Vice Chief’s Challenge is back — to save Airmen time

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Department of the Air Force is focused on working faster and smarter, leveraging technology to give Airman back their most important resource — their time.
That’s the intent of this year‘s Vice Chief’s Challenge, which will allow Airmen to pitch ideas and solve problems related to automation or elimination of menial tasks.

“Competing in an environment dominated by near-peer threats requires that we unleash our Airmen to think differently and to put their tremendous talents to use,” said Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson. “Doing so will transform our Air Force to meet the rigorous demands of the next generation of warfare.”

Airmen are invited to participate in this year’s VCC to:
• Partner directly with Headquarters Air Force to bring Airmen’s voices to ongoing efforts, including funded participation in focus groups, solution-generation and beta-testing of cutting edge technologies that return time to Airmen
• Identify those time consuming tasks that provide the least direct value to generating combat effects
• Propose innovative solutions to streamline current processes through the novel application of technology

Airman can submit their ideas to the Airmen Powered by Innovation platform. Additionally, peers can provide live input and vote for their favorite proposals. Submissions are due by May 1, 2020.

Idea selections will be based on which projects have the broadest appeal and highest probability of delivering game-changing impact toward time savings.

Wilson said to succeed in today’s emerging security environment, the Department and joint force will have to out-think, out-maneuver, out-partner and out-innovate revisionist powers, rogue regimes, terrorists and other threat actors.

“While the entire staff remains focused on pursuing innovative solutions, we firmly believe that no one knows better what processes or tasks weigh on our Airmen, than Airmen themselves,” Wilson said. “We are asking for Airmen’s help in identifying and eliminating drains on their time that do not directly contribute to warfighting readiness.”

Wilson said giving Airmen back the white space they need to drive innovation and build our future is a warfighting imperative.

“The Air Staff is eager to give Airman a direct voice in redefining, streamlining and eliminating processes that bog our Airmen down and consume their time,” Wilson said. “Speed wins in today’s era of great power competition. Together we’ll go faster and farther, ensuring we are ready when our nation calls.”