Crider: Solve problems that matter with data

  • Published
  • By Benjamin Newell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The Air Force’s first, and outgoing, chief data officer, Maj. Gen. Kimberly Crider, lauded software development at Hanscom as a way to speed acquisition for warfighters at an Air Force Association scholarship dinner in Burlington, Massachusetts, July 10.

AFA’s Paul Revere Chapter awarded four scholarships to local students with military ties, and placed specific emphasis on encouraging students with an interest in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Crider’s address tied the interests of the recipients into Air Force priorities.

Crider highlighted some of the important efforts she embarked upon over the last year, partnering with career field leaders and major commands on improved ways to exploit data as a strategic asset. 

“One thing we learned when we started assembling data that we thought would help us predict maintenance issues is that everything is truly connected,” she said. “By bringing the right data together in a way that enables effective analytics, we’re finding opportunities to drive readiness through predictive maintenance and fuel planning. Analysis teams and operators realize new insights by looking at more data, the relationships between data, and how to enhance aircraft availability. This is providing new opportunities to enhance maintenance and planning functions, and increasing mission readiness.” 

Crider also cited innovative data experimentation efforts led by the Multi-Domain Command and Control team at Hanscom as the basis for insights that will integrate command and control capabilities for the warfighter. 

“The experimentation work you’re embarking upon to automatically discover data, using machine learning to speed up time-sensitive targeting, and tying various disparate datasets together will undoubtedly increase our ability to observe, orient, decide and act at operational and strategic levels, and bring huge benefits to how we do command and control,” said Crider.

Sitting in the audience of approximately 150 were three teenage scholarship recipients, each headed into their first year of college. Kayla King, daughter of one of Hanscom’s Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks division chiefs, said she plans to use her scholarship at the University of Arkansas, where she’ll study computer science. Kenneth Armijo, headed to Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, says he will be studying robotics engineering. Douglas Amirault is looking to study computer science and math at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

One active duty recipient, Airman 1st Class Alishya Keeney, is currently attending Park University, which has an office at Hanscom.

“I’ve got tuition covered, but this is useful for things like books and supplies,” said Keeney. “It’s an honor to get an AFA scholarship, and a privilege to be selected by an organization people really value here.”