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Contracting Airman develops program, joins Kessel Run

By Airman 1st Class Tessa B. Corrick 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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In today’s war fighting efforts, innovation is a key component when it boils down to who comes out on top. That is why ground-breaking and out-of-the-box thinking is promoted and needed from all levels of personnel.

Airman 1st Class Maxwell Lehmann, 2nd Contracting Squadron specialist, has been a proven example of utilizing his personal innovative mindset to help improve processes, and programs. He recently developed a multifaceted accountability program, AmnManager, which is currently being beta-tested at the 344th Training Squadron, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Now, Lehmann is furthering his ability to improve the program by joining the Kessel Run, which is a newly developed innovation initiative, not an infamous hyperspace route from the “Star Wars” saga.

The Kessel Run program is a platform focusing on advancing the way the Air Force shapes and distributes software capabilities with the intent to modernize the Air and Space Operations Center and targeting community. They are accomplishing this by “taking industry-proven software development practices and pairing them with extremely talented Airmen to plow through the decades of government bureaucracy with a mission to provide the warfighter with cutting-edge capabilities at a rapid pace,”  according to the Kessel Run information page .

Lehmann was accepted to the team following an application process and a series of interviews. He is currently learning and completing work as a product designer.

“We learn everything we can about a problem and process and break it down into its most fundamental pieces. We then solve the problem and create a prototype of the new software system and send it to engineering to actually type the code and create the actual working product,” Lehmann said. “After that, we test our design after it is created and see what worked and what didn’t. Then we adjust, redesign , recreate and do the whole process over again, while constantly making the software better and more easy to use.”

Lehmann’s participation in these teams have proven to be very rewarding to him.

“Working with the AmnManager and Kessel Run groups are both great opportunities, and I could not be happier with where I am today. They give me the chance to feel like I really am changing things for the better for those around me and making a difference in the military,” Lehmann said.

Being a part of innovative initiatives impacting more than just Barksdale has taught him a lot , but he attributes his success to his experiences at the 2nd CONS.

“I wouldn’t be anywhere without the knowledge gained from working in my squadron, help from great Airmen, outstanding NCOs (Noncommissioned officers) and leadership that has kept me from making detrimental mistakes and enabling me to push forward,” Lehmann said. “The overall support from my unit has been incredible, especially them covering for me while I am gone. I really have been fortunate to have been surrounded by such great people.”

Lehmann plans to use the skills, tools and knowledge he is learning with the Kessel Run and apply it to AmnManager.

“I have learned so much in the short amount of time that I have been here. I am glad that I can be a part of the team that implements changes for the better and creates better tools for the modern warfighter,” Lehmann said. “I look forward to seeing what the future holds for AmnManager, the Kessel Run and my own involvement in forthcoming innovative advancements.”

Rapid development of technological assets is the new standard and it has proven to be beneficial to those able to promptly cultivate resolutions to problems. Being able to utilize the minds of innovators, like Lehmann, is proving to be another factor in successfully securing the Air Force’s title of being the world’s leading fighting force in air, space and cyberspace.

“Innovation is the hallmark of the United States Air Force,” said Dr. Heather Wilson, Secretary of the Air Force. “From time to time it is important to refresh our science and technology strategy, to step back from the programs and problems of today and project 10 or 20 years into the future.”