Top AF maintenance leaders gather to reinforce a culture of innovation

  • Published
  • By by Senior Airman Austin McIntosh
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.-- The 2022 Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) Maintenance Group Commander and Senior Enlisted Leader (SEL) Summit took place at Ellsworth, Aug. 22 to 26, 2022. The summit created discussion between maintenance commanders and SELs that promoted modernization and preparing for the future.

A topic that was front and center for the leaders in attendance was Ellsworth’s additive manufacturing capabilities, particularly the 28 MXG’s Cold Spray technologies, and the impact it has on today’s Air Force. Ellsworth is on the forefront of innovation, preparing for the future and providing educational tools to introduce Airmen to entrepreneurship, industry partners, like minded innovators, and rapid prototyping.

Mr. James Miller, Department of the Air Force executive director of logistics and engineering, had this to say: “The driving force behind the summit centered on innovation - how we can utilize additive manufacturing concepts to support our weapons systems, modify processes to decrease bureaucracy, and implement programs such as Airman for Life and True North to support our Airmen,” Miller continued, “Aligning AFGSC sustainment activities to an innovation mindset aligns us with General Cotton's Strategic Lines of Effort, the Air Force's Operational Imperatives, and the Chief's Accelerate Change or Lose mandates.”

The summit provided a forum to share best practices and current successes across the command.

Maj. Robyn Szasz, 28th Munitions Squadron director of operations and the representative for Ellsworth during the 2022 MX Summit, explained how the summit could translate to real world operations: “We have to continue to think outside of the box for continuous process improvement and knowing that the ‘Art of the Possible’ is not only fully supported, but stressed at the MAJCOM level, is refreshing.”

The AFGSC Office of Logistics and Engineering (AFGSC/A4), Numbered Air Force logistics, AFGSC Maintenance Group (MXG) commanders, 448th Supply Chain Operation Command commander, and Air Logistics Center representatives attended the summit and continue to lean forward with innovation.

“We cannot shut down ideas, especially from the Airmen on the tactical level of these operations, because it’s different or never been done before,” said Szasz. “Sometimes these ideas are worth pursuing and this concept was proven from the many successes that were briefed from each maintenance group.”