphs, charts and lists that show all personnel in the system.
“If it weren’t for North Spark, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Tello said, “They helped us achieve goals that allow us to get after our mission as defenders.”
Through the help of the Grand Forks AFB innovation cell, Tello, Calmes and their training team were able to streamline their processes and turn their focus back towards their squadron.
“We need processes like this to make the old way faster,” Tello said. “This tracker allows us spend time where it matters, like with our airmen.”
The training team is currently working with North Spark to expand their training tracker and share the tracker with security forces squadrons throughout the Air Force, they met with security forces leadership Oct. 13 to demonstrate the new tracker and explain its impact on the mission.