NSIN partnership leads to breakthroughs for Hanscom AFB challenges

  • Published
  • By Jessica Casserly
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. –Team Hanscom personnel pitched tangible solutions to help track and improve installation readiness during a National Security Innovation Network Bootcamp outbrief at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Research Institute’s Northstar Campus in Lincoln, Massachusetts, Aug. 11.

The second in a series of three Bootcamps NSIN is holding for Hanscom AFB personnel this calendar year, the Aug. 7-11 program focused on enhancing methods and processes for managing and tracking Hanscom AFB Airmen and Guardian’s preparedness to deploy.

“We’re going through a culture shift of readiness,” said Senior Master Sgt. Alan Kitler, senior enlisted leader for Hanscom AFB’s Comptroller Squadron and a Bootcamp participant. “This initiative leads into the second line of effort in the 66th Air Base Group’s strategic plan, Build Better Airmen. This Bootcamp is a great opportunity to focus in on our members and help provide them with the tools to be proactive with their readiness.”

The NSIN team and installation leaders partnered to develop a challenge statement for the Bootcamp: “How can we create a real-time data management reporting and tracking system for Airmen and Guardian's training and medical requirements, which allows unit leadership to ensure personnel are postured to meet the demand signal readiness requirements of our major command and combatant commanders in support of the National Defense Strategy?”

“Throughout the course of this week, we coupled innovation theory and design thinking training with real action, tasking teams to investigate the challenge statement and bring compelling ideas to life,” said Nic Meliones, co-founder and CEO of Navi and one of NSIN’s Bootcamp delivery partners.

The approximately 20 Bootcamp participants divided up into five teams, working together to interview dozens of stakeholders and, using their research, developed data-backed solutions.

“We put together a team of motivated, dedicated, intelligent professionals to get after this problem and they did a great job,” said James McClure, Hanscom AFB’s Expeditionary Readiness Training manager and one of the Hanscom organizers for this Bootcamp. “This is one of the most innovative, collaborative groups that I’ve ever been a part of.”

Each of the teams pitched their ideas to a panel of senior leaders from across Team Hanscom and addressed questions from the panelists and other attendees during the outbrief.

“It was obvious from the start that we had the right mix of people with different backgrounds and experience levels here,” said Chief Master Sgt. Charles Desaulniers, 66th Security Forces Squadron senior enlisted leader. “The presentations were awesome, and I think the best part is that these presentations were mutually supportive and there was a lot of crossover.”

Each Bootcamp team pitched a solution to address the readiness challenge statement, including developing and launching a “one-stop shop” SharePoint page outlining all training requirements and resources; creating and implementing a five-day readiness training model; building and distributing onboarding checklists for unit training managers and unit deployment managers; piloting a tiered methodology and automated workflow system; and creating a “commander readiness development packet” to provide to new leaders within 72 hours of them taking command.

Col. Riley Pyles, deputy program executive officer for Digital, gave each of the teams personalized feedback on their solutions, including ideas and questions they should explore as they work on next steps for development and implementation.

“I hope all five of these solutions mature,” Pyles said to Bootcamp participants during his closing remarks. “We hear the Secretary [of the Air Force] talk about one team, one fight. I hope you realize that that’s what you’ve been a part of during this exercise. If we’re to remain the world’s number one air force, we have to get out of our stovepipes and realize the power of teams. Bringing this collective knowledge together makes us stronger.”

The third Bootcamp in the Hanscom AFB 2023 series will focus on cyber and is scheduled to take place Oct. 3-5. For more information about NSIN’s Bootcamp program or to apply, visit https://www.nsin.mil/.