How AFWERX, Spark Tank Competition Foster USAF Innovation


Lt. Col. Dave Harden, USAFR, chief architect at AFWERX, the US Air Force’s innovation cell, Lauren Knausenberger, Spark Tank director, and Master Sgt. Bartek Bachleda, USAF, a KC-135 boom operator with the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, McConnell AFB, Kansas, and this year’s champion, discuss how AFWERX and the service-wide innovation contest it co-hosted with Airmen Powered by Innovation foster creative problem-solving in the Air Force, Bachleda’s winning idea — a platform that can reduce back and neck injuries in boom instructors, and slash the Air Force’s medical costs by $132 million per year — and more during a Feb. 22, 2018, interview with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian. The interview was conducted at the Air Force Association’s 2018 Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida. Our coverage is sponsored by Leonardo DRS.

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