Bringing Airmen’s ideas to life

Lightning Spark, the 355th Wing Innovation Office, began their mission to shorten the rescue and attack processes, through innovation in July 2021.

In June 2022, a charter was signed that officially made the 355th WIO a Wing Staff Agency and also defined its roles, responsibilities and rules. This allows Lightning Spark to quickly respond to unit-level innovation initiatives and supply resources, aiding in bringing Airmen’s ideas to life.

AFWERX, a technology directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory, assists Airmen in developing their innovative ideas. Two of DM’s innovation projects, that predate the creation of the innovation office, have been accepted to the AFWERX Refinery Program which grants them additional funding and testing.

Lightning Spark was established to help expedite all innovative ideas or tools in the Davis-Monthan area from the bottom to the top levels of the chain-of-command,” said Tech. Sgt. Arrec Chetwood, 355th WIO deputy of innovation. “We are here to help move projects along with our network of resources.”

Chetwood was nominated to join the 355th WIO after being recognized by his supervisors for doing extensive research on innovative projects that could potentially make repairing A-10 Thunderbolt II’s more efficient. Chetwood officially joined the innovation office full-time in January 2022.

“I love watching new projects go through all stages of production,” said Chetwood. “I am excited to come to work every day and help make a difference.”

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