Moody Spark Tank kindles an innovative future

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Briana Beavers
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

Five Moody Airmen pitched innovative ideas before a panel of evaluators from across the 23rd Wing and the community during the base’s Spark Tank competition, March 23, 2023.


This spin-off of the popular business venture show, encourages Airmen to present their ideas for change and improvement that positively impact the mission and drive innovation starting at the squadron level and up.


“We are trying to build a local culture of idea generation and problem solvers,” said Master Sgt. Michael Bergstrom, 23rd Force Support Squadron manpower and organization superintendent. “Innovative thinking is critical. This is one of the many key mechanisms to achieve objectives aligned under the Air Force operating concept.”


The Air Force operating concept is the overarching force development strategy that describes how future AF forces will provide responsive and effective global vigilance and power in light of the future strategic operational environment.


With this concept, there is a continuous need for innovative thinking, and the Spark Tank is only one avenue.


“Airmen with ideas shouldn’t wait until an Annual Spark Tank competition to voice their ideas,” said John Matthew, 23rd FSS manpower flight chief. “We have several platforms currently open for Airmen to submit their ideas year round like our Guardian and Airmen Innovation Network (GAIN) website."


The GAIN website is CAC-enabled and allows Airmen to submit ideas or projects to the Manpower office. Those submissions are processed and have potential to make it to the Spark Tank level.


“We want Airmen participating to take pride in their efforts knowing that our Flying Tiger Leadership is interested in providing a forum for idea collaboration, based on merit, regardless of rank or status,” Bergstrom said.


For Staff Sgt. Keaton Watts, 71st Rescue Squadron HC-130J loadmaster instructor, implementing an advanced night vision goggle accessory would be paramount.


“I thought the Spark Tank competition was a good opportunity to showcase a product that’s going to make a difference in the Rescue community and beyond,” Watts said. “Hopefully, in the near future we’ll have our hands on (these accessories) that we can use to change how we do the mission for the better.”


As Moody celebrates risk takers who continue to develop solutions, Bergstrom encourages others to follow their innovative passions to impact the Air Force.


“If Airmen are thinking 'Where do I start?' they should know there are local resources available to assist them,” Bergstrom said. “Our programs focus on starting with an idea, which can build into something innovative or improvement oriented.”


Anyone interested in submitting a Spark Tank idea may contact the 23rd FSS Manpower office at 229-257-5665.