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AFWERX director visits Spangdahlem to promote innovation, readiness

AFWERX director visits Spangdahlem

Joey Arora, AFWERX Community Development Director tries a Snap-On automated tool chest at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 14, 2019. The ATC tracks tools removed from the chest and who has them, helping maintenance members with tool accountability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

AFWERX director visits Spangdahlem

Joey Arora, AFWERX Community Development Director hosts a professional development seminar on innovation at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 14, 2019. Arora previously served in the U.S. Air Force and now works for AFWERX in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

AFWERX director visits Spangdahlem

52nd Fighter Wing leadership brainstorm ideas during a professional development seminar at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 14, 2019. The seminar was part of a visit by Joey Arora, AFWERX Community Development Director. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

AFWERX director visits Spangdahlem

Joey Arora, AFWERX Community Development Director walks his audience through an innovation exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 14, 2019. During the exercise, Arora had members of the audience share ideas they had and the impact their ideas would have on the 52nd Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

AFWERX director visits Spangdahlem

Joey Arora, AFWERX Community Development Director briefs a United States Air Forces in Europe yellow belt class at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 14, 2019. Arora came to Spangdahlem as part of an effort to kick-start an innovation campaign. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

AFWERX director visits Spangdahlem

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Caleb Myers, middle, 480th Aircraft Maintenance Unit support section chief, and Master Sgt. Kevin Cumbie, right, 52nd Wing Staff Agencies wing process manager, demonstrate a Snap-On automated tool chest to Joey Arora, left, AFWERX Community Development Director at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 14, 2019. Once operational, the tool chest will save the 52nd Fighter Wing 11,000 man hours per year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Cope)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

AFWERX Community Development Director, Joey Arora, visited Spangdahlem Air Base March 14, 2019, to encourage 52nd Fighter Wing Airmen to pursue innovative solutions to everyday problems and cause process improvement.

Arora came at the request of U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Bailey, 52nd FW commander, his former group commander during a deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

“Innovation is part of the mentality of if you are able to fight tonight, you are going to need to be able to realign resources, realign capabilities to be able to do things,” Arora said. “In a wartime capability things are going to change, the environment is going to change constantly and innovation is about adapting to those things, improvising and overcoming.”

Spangdahlem AB has been on the cutting edge of innovation and efforts are being taken to ensure the base maintains that forward position.  Master Sgt. Jonathan Maas of the 52 FW winning Spark Tank this year illustrates the fruit of these effort and the wing’s level of innovation.

“The future of the innovation program relies on the change in mindset and culture that Saber Nation has. We have been at the top of the innovation game in the United States Air Forces in Europe for several years,” said U.S Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Cumbie, 52nd Wing Staff Agencies wing process manager. “I would like to see that continue moving forward. That comes with education, with not being afraid to submit ideas, with being able to take a concept and knowing exactly where to go with it.”

Spangdahlem will launch a campaign on April 1, 2019, where Airmen from Spangdahlem and the 52nd FW’s geographically separated units can submit ideas that will be voted on among Saber Nation, Cumbie said. The ideas that receive the most votes may receive squadron innovation funds to help make the idea a reality.

The Air Force is using outdated technology and methods for aircraft maintenance, while the commercial world is advancing by using algorithms that help with performing preventive maintenance, resulting in a significant reduction in aircraft down time, Arora said.

Innovation could help the 52nd FW, USAFE and the Air Force stay prepared for future challenges.

“Regardless of the enemy we face, shifting our culture for our Airmen to be more innovative, bringing in the best commercial practices and challenge the way we are doing business is how we will stay one of the best Air Forces in the world,” Arora said.