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AFIMSC announces 2020 Innovation Rodeo finalists

  • Published
  • By Shannon Carabajal
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center announced finalists for the 2020 AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo on Jan. 9.

This year, out of 143 submissions and nearly 2,000 online votes, eight finalists were selected to compete for a share of $1 million in funding and resources to implement their ideas.

The finalist teams will spend the first week of February in San Antonio learning from leading innovators, honing their pitches and trying to convince a board of senior Air Force installation and mission support leaders that their idea is the best.

“We asked installation and mission support Airmen to give us some game-changing ideas and they delivered,” said Marc Vandeveer, AFIMSC chief innovation officer. “The AFIMSC Innovation Office is excited to help them refine their pitches, partner with innovation accelerators and bring their ideas to life. We look forward to seeing them in February.”

The top ideas are:

Air Force eSports

Submitted by: Capt. Simon Pena, 7th Force Support Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas

Idea: Establish an Air Force intramural and varsity eSports program where Airmen can bolster resiliency, forge camaraderie and hone warrior lethality in preparation for the future fight. 


Submitted by: Senior Master Sgt. Berenice Lailson, 633rd Mission Support Group, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and Senior Master Sgt. Sarah McDonald, 90th Force Support Squadron, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming.

Idea: Similar to UBER eats or door dash, Airmen can order food and have it delivered to their work center. The service would include options from installation force support food operations facilities, including the club, bowling alley or golf course, and include a range of offerings from healthy to comfort foods. The service would increase facility customer bases and help them reach units such as security forces; logistics; intelligence or any work center that must be operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Submitted by: 1st Lt. Steven Brandt, 48th Contracting Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England 

Idea: Leverage the resources and integration companies such as Lime and Uber to give Airmen across the Air Force  enterprise-level solutions to parking and transportation shortages. Airmen living in dorms, in particular, often lack adequate transportation getting to work and around base. This solution could be implemented via partnership with private industry through a scooter service, scooter lease program or through buying and maintaining.

Radio-frequency identification/electronic inventory management system for security forces squadron and logistics readiness squadron armory tracking systems

Submitted by: Senior Master Sgt. Berenice Lailson, 633rd MSG, and Master Sgt. Katrina Medley, 96th Test Wing, Eglin AFB, Florida

Idea: Develop a system that can be adapted via LRS and SFS needs to virtually track the issue and return of every weapon through RFID technology.

Communications Infrastructure Augmented Reality

Submitted by: Senior Airman Tyler Strauser, 96th Communications Squadron, Eglin AFB

Idea: Use of augmented reality glasses to assist in on-site locating and surveying buried and underground communications infrastructure for dig permit processing. Current communications infrastructure locating practices are time consuming and can take days or weeks to identify and mark communication pathways depending on the area’s size and amount of cable congestion.

Improve Real Property Records utilizing Bots

Submitted by: James Fitzpatrick, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas

Idea: Use "BOTS" computer scripts to do repetitive tasks, such as reviewing data and correcting errors during the end-of-year real property accountability process.

Semi-autonomous/autonomous mowers for airfield mowing operations

Submitted by: Master Sgt. Jason Griffith, AFRC 932nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois

Idea: Flightline mowing is problematic for the operations groups, civil engineer squadrons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and flight safety. The bird-aircraft strike hazard increases greatly during mowing operations because of birds following mowers around the flightline to prey on the bugs that get disturbed by the mower. A fleet of autonomous mowers operating around the flight line and controlled by the tower for use during non-peak flying hours such as nights, weekends and holidays would reduce the BASH hazards.

Fire Truck Positive Interlock Latch

Submitted by: Airman 1st Class Jordan Vesey, 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

Idea: The McChord fire truck maintenance team was presented with a problem on the firefighters’ structural fire truck rear upper compartment. When unloading hoses from the compartment, fire fighters must open two 75-pound doors that are each supported by a single gas shock. On a windy day, these shocks had not been enough to support these doors and they collapsed on the firefighters leading to injury. A positive interlock latch will secure the doors without worry.

For more information about the 2020 AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo, visit