Continuing to Adapt

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Bryson Britt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

The Whiteman Air Force Base Stealthwerx spark cell held its first innovation symposium on Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri on June 7-8, 2022.


The symposium brought visitors from around Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Force Material Command, and AFWERX, the Air Force’s innovation arm, to Whiteman. They discussed ways Airmen can accelerate change, drive innovation, increase efficiency, and improve quality of life for Team Whiteman.


Maj. Benjamin Fogarty, 509th Bomb Wing Innovation Office director, leads the Stealthwerx program at Whiteman AFB and organized the Symposium.


“Innovation acts as a force multiplier which allows us to achieve greater warfighting capability with fewer resources,” Fogarty said. “Through that, we can achieve greater outcomes for the security of our nation.”


Innovation also has far-reaching impacts for Airmen across the base both in their work centers and when collaborating with each other.


“The other benefit of innovation is the cultural transformation,” Fogarty said. "especially amongst Airmen."


Getting Airmen involved from across all units on base is vital to an innovation-oriented culture, but maintenance is especially important because of the operational mission’s reliance on the thousands of airmen working on or around the flight line and munitions. The 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, Maj. Robby Gallegos said the best way to come up with solutions is with the support of the people who work on the B-2 every day.


“We maintain our edge by creatively overcoming everyday challenges and by continuing to innovate,” he said. “It’s important for us to understand the need for modern solutions on a platform like the B-2.”


The Stealthwerx Symposium brought together leaders from Global Strike Command Analyses, Assessments and Lessons Learned, and from across other organizations from the global strike and bomber communities.


“All of the organizations we brought in were purposeful,” Fogarty said. “It's so powerful to invest in people, and try to build allies out of them from all these different communities that ultimately have aligned goals.”


The symposium showed how vital collaboration is by bringing individuals with different backgrounds and with different perspectives together to brainstorm new ideas for the advancement of numerous projects in support of the B-2 and Whiteman mission.


The symposium included an aircraft tour during which pilots and aircraft maintainers discussed existing innovations to the B-2 as well as potential new ones. There were also focused and guided discussions on how to better support warfighters as a collaborative team.


Some of the new projects under discussion included things like robotic systems working alongside airmen on the flight line and a new cargo carrying system for the B-2 that will better support Agile Combat Employment.


“We have a community of Airmen here, of all ranks and experiences, who are motivated,” Fogarty said. “We all came into this service to serve and now we have an opportunity to deliver to a community hungry for innovation.”


Initiatives such as the Stealthwerx Symposium are one of the ways Team Whiteman is meeting the Global Strike vision to provide safe, secure, and lethal combat-ready forces for nuclear and conventional global strike.