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Call for Innovation Rodeo ideas nears Dec. 1 deadline

  • Published
  • By Shannon Carabajal

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – With less than a month to go in their annual call-for-topics campaign, the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center is still looking for innovative ideas with potential to change the Air Force. 

“If you have an idea that will help the Air Force deliver installation and mission support capabilities, improve our installations, or support our families in a better, faster or smarter way, we want to hear from you,” said Col. Lance Clark, director of the AFIMSC Expeditionary Support and Innovation Directorate.

The campaign, open through Dec. 1, gives military and civilian members of mission support groups around the world a chance to compete for part of at least $1 million in funding and resources to pursue their ideas. Airmen with the top ideas will learn from leading innovators and pitch their ideas to a panel of Air Force leaders during the AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo competition on Feb. 5.

The theme of this year’s Innovation Rodeo is Base of the Future, a broad topic with endless mission support-centric possibilities. Through the competition, Airmen can help shape how installations can look and function in the future.

AFIMSC can be a powerful ally for anyone with an idea that can improve installation and mission support operations, said Dustin Dickens, an innovation program analyst with the center.

“Since standing up an innovation office two years ago, we’ve landed more than $65 million in Air Force and venture capital funding for I&MS initiatives,” he said. “We’ve been very successful at connecting brilliant Airmen with Air Force and industry partners to bring their ideas to life.”

The competition calls for Airmen to submit their ideas though the online Ideascale platform at

Past Innovation Rodeo winners include:

• Mobile apps to make life easier for Airmen and their families, including one to centralize and streamline the subletting of short-term slots at military child development centers; one for base announcements and community events; and one to share feedback about customer experiences.

• An idea to replace the current manual mapping of underground cabling and wiring with the use of augmented reality;

• A project to leverage Geospatial Information Systems and aerial imagery for facility roof inspections;

• A proposal to use autonomous robotic lawn mowers to cut the grass in and around airfields at night to reduce aircraft bird-strike hazards.

AFIMSC’s innovation team has also partnered with rapid acquisition leaders to convert Airmen’s innovative ideas into reality at record pace. As such, winning projects are now in various stages of development, including an idea from the inaugural event in 2019 – an app now called the Wing Feedback App – that is currently in beta testing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

For more information about the AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo, email