Goodfellow wins AETC Innovation Award
By Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards, 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 24, 2017
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Air Education and Training Command released the winners of its Innovation Competition March 15, with Goodfellow taking home the Institutional Culture Category.
To win the award the 17th Training Wing had to compete with all other bases in AETC and have Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, Air Education and Training Command commander, select the base as one of the top two in the award category.
After being nominated, Col. Michael Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander, presented the base’s 12 improvements at the Senior Leaders Conference.
“Without the support and buy-in from wing, group and squadron leadership, we could not have built the culture of innovation,” said Shawn Gilmore, 17th Force Support Squadron manpower and organization chief. “Building this culture lead to the 17th Training Wing winning the award for the Institutional Culture category.”
The ideas Downs presented during the conference were:
• Total Force Development mentoring program was established to facilitate professional development opportunities for Team Goodfellow’s Total Force through relevant training and mentoring. There have been over 103 professional development courses with 40 volunteer facilitators mentoring 1,500 personnel.
• The 517th Training Group embarked upon standing up the first Operational Medical Element within AETC. With the support of the 17th TRW, 2nd Air Force and AETC, two active duty billets were added to the 517th TRG.
• Several agencies across the base opened for extended hours to open more options for Goodfellow students and permanent party. The agencies included the military personnel section, the traffic management office, primary care, dental, the pharmacy, the child development center, the school-age program and finance.
• Eased office personnel management lag through information technology solutions. From 2015 to present, OPM struggled to conduct clearance investigations with an over 300-day delay. The 17th Training Group utilized modeling and simulation courseware to allow personnel to gain access to the National Security Agency net. The NSA web tool emulator averted a two month delay for over 500 joint-service students saving approximately $6 million per year. Emulated classified web resources across four applications in less than 72 hours saved over 1200 man hours with zero degradation to technical training.
• Launched “text me now” program and designed mobile patient application. Customer service ranked number one of 55 Military Treatment Facilities and Department of Defense “Best of Best”.
• Tackled students awaiting training clearance issues. Five Air Force specialty codes training consolidated, doubling on-time starts saving $1.4 million in military personnel. Cryptologic students were awaiting training due to training location. Collateral-level training was being conducted in cryptologic facilities. Moved five cryptologic AFSCs into collateral classrooms. Doubled on-time starts from basic military training reducing average student awaiting training status from 50 to 17 days while increasing student motivation.
• Number two of 53 within the Air Force with sixteen P4 agreements. Initiated agreement with City of San Angelo Fire Department. Agreement developed to swap fire truck maintenance for ambulance service recapping $76,000 per year in savings.
• Forged partner capacity by securing $2.6 million state grant for an international training facility. Base postured to train 30 countries. $2.04 million Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant Program received from the State of Texas for building renovation. $633,000 from the City of San Angelo to purchase software. Joint and Coalition Intelligence Training Center initial operational capability is projected to be August 2017 with full operational capability December 2017.
• Wrote e-prescription system transfer program. Turned a three-minute task into one keystroke. 18,000 processed to date, and saved more than 100 hours per month.
• 17th TRW was purchasing professional services from OPM and GSA at premium cost which included a 6 percent fee. 17th Contracting Squadron developed a buying strategy that included local base contracting office involvement and promoted competition through large professional service contracts. These efforts increased competition and eliminated fees resulting in $2.6 million saved in fiscal year 16 and $9.1 million saved over next five years.
• Placed academic training advisors in Defense Language Institute schools. Staff to student contact goals not met which led to development of squadron language flight and 100 percent student contact. In an attempt to utilize a valuable resource, the 311th Training Squadron embedded ATAs closer to the students’ place of duty in the schoolhouse. This action was to assist in early detection of issues and provide mentorship for cryptolinguists. Problems were initially noticed due to ATAs not being provided permanent offices in the schoolhouse. The solution was to move to a different squadron structure. The decision was made to separate the squadron based on language instead of function. This streamlined military training leader and ATA functions into one common structure. This allowed ATAs to have 100 percent contact and improve communication. Without the missteps, the creation of the language flight would not have taken place.
• Placed three failing Airmen in easier languages for operation requirements. All failed which led to DLI policy change saving Air Force $50,000 per student. During the last year, changes were made how to process academically deficient students. Usually students who fail are reclassified. However, at times, retraining into another language has been available. This option usually has been used to fill operational shortfalls. Due to identified shortfalls in Spanish linguist, the unit was able to find three Airmen who had recently failed Arabic to try and get them through Spanish. Unfortunately, they again failed. It was noted the availability of the student was taken more into consideration then other intangibles. The DLI decided to make a policy change to give more flexibility to relanguge the right student versus an available student.
Along with the award, AETC also provided the 17th TRW with a cash prize.
With the money Col. Michael Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander, has approved the construction of two sun-shade facilities for the McGarr pool and a new parking lot for the base coffee shop.
“For the coffee shop it should help ease of access … for those that want to go in, get a bit to eat or grab something to go it makes access much more ready available,” said Mike Noret, 17th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy base civil engineer. “As for the pool, it is very hot in West Texas and at the McGarr Pool. We have families going out there and getting worn out and burnt by the sun. This will provide a more family-friendly type atmosphere to bring children and families.”