Barksdale Airmen spark new idea for an adapting Air Force Published Oct. 22, 2021 By Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan 2D Bomb Wing Public Affairs BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, Louisiana -- Two Barksdale Airmen were selected as winners of the STRIKEWERX Spark Sprint (S3) innovation event on Friday, Oct. 15, at the STRIKEWERX Innovation Hub in Bossier City, Louisiana. Captain Robert Moran, 96th Bomb Squadron weapon systems officer, and Tech. Sgt. Julio Torres, 2nd Operations Support Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of quality assurance, won with their idea of a modified seat kit, a package containing survival equipment for aircrew in the event of ejection from a B-52 Stratofortress. “We were trying to figure out ways of protecting the survival components,” Torres said. “Traditional ejection seat kits are covered with a seat pan that goes over the kit, since it's a soft kit, to protect everything. So we kind of reverse-engineered that idea and put the pan inside to protect the components. It's also a hard surface so when they eject they’re not ejecting on a soft component.” Moran and Torres will now move on to compete with their idea against up to two other teams from each MAJCOM at the Air Force level. They have high hopes for their idea and can see promise in it even in the face of potentially losing. “It's my hope from where we’re at right now that regardless of whether we win at the Air Force level or not, that realistically within one or two years we could see this idea fitted on all the B-52s,” said Moran. “Because it is equipment that's coming out of Air Force supply, all the pieces are production capable.” With so many innovative ideas presenting themselves from the creative minds of Air Force Airmen, the USAF can stay one step ahead of its adversaries with its constantly adapting military might. The support of Col. Dmytryszyn and Col. McDaniel, with the opportunities presented by STRIKEWERX, have proven that Airmen like Moran and Torres have the power and potential to make changes Air Force wide. The finals are slated for the first quarter of next year in Orlando, Florida.