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Osan hosts first local Spark Tank competition

Spark Tank is an Air Force wide innovation initiative developed to give Airmen of every level a platform to launch new ideas that increase readiness, reduce costs, return time back to Airmen and enhance the lethality of the force.

Lt. Col. Heath Horton, 51st Logistic Readiness Squadron commander, accepts the Osan Spark Tank winner’s certificate from Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, on behalf of Tech. Sgt. Michael Perry, 51st Logistics and Readiness Squadron’s NCO in charge of the individual protective equipment squadron, at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 20, 2021. Perry’s proposal of a Radio Frequency Identification system will help the IPE section track their inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Lorance)

Spark Tank is an Air Force wide innovation initiative developed to give Airmen of every level a platform to launch new ideas that increase readiness, reduce costs, return time back to Airmen and enhance the lethality of the force.

A panel of judges and audiences listen to fellow Airmen present base improvement proposals during the first Spark Tank competition at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 20, 2021. The winner is awarded funding for their concept and is responsible for the implementation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Lorance)

Spark Tank is an Air Force wide innovation initiative developed to give Airmen of every level a platform to launch new ideas that increase readiness, reduce costs, return time back to Airmen and enhance the lethality of the force.

Maj. Dominique Gougis, 51st Medical Group mental health flight commander, presents her Spark Tank proposal to judges at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 20, 2021. Gougis’s project would ease the amount of follow-up paperwork that mental health professionals have by using a virtual scribe application. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Lorance)

Spark Tank is an Air Force wide innovation initiative developed to give Airmen of every level a platform to launch new ideas that increase readiness, reduce costs, return time back to Airmen and enhance the lethality of the force.

Tech. Sgt. Michael Perry, 51st Logistics and Readiness Squadron’s NCO in charge of the individual protective equipment section, answers the judges' questions about his Spark Tank proposal at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 20, 2021. Perry proposed a radio frequency identification system to streamline equipment inventory tracking within the IPE section. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Lorance)

Spark Tank is an Air Force wide innovation initiative developed to give Airmen of every level a platform to launch new ideas that increase readiness, reduce costs, return time back to Airmen and enhance the lethality of the force.

Tech. Sgt. Joshua Kibe and Tech. Sgt. Raul Capuchin, 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit support section chiefs, propose their Spark Tank idea at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 20, 2021. Kibe and Capuchin proposed the addition of quick deployment trailers for the 51st Maintenance Group’s active combat exercise deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Lorance)

Spark Tank is an Air Force wide innovation initiative developed to give Airmen of every level a platform to launch new ideas that increase readiness, reduce costs, return time back to Airmen and enhance the lethality of the force.

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Hutchinson, 25th Fighter Squadron NCO in charge of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance integration, proposes his Spark Tank idea at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 20, 2021. Hutchinson proposed the addition of a digital Android Tactical Assault Kit flight to consolidate the data that pilots are expect to fly with. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Douglas Lorance)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --

Spark Tank is an Air Force wide innovation initiative developed to give Airmen of every level a platform to launch new ideas that increase readiness, reduce costs, return time back to Airmen and enhance the lethality of the force.

Four Osan Airmen submitted workplace improvement concepts before a panel of judges to compete for their project to be funded May 20, 2021.

The Spark Tank campaign collects ideas from Airmen across the base with the goal of funding promising solutions. All projects were then presented to Col. John Gonzales, 51st Fighter Wing commander, and a panel of judges for approval. 

The judge panel asked contestants a series of questions, judging each idea on a rubric of feasibility, potential impact, plan for execution and return on investment to determine which one would receive sponsorship through Spark Tank.

Tech. Sgt. Michael Perry, 51st Logistics and Readiness Squadron’s NCO in charge of the individual protective equipment section, won the competition and was awarded funding for his proposition of a Radio Frequency Identification system to assist the IPE section with their inventorying efforts. 

The other presentations were the following: 

Maj. Dominique Gougis, 51st Medical Group mental health flight commander, and her idea for a virtual scribe application to assist mental health professionals with documentation and annotation of their consultation sessions.

Tech. Sgt. Joshua Kibe, 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit support section chief, and Tech. Sgt. Raul Capuchin, 36thAMU support section chief, jointly proposed quick deployment trailers for 51st Maintenance Group’s active combat exercise deployments.

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Hutchinson, 25th Fighter Squadron NCO in charge of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance integration, suggested a digital Android Tactical Assault Kit flight assistant to consolidate data pilots are expect to fly with and prevent data spillage.

Presentations that did not win the Spark Tank competition will pursue alternate avenues for funding.