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Whiteman Edge: Whiteman AFB innovation program

Whiteman Air Force Base began its own local innovation program called Whiteman Edge.

Whiteman Air Force Base began its own local innovation program called Whiteman Edge, modeled after the Air Force's Spark Tank Program. The initiative gives base personnel the opportunity to propose innovative solutions to save money, time and lives. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Kayla White)

Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. --

           Members of Team Whiteman are invited to submit their innovative ideas to the Whiteman Edge Spark Tank program through February 22, which is the program’s initial deadline, though innovation is always encouraged to be ongoing.

            The Spark Tank program offers Airmen and other members of Team Whiteman the opportunity to showcase ideas that can help the Air Force and the base save money, time and lives.

           When it comes to innovation, “you’ve got to keep an open mind,” said Brig. Gen. John J. Nichols, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing. “It might be the most junior Airman in your organization, someone who maybe has no stripes on their sleeve, who has the very best idea.”

An example of innovation at Whiteman AFB is from Senior Airman Ryan Thompson, a defender with the 509th Security Forces Squadron. His innovative idea reduced the amount of time Security Forces spends on generating rosters and assigning Airmen to their posts around the base. The Integrity Information System keeps track of the training, qualifications and other factors to determine which Airmen are qualified to work in different parts of the squadron.

            Whiteman’s innovation efforts are in line with the larger Air Force AFWERX innovation initiative, envisioned by Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson to solve challenges the Air Force faces.

            According to the AFWERX website, “The Air Force has recognized that venture-backed start-ups are innovating at 10 times the speed of other organizations, and by employing this model we hope to encourage intrapreneurship, retain innovators, and speed adoption of emerging technologies, especially those developed by Airmen to bring game changing impact to our Force.”


            The Whiteman Edge webpage has a submission form for the base’s Spark Tank program and additional information to help ideas go from their source to senior leadership to implementation.

Submitting your innovative ideas as part of the Spark Tank program is easy:

  1. Fill out the submission form
  2. Make your pitch
  3. Make a difference

            To your submit ideas or to learn more about the Integrity Information System, go to https://www.whiteman.af.mil/Edge/.