By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published February 22, 2021
The 2020 Vice Chief’s Challenge "Saving Airmen Time" results were announced Feb. 22, 2021. The 15 winning submissions were selected for their innovative approach to work faster, smarter, and ability to find ways for giving Airmen back their time. (U.S. Air Force courtesy graphic)
The 2020 Vice Chief’s Challenge "Saving Airmen Time" results were announced Feb. 22. The 15 winning submissions were selected for their innovative approach to work faster, smarter, and ability to find ways for giving Airmen back their time.
The challenge, which launched in February 2020, focused on identifying time-consuming tasks that provide the least direct value to generating combat effects; proposing innovative solutions to streamline current processes through the novel application of technology; and partnering directly with Headquarters Air Force to bring Airmen’s voices to ongoing efforts, including solution-generation and beta-testing of cutting-edge technologies that return time to Airmen.
Participants submitted ideas to the Vice Chief’s Challenge via the Airmen Powered by Innovation platform.
“We asked for our Airmen’s help in identifying and eliminating drains on time that do not directly contribute to warfighting readiness — and our Airmen delivered,” said Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin. “The response to this challenge was impressive. I want to thank everyone who participated and congratulate the winners as we take the next steps to prototype and, where warranted, position their ideas to scale more broadly across the USAF.”
Proposals were initially evaluated along a Department of the Air Force return of investment model, based on Airmen’s inputs and expert knowledge on the Air Staff. Winners were then selected based on highest ROI and a wide range of other factors helped identify projects with broad appeal and the highest probability of delivering game-changing impact towards saving Airmen time through automation, adjustment of policies/processes, or elimination of menial tasks.
“Operating in an environment characterized by peer competition requires unleashing our Airmen to think differently and leverage their tremendous talents,” Allvin said. “In the past years we’ve been doing incredible things, but the Air Force of today is not the one that will win tomorrow. We need to Accelerate Change or Lose. We need a lot of things to make that possible, but none are as valuable as the insights of our Airmen. They are key to providing the whitespace to get after our hardest problems."
The 2020 Vice Chief’s Challenge winners are:
Lt. Col. Mary Magnum from Air Education Training Command
Lt. Col. Jared Jurgensmeier from Air Force Reserve Command
Lisa Williams from Air Mobility Command
Master Sgt. Justin Bower from Air Combat Command
Lt. Col. Michael Ress from Air Education Training Command
Theresa Rogers from Air Force Material Command
Maj. Joseph Oletti from Air Force Material Command
Master Sgt. Alvah Mills from Air Force Special Operations Command
Tech. Sgt. Tyler Givens from Air Mobility Command
Senior Master Sgt. Jessica Reilly from the Air National Guard
Maj. Eric Newman from Headquarters Air Force
Staff Sgt. Devin Platt from Air Force Global Strike Command
Staff Sgt. Jordyn Fetter from Air Force District of Washington
First Lt. Nicholas Forrest from Headquarters Air Force
Master Sgt. Samuel Spaethe from Air Force Personnel Center