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    Travis Airmen modernizes the Air Force w/ the Digital Airmen Initiative

    Leadership Rounds: Phoenix Spark

    Photo By Hun Chustine Minoda | The Phoenix Spark team shows the interior of the West Coast Center for Innovation...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    60th Air Mobility Wing

    TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Airmen of the Travis Phoenix Spark Cell work with spark cells from other Air Force bases to advance the Digital Airmen Initiative.

    The Digital Airmen initiative is a project that focuses on three main goals:
    Modernization of command and control for mobility operations.
    Digitizing the pre- and post-mission process.
    Development of more digitally-adept Airmen.

    The Travis Phoenix Spark Cell submitted the Digital Airmen Initiative and won the Air Mobility Command Spark Tank competition – an annual event where Airmen pitch their innovative ideas.

    “We submitted our project and even made it to the finals, but because of COVID-19 the competition went virtual and winners were selected from video pitches,” said Capt. Zachary McColgan, 22nd Airlift Squadron Phoenix Spark deputy chief. “With the competition going virtual Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, Air Mobility Command commander, handpicked us through video to compete on the Air Force Spark Tank competition.”

    During the competition, the Travis Phoenix Spark Cell introduced the MatterMost app to showcase the capabilities of the Digital Airmen Initiative.

    “MatterMost is an app being utilized to replace other forms of communication such as email or workflow and was designed to help Airmen accomplish missions more efficiently,” said Maj. Eric Robinson, 21st Airlift Squadron Phoenix Spark representative. “In the end the initiative isn’t about this application in fact the app is only the surface of what this project can accomplish.”

    The software is designed to digitally move files; for example, an Airman can use the software to send files digitally to pilots in the air during a mission, explained Robinson.

    The Travis Phoenix Spark Cell was the only group to move on to the next competition; they believe it was the support of the other spark cells that brought them here.

    “This was a team effort between a couple of innovation cells including Phoenix Spark, Palmetto Spark, Tron, Aloha Spark and Infinity Spark,” said Poole. “Between the Airmen enablement and training piece, integrating with Platform One, the Puckboard scheduling and logging, everyone involved played a major part of this project.”

    There are spark cells located at various bases such as Joint Base Charleston, North Carolina; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

    The members of the Travis Phoenix Spark Cell are a group of dedicated individuals who won’t be deterred by simple setbacks.

    “Even if we lose the Air Force Spark Tank competition our goal remains the same,” said Poole. “When we started this we said we wanted to modernize the Air Force and no matter what we intend to.”

    The Travis Phoenix Spark Digital Airmen Initiative utilizing the Platform One and MatterMost app are being judged at the Air Force level which is driven by votes. To vote for the MatterMost App, go to on your government device.


    Date Taken: 11.12.2020
    Date Posted: 11.12.2020 17:02
    Story ID: 382911

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