WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFLCMC) – The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Human Systems Division will launch a new app this month that will give aircrew members a quick and easy way to provide feedback and address concerns with their equipment and gear.
The inception of this app occurred at a 2019 AFWERX event, where female aircrew expressed their desire for a streamlined method to provide feedback concerning their gear and ensure their voices are being heard.
“Our goal with the AF GearFit app is to bridge the communication gap between aircrew and equipment decision makers in a manner that hasn’t been done before through existing feedback mechanisms,” said Elizabeth Fox, a program manager in the Human Systems Division. “It’s designed to be easy, intuitive, and user-friendly, which is important for the long-term adoption of this tool.”
Currently, the web-based app can be accessed using any Common Access Card (CAC) enabled device, to include electronic flight books, however, the Human Systems Division is working with the app’s development team from Business and Enterprise Systems Product Innovation (BESPIN), and vendor partner Skylight, to investigate making AF GearFit available through a native mobile application in the future.
Post-flight, aircrew members commonly use Patriot Excalibur (PEX), so the software team is making sure that the new app integrates with that software tool, making accessibility to report gear problems or gaps second nature.
The app will allow all aircrew members to report on problems they experienced with their assigned equipment in a matter of minutes, and it will give them the option of doing so anonymously. Users simply log in and use the easy reporting process:
1. Select equipment to report
2. Use the guided flow to describe the problem, and finally
3. Describe the impact and add personal history with the issue
Specific gear issued by aircrew flight equipment personnel will be automatically linked to an aircrew member’s user profile in AF GearFit, streamlining reporting. There will also be an "Other" option available to capture any feedback on personal equipment assigned outside of what’s tracked in the Air Force Enterprise Risk Management System.
“Direct feedback from the aircrew is critical,” Fox said. “Historically, the aircrew’s input was routed through a cumbersome chain of handoffs, taking an extremely long time to reach decision makers, with little to no known outcome by the equipment user. AF GearFit aims to change that, and ensures that the aircrew’s voice is truly heard to drive needed changes.”
Air Force squadrons and decision makers at major commands, and the Human Systems Division will be able to review reports submitted through AF GearFit instantaneously and utilize this data to influence requirements development.
A soft launch of the AF GearFit app will occur at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Seymour Johnson mid-June and Nellis and Mountain Home AFB bases will receive it in July. The app is expected to be available to aircrew members Air Force-wide in 2021.