The U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) launched STRIKEWERX, on May 28, a new national innovation hub serving as the command’s storefront for connecting with industry and academia, finding solutions to the command’s challenges and coming up with innovative ideas to shape the future.
Originally planned to be an in-person grand opening earlier in the year, the event was held online with limited attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the virtual ribbon-cutting event at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, a small group of socially-distanced distinguished visitors representing local academia and businesses witnessed yet another milestone in AFGSC history, as the command took another step forward with innovation in the nuclear enterprise.
“We are a very small command with a huge mission set, and we know we have to think about things differently. We have to move faster,” said Gen. Tim Ray, AFGSC commander, during his keynote speech.
STRIKEWERX will provide the command collaborative space to give traditional and non-traditional industry partners, to include small businesses, start-ups and academia, easy access to meet with Air Force leaders and Airmen to discuss the needs, gaps and requirements faced by the force.
“We want to transmit to the outside world where we need help and create a forum where we can have smart people come in and help us solve problems quickly,” Ray said. “We believe this is a great way to bring in better ideas and faster funding.”
Craig Spohn, Cyber Innovation Center executive director, opened the event, praising the collaborative efforts between AFGSC and the CIC through their partnership intermediary agreement.
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards joined the event with virtual remarks, emphasizing the importance of STRIKEWERX to the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas region and how the future development of innovative strategies will strengthen the armed forces and the nation, while enhancing progressive thinking and industry in Louisiana.