COMPACAF Talks Innovation With 15th Wing Airmen

October 23rd, 2018
Story By: Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii— Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, discussed total force integration (TFI) and innovation during a recent visit to the gateway of the Indo-Pacific.

Although Brown calls Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, home, Oct. 19 was his first in-depth visit to the 15th Wing where TFI and innovation are key to mission success.

“Our mission is to ensure that Airmen are ready, resilient, and postured for the future,” Brown said. “In order to do that, we need to be smart about how we do things.”

Brown visited the F-22 alert facility, home to two TFI squadrons—the 19th Fighter Squadron (FS) and the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th FS. According to Air Force Instruction 90-1001, Planning Total Force Associations, total force integration includes leveraging the unique capabilities and strengths of the active duty Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserves, civilian and contractor workforce.

“Pacific Air Forces’ strength comes from our people,” Brown said. “With active duty and Air National Guard Airmen operating together as an associate unit, you are increasing your mission capabilities by taking advantage of the fact that you operate the same platform in the same way.”

Another significant part of Brown’s visit was the new innovation hub within the 15th Wing, The Aloha Spark Tank. The grassroots program creates and brings together tools for the warfighter, by the warfighter.

“Aloha Spark is part of the Spark Cell network that feeds into the overall AFWERX program,” said Capt. Branden Gulick, 15th Operations Support Squadron C-17 instructor pilot. “Aloha Spark seeks to empower and connect Airmen with resources that foster creative solutions for unit problems. At the end of the day, we seek to shift Air Force culture to one of constant innovation and creative problem solving.”

The AFWERX program synchronizes the warfighter with a community of entrepreneurs, industry, academia, and non-traditional contributors, to aid Airmen in developing solutions for problems through innovation and collaboration.

Brown will visit several PACAF air bases throughout the Indo-Pacific within the next week.

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