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Banshee organizers welcome third cohort

Steve Wert, program executive officer for Digital, gives a presentation during the virtual Banshee training program kickoff event, Nov. 6, on Zoom.

Steve Wert, program executive officer for Digital, gives a presentation during the virtual Banshee training program kickoff event, Nov. 6, on Zoom. The program, a partnership between Hanscom, MassChallenge and the Air Force Research Lab, is part of a two year pilot project designed to help participants incorporate innovative ideas and approaches into their day-to-day work through virtual training and engagement opportunities with experts and entrepreneurs. (Courtesy photo)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The third iteration of the Banshee training program kicked off with a virtual welcome event and a Small Business Innovation Research program 101 session via Zoom Nov. 6.

The program, a partnership between Hanscom, MassChallenge and the Air Force Research Lab, is part of a two year pilot project designed to help participants incorporate innovative ideas and approaches into their day-to-day work through virtual training and engagement opportunities with experts and entrepreneurs.

The current cohort is made up of 30 trainees and 14 auditors from the Digital Directorate; the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorate; the Cyber Resiliency Office for Weapons Systems; and the 66th Air Base Group, as well as National Guard and Army personnel.

“We want to be known for innovation, for doing things slightly differently, doing things with speed and accelerating technology,” said Steve Wert, program executive officer for Digital, during his presentation entitled ‘Challenge the Process.’

The cohort also heard from Scott Owens, deputy program executive officer for C3I&N.

Owens encouraged participants to “think of themselves as explorers,” noting that “the part of our economy and nation that the trainees are getting exposed to in Banshee is not something they’ll find in the cubicles at Hanscom and elsewhere.”

He also challenged participants to “educate leadership” on the opportunities they discover through the Banshee program.

Siobhan Dullea, CEO of MassChallenge, highlighted how this unique program can empower trainees to help their leadership solve challenges.

“We believe that we can build a stronger future through collaborative innovation,” she said. “We’re proud to help you as you look for innovative technologies that are going to help the Air Force be the best in the world.”

The current iteration of the training program is scheduled to culminate in a wrap up event in early December.