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AFIT alumni discuss AFRL Commander’s Challenge
Posted Friday, March 16, 2018


1st Lt. Michael Ledford, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, briefs Air Force Research Laboratory Commander’s Challenge judges Feb 26, 2018 on the smart-application the Wright-Patterson team created to help warfighters and support bases efficiently and quickly resupply remote troops out in the field. The competition, held on the Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala., had the goal of getting teams to take a fresh look at ways to overcome the obstacles faced in meeting the needs of forward-deployed troops. (U.S. Air Force photo by R.J. ORIEZ)

In the article "AFRL Commander’s Challenge: competition drives spirit of innovation" by R.J. Oriez, 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs, three alumni discuss this year's AFRL Commander’s Challenge which was to move 50 pounds of supplies 30 miles and deliver them to a 20 X 20 foot drop zone.

AFIT alum and AFRL Commander, Maj Gen William Cooley (PhD Applied Physics, 1997), is quoted in the article saying, “The investment we make is developing these future leaders, technologists, contracting officers and engineers from across the workforce,” Cooley said. “This is a formative experience for many of them to really have an opportunity to make a difference and rise to a challenge in a competitive environment.”

Capt John P.K. Walton (M.S. Electrical Engineering, 2015) served as the AFRL Commander’s Challenge program officer and explained, “The overarching goal for this is to get them that start-to-finish experience with the acquisition cycle,” Walton said. “They go from an idea, whiteboard design to a demo in six months. And, they do it with a very short schedule and a very small budget.”

1st Lt. Michael Ledford (M.S. Electrical Engineering, 2017), pictured above, was the App Designer for Team Bug 2, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base team.

The full article, originally published on the WPAFB news website, can be read here.