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AETC hosts first ever innovation challenge

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge first place Accelerate Change Award to Lt. Gen. James Hecker, Air University commander and president, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge first place Accelerate Change Award to Lt. Gen. James Hecker, Air University commander and president, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge second place Accelerate Change Award to Brig. Gen. Caroline Miller, 502nd Air Base Wing commander, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge second place Accelerate Change Award to Brig. Gen. Caroline Miller, 502nd Air Base Wing commander, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge third place Accelerate Change Award to Col. Paul Swenson, AETC director of manpower, personnel and services, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge third place Accelerate Change Award to Col. Paul Swenson, AETC director of manpower, personnel and services, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge first place Torch Award to Matthew Correia, Profession of Arms Center of Excellence instructional systems specialist, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge first place Torch Award to Matthew Correia, Profession of Arms Center of Excellence instructional systems specialist, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge second place Torch Award to Master Sgt. Carlos Santiago, 334th Training Squadron Air Traffic Control Apprentice Course superintendent, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge second place Torch Award to Master Sgt. Carlos Santiago, 334th Training Squadron Air Traffic Control Apprentice Course superintendent, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge third place Torch Award to Brig. Gen. Caroline Miller, 502nd Air Base Wing commander, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge third place Torch Award to Brig. Gen. Caroline Miller, 502nd Air Base Wing commander, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge fourth place Torch Award to Dr. Jerry Coats, AETC/A9 Analysis and Innovation Directorate deputy director, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge fourth place Torch Award to Dr. Jerry Coats, AETC/A9 Analysis and Innovation Directorate deputy director, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge first place Adapt Award to Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge first place Adapt Award to Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge second place Adapt Award to Lt. Gen. James Hecker, Air University commander and president, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Spencer Tobler)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of Air Education Training Command, presents the iChallenge second place Adapt Award to Lt. Gen. James Hecker, Air University commander and president, during the iExpo award ceremony inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 6, 2021. The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., put in place the Accelerate Change or Lose strategic approach in August 2020 to recognize the rapidly changing technology in the world and to encourage positive change in the Air and Space Forces. This action order has helped shape ideas presented during this year's iChallenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Spencer Tobler)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Air Education and Training Command announced the winners of the iChallenge during the Gathering of the Torch iExpo May 6 here.

The iChallenge was created to help inspire personnel around AETC to create new and innovative ways of completing the Air Force mission. All competitors during the iChallenge competition had to ensure their innovations were aligned with either Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.’s, Accelerate Change or Lose action orders or the strategic priorities set by Lt. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, commander of AETC.

“When we created the iChallenge we wanted to foster an environment for anyone to create new processes to train and develop our Airmen,” said Alberto Burgos, AETC Innovation Advancement Division innovation and process improvement analyst. “This event put innovation into action to coincide with the CSAF’s Accelerate Change or Lose action orders.”

A total of 13 teams across AETC competed during the iChallenge finals, showcasing their ideas ranging from the Air Traffic Control Pocket App to the Overseas Pet Transport Initiative. Each project was presented to the AETC 2021 selection board April 19-20.  The winners for each respective category were announced by Webb.

“The ideas our talented Airmen bring to the table never cease to amaze me,” said Webb. “Judging this competition wasn’t easy, and we are thrilled to be able to fund several exceptional projects our Airmen developed. In order for us to remain ready and lethal, we must be receptive to and adopt new leading-edge ideas that complete our mission.”

Webb encourages each Airman within AETC to look for new innovations within their unit and put them in action.

Below is a complete list of the winners of the inaugural iChallenge.

Accelerate Change Award

  • 1st place: Cyber Space Odyssey led by Dr. Scott Nykle from the Air Force Institute of Technology
  • 2nd place: Quick Assurance Automated Memorandum QC led by Staff Sgt. Quinton Collins from the 502nd Air Base Wing

Adapt Award

  • 1st place: Game as Teaching Augment led by Tech. Sgt. Nikolaus Gottschalk from the 82nd Training Wing
  • 2nd place: Facilitator Cadre Program led by 1st Lt. Kasey Stout and Dr. Alice Grimes from the Air Force Institute of Technology

Torch Award

  • 1st place: Honos and Virtus – A Game of Professionals led by Matthew Correia from the Eaker Center
  • 2nd place: Air Traffic Control Pocket App led by Master Sgt. Carlos Santiago from the 81st Training Wing
  • Honorable Mention: How To Fix Every Zoom Meeting led by Staff Sgt. Justis Mackenzie from the 502nd Air Base Wing