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Funding efficiency across Keesler

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Every year, squadrons from Keesler compete for Squadron Innovation Funds by submitting an application fulfilling requirements to the Innovation Working Group.

The funds are provided by the Air Force to support initiatives aimed at mission effectiveness improvements in the areas of innovation, such as modernizing technology and processes. If awarded, squadrons receive the funding in addition to their budget.

In fiscal year 2020, up to $450,000 in funds were awarded to the 81st Training Wing Staff Agencies for a flatbed printer and digital archival backup storage and the 81st Training Group for virtual reality laptops, goggles and sensors, equipment tracking system, a student information kiosk and interactive whiteboards and projectors.

The 334th Training Squadron trains an average of 900 students a year and has had a 10 to 15 percent increase in scores for training at the third skill level with virtual reality equipment.

“If we could receive additional funds and expand the program, we could cover a lot more of the curriculum and include training for our seventh and ninth skill levels,” said Staff Sgt. Braden Moore, 334th TRS airfield management instructor.

The funds also went to the 81st Contracting Squadron for expansion of electronically secured joint use rooms, 81st Logistics Readiness Squadron for birds-eye view vehicle cameras, 81st Security Forces Squadron for a StreetSmarts virtual reality training room and customer queue kiosk.

“Having the ability to modernize equipment for the base is essential for us to continue to lead as the world’s best Air Force,” said Col. James Kafer, 81st TRW vice commander. “The unique challenges we faced in 2020 brought everyone together to continue to carry out our mission in an environment of uncertainty. These innovation funds will help us continue this as we progress into 2021, while training the future leaders of the Air and Space Forces.”

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