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Dyess leads the way with innovation course

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mercedes Porter
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Innovation. Use of the word by commanders and Airmen alike has become a trend around the Air Force, but what exactly does it mean?

“Innovation for me means finding new ideas specifically for improving or bettering the life of people around you,” said Senior Airman Jan Mariel Punelas, Leading for Innovation student from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

In order for the world’s greatest Air Force to stay steps ahead of its adversaries, Airmen need to be able to go out, search for the root of their issues and find solutions through problem-solving to become even better. The L4I course at Dyess AFB, Texas, helps take them a step in that direction.

The course is set to empower Airmen into becoming problem solvers through designed thinking. Students are split into groups, put out into the base’s community to find an issue and then work together to find a solid solution rather than a quick fix.

“What L4I helps you do is to really get to the root of a problem by understanding and empathizing with the people who are dealing with that problem on a daily basis,” said Col. Ed Sumangil, 7th Bomb Wing commander. “This way when you actually present a solution, it’s a solution that the users or folks who are dealing with the problem can use to make their lives better and will allow them to do their jobs better so we can be a more effective, efficient and lethal force.”

This five-week course was the first in its series to be offered up to Airmen around Air Force Global Strike Command as an opportunity to not only hone their skills but also allow attendees to network with other bases.

“If we want to be progressive and solve the issues we’ve been seeing for years then this is a good place to start,” said Punelas. “I would definitely recommend this course to everyone.”

Once finishing the class, Airmen are expected to return to their bases and carry on the course’s teachings to help further develop their local innovation processes.

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