Education center staff, faculty innovate at Thinkshop workshop

Staff, faculty, and guests tossed a small cloth ball in a circle in a classroom at the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center on McGhee Tyson Air Guard Base in East Tennessee, Oct. 10, 2018, as part of the day’s hands-on exercises in the U.S. Fleet Forces Illuminate Thinkshop.

TEC’s organizers said that they scheduled the workshop today and tomorrow as a way to encourage and promote innovation on campus and across the U.S. Air Force. About two dozen Airmen attended the classes.

The U.S. Fleet Forces said that it initially developed Illuminate Thinkshop for Sailors and Marines. Its “unconventional” approach helps organizations “break down institutionalized barriers and leverage the tacit knowledge of their people,” officials said.

Thinkshop officials called the training valuable toward ways to “foster a culture of critical thinking, creative problem solving, and collective ownership.” Innovation is among senior defense leaders’ top priorities.

App’tive audience

U.S. Air Force Capt. Liaquat Ali, deputy director of AF Connect, speaks to Airmen about the Air Force Connect mobile app during the service’s Public Affairs Agency Digital Publishing Workshop, Aug. 8, 2018, at the Air National Guard training and education center in East Tennessee. Captain Ali’s team at the Pentagon have been rolling out the innovation, which allows both public and restricted-access (MyPay, email, AF link) communications on personal mobile devices. Their idea to pair mobile CAC readers with Airmen’s cell phones and tablets were among the finalists in the recent USAF Spark Tank competition. It has been lauded and approved by top leaders, including the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright in a July Facebook post. The free app is available to download. Captain Ali said that units AF-wide are implementing and customizing the app now and in the coming months. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

Education center reflects on 50 years: Part Two – Building on success

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – In honor of a half-century of learning, this feature series highlights the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center, from its first classes in a World War II-era aircraft hangar to the present day.

How did the Air Guard set its education bar higher from the previous decade? Part Two looks back at 1978 to 1988.

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Let your innovation be known

The news drew excitement and pride from many in the Air Force last month, an announcement of finalists in the Spark Tank competition that collects innovative ideas from the Air Force major commands and selects the best at the headquarters level.

There were promotional videos on each idea, there was improving old processes with new technology, and there was improving new technology with old know-how, and amid the plans, there was a prevailing sentiment to strengthen our total Air Force.

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