Science and Technology News

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

AFSPC thinks outside of the box

by Auburn Davis
Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

2/11/2015 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- Air Force Space Command is making new waves in improvements and creativity with their cost-saving "Out of the Box Innovation" program.

The purpose of the program is to collect strategically forward-thinking ideas that support critical enabling actions to allow operators and acquirers to do their jobs more efficiently, gather the appropriate subject matter experts to analyze the viability of these ideas, and to identify possible courses of action for their implementation.

The Command is looking for innovative ideas that focus on new ways of doing business, exploiting synergies between space, cyber and intel, enhancing training for the cyberspace workforce, modernizing the Space Ground System and researching how cyber capabilities can help facilitate space and satellite mission requirements.

"We have held several successful Out of the Box Innovation events over the past two years thanks to the inputs provided by the great men and women of this Command," said Maj. Gen. Jane Rohr, Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

"One of the recent innovation success stories here at Air Force Space Command was the Computer Energy Reduction idea that will save the Air Force approximately $15 million annually," Rohr said.

The Computer Energy Reduction idea was submitted by 2nd Lt. Kyle Smathers, Executive Officer, Air Force Space Command Cyberspace Support Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

In his idea submission, Smathers explained that the way the Air Force configures and maintains desktop computers results in annual power consumption equal to nearly four times their optimal levels.

"This excessive use, coupled with the rising cost of electricity, means millions of dollars are being needlessly wasted in an extremely stringent fiscal environment," Smathers said.

He noted that energy saving settings can be implemented to allow computers to hibernate when not in use; but still maintain the capability to wake for software patches and repairs.

"We have already invested in the efficient hardware, so let's take advantage of it and save some money," stated Smathers.

The Computer Energy Reduction idea is just one of many success stories for the Command.  Other ideas such as creating designated motorcycle parking which frees up 25 extra parking spaces for cars, elimination of mandatory newcomer orientation training, and reduction of noise levels involved with atrium use, have also created morale boosts and savings for the Command.

The next Air Force Space Command Out of the Box Innovation event is March 11.

All submissions are reviewed; and while not all ideas are deemed viable, the ones that are can make a significant difference for the Command and personnel.

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