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Supply inventory app among eight finalists for AFIMSC’s inaugural ‘Innovation Rodeo’

  • Published
  • By Steve Warns, AFIMSC Public Affairs

The creation of the Supply Inventory Management System app, or SIMS, is a result of the Airmen’s feedback in Master Sgt. Nicole Haun’s career field.

“I am a material management troop by trade, and I left to go to the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2013 to do a special duty as Academy Military Trainer,” said Haun, superintendent of the 87th Mission Support Group’s Commander’s Action Group at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. “When I returned to the career field in 2018, I was assigned to Central Storage and I noticed that we were still doing things manually.

“We were printing out multiple pieces of paper to ship out assets and we are still accessing multiple different systems to accomplish one goal. I used this as a learning opportunity for the Airmen to show them how to collect data to see where our redundancies were and also where we were spending the most time when we were conducting our tasks.”

Haun seized on that opportunity to develop the SIMS app, submitted it to the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center’s “Call for Innovation” campaign and it was selected as one of eight finalists chosen to participate in AFIMSC’s inaugural “Innovation Rodeo” March 1 in San Antonio.

The campaign ran Jan. 1-31 and received 122 submissions and more than 2,000 online votes. Eight ideas advanced to the “Innovation Rodeo,” where competitors with the top three ideas will receive $200,000 each to get their ideas to prototype via AFWERX and tech accelerators.

“Our senior leaders have committed to participating in weeklong events, where it’s all about the Airmen and their ideas,” said Marc Vandeveer, AFIMSC chief innovation officer. “We want to transition those ideas into the innovation ecosystem and AFWERX challenges so we can get those ideas into prototype and then the implementation phase across the I&MS enterprise.”

This is the second time Haun submitted her idea. In late 2018, she submitted the idea as part of the Secretary of the Air Force’s “Spark Tank” challenge. While her idea only advanced to the major command level, it motivated her further to pitch the product.

“I am excited and honored to be able to pitch this idea to the panel and I hope that they will see the potential in my idea,” Haun said. “I know that this is an amazing opportunity that Mr. Vandeveer and his team are giving us to showcase our ideas.”


The other finalists were:


• Installation Access Control of the Future / Artificial Intelligence Facial Recognition, submitted by Lt. Col. Carlos Hernandez, Air Force Security Forces Center, JBSA-Lackland and Col. Jeffrey York, 31st Mission Support Group commander, Aviano AB, Italy. Lt. Col. Jesse Goens, 31st Security Forces Squadron commander at Aviano, will present on behalf of York.

• Virtual Visitor Control Center/ Visitor Kiosk, submitted 2nd Lt. DJ Smith, 502nd Communications Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Steven Dews, 502nd SFS, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and Tech Sgt. Brian Lawley, 802nd SFS, JBSA-Lackland, and Senior Master Sgt. Alvin Arguello, AFSFC.

• “What’s Up” App, submitted by Col. Houston Cantwell, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., who will be accompanied by a USAFA cadet.

• An app to assist in contracting officer representative duties, submitted by Roger Westermeyer, Air Force Installation Contracting Agency enterprise sourcing support director. Lt. Col. Karen Landale, 773rd ESS, will present on behalf of Westermeyer.

• Leverage existing Geospatial Information System AI learning for facility roof inspections, submitted by 2nd Lt. Alexander Bow, 627th Civil Engineer Squadron, JB-Lewis McChord, Washington, and Capt. Gregory Hege, Air Force Central Command, Al Udeid, Iraq. Hege is deployed, and Bow is partnering with 1st Lt. Tim Sobieski, 627th ABG, JBLM.

• Self-adjusting wide area detection using unmanned ground vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles, submitted by John Shackell, AFSFC.

• Emergency airfield lighting system auxiliary motor upgrade, submitted by Senior Airman Jordan Pitts, 319th CES, Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota.

This is one in a series profiling our AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo finalists. For more on the finalists and rodeo results, visit