Air University members deliver solutions during NSIN Bootcamp

  • Published
  • By Billy Blankenship
  • 42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Air University recently participated in the National Security Innovation Network Bootcamp at the Eagle Institute in Montgomery, Alabama, delivering four solutions to help solve national security issues.

The NSIN Bootcamp program provides participants innovation-focused training and focuses on modern problems in the security environment.

“The National Security Innovation Network is all about creating networks of innovators across the DOD, academia, and the private sector, to help solve national security problems,” said Kelly Schulte, a contractor and bootcamp manager for NSIN. “Our bootcamp program uses teams of startup founders and university faculty to teach Servicemembers and DOD civilians the principles of human-centered design, equipping them with tools to immediately begin solving problems.”

The three-day event focused on how to align strategy with innovation to achieve national security objectives in response to emerging threats, such as the Ukraine situation, Great Power Competition, along with the Middle East region. Through the process, content included workshops, coaching, and the effort of investigating a real problem and testing the vision for a solution. The bootcamp concluded with out-briefs in the form of a live pitch event, presenting to senior leadership with feedback.

The pitch panel included Col. Wayne Dirkes, the commandant of the Global College of PME, Col. Mark Jacobsen, an assistant professor of strategy and security studies at Air War College and the deputy director of Blue Horizons, Col. Justin Longmire, the vice commandant at Squadron Officer School, Brig. Gen. Houston Cantwell, the commander for the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, and Bill DeMarco, the director of AUiX, with Dr. Toni Hawkins-Scribner, the director of learning sciences and faculty education at Squadron Officer School, joining virtually.

"Quick chemistry of this diverse group helped fuel early collaboration and fruitful energy around the problem set,” said Jeremy VanEgmond, the education lab chief for AUiX. “The programming successfully brought together participants from nine different schools and centers around Maxwell Air Force Base, equipping everyone to address local issues with tangible tools. AUiX is eager to support the momentum of these innovation solutions ‘one step beyond’ in continued iterations and integrations moving forward."

Outcomes from the bootcamp included 50 user interviews, 29 instances of teams testing their solutions through whiteboard sketches, demos, and prototypes, along with four solutions pitched to senior leadership.