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377 LRS commander makes pitch to AFGSC in yearly innovative ideas competition

Portrait photo of an Air Force officer.

Studio portrait of Maj. Marc Bleha, 377th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander at Kirtland AFB, N.M. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Berenger.)

Photo detail of AFGSC coins.

Air Force Global Strike Command innovator coins wait to be presented to those Airmen presenting their innovative ideas during a STRIKEWERX Spark Sprint (S3) event at the Innovation Center, Bossier City, La., Oct. 30, 2020. The event brought together six teams of Airmen from around AFGSC to present innovative ideas to help Airmen, the command or improve Air Force processes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Philip Bryant)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

An officer assigned to Kirtland AFB will make a presentation to Air Force Global Strike Command officials at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, on Oct. 15, 2021, during the STRIKEWORX Spark Sprint. “S3,” as it’s called, is the command’s annual competition where Airmen pitch innovative ideas aimed at solving operational challenges to Air Force leaders and a panel of industry experts. The ideas selected to represent the major commands will then go on to compete at the Air Force level.

Maj. Marc Bleha, 377th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander and Kirtland AFB-level finalist, described his joint entry with a colleague.

“Maj. Eric ‘Boom’ Bow, AFGSC Tactics and Weapons, and I are presenting a SPARK pitch to senior leaders in AFGSC on ‘Bomber Security in a Box.’ BSIB is a mobile, compartmentalized information technology platform with the ability to find, fix, track and target assets in an austere location, and provide time and space to aircrews on the ground.”

AFGSC officials defined the competition and laid out the process.

“S3 is Air Force Global Strike Command’s competition to identify the best ideas from across the command to represent AFGSC at the HAF level. AFGSC will invite all wing finalists to the STRIKEWERX Innovation Hub to prepare for the event and pitch their solutions to a group of judges. Airmen will receive coaching on how to best pitch their project, including creating a video to highlight their project. Each finalist will have three minutes to explain their idea, pitch their solution, and present their video. They then have two minutes to answer questions. At the end, the AFGSC commander, Gen. Anthony Cotton, will announce the two AFGSC finalists who will represent the command at the 2022 Air Force Spark Tank competition. The competition sparks and creates the innovation culture/movement we are working toward in AFGSC,” they said.

Bleha talked about the benefits he sees from S3.

“Innovation can be implemented by anyone. By taking part in the competition, I will gain more insight to push others’ submissions, and be able to provide guidance on how to pitch to senior leaders. Often, innovation is modifying an existing product as in this case, making it scalable, and the end game is to actually field the asset to save our Airmen time, resources, and energy. I am looking forward to seeing what the other bases bring to the competition, learning from each other, and making the Air Force better. As Gen. Brown (Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr.) said, we have to ‘accelerate change or lose.’”

S3 will be presented live on AFGSC’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AirForceGlobalStrikeCommand/) Oct. 15, 2021, from 12:30 – 1: 30 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.