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Phoenix Spark enables DoD, industry collaboration

Professionals from across industry, academia and government tour a C-5M Super Galaxy during a base visit as part of the Phoenix Collider event at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 1, 2017. Phoenix Spark is a program modeled to bridge the challenges of rapid innovation at the unit-level while navigating the administrative hurdles of compliance that often impede the velocity of change.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

Professionals from across industry, academia and government tour a C-5M Super Galaxy during a base visit as part of the Phoenix Collider event at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 1, 2017. Phoenix Spark is a program modeled to bridge the challenges of rapid innovation at the unit-level while navigating the administrative hurdles of compliance that often impede the velocity of change. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

Capt. Garrett Custons (right), 60th Comptroller Squadron, talks with industry professionals during a tour of a C-5M Super Galaxy as part of a Phoenix Collider event at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 1, 2017. Government and industry collaborations like Phoenix Collider are one of several avenues Phoenix Spark is pursuing to expand its footprint and develop solutions to enhance the lethality and efficiency of today’s warfighter. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

Capt. Garrett Custons (right), 60th Comptroller Squadron, talks with industry professionals during a tour of a C-5M Super Galaxy as part of a Phoenix Collider event at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 1, 2017. Government and industry collaborations like Phoenix Collider are one of several avenues Phoenix Spark is pursuing to expand its footprint and develop solutions to enhance the lethality and efficiency of today’s warfighter. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

Professionals from across industry, academia and government tour a C-5M Super Galaxy during a base visit as part of a Phoenix Collider event at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 1, 2017. Government and industry collaborations like Phoenix Collider are one of several avenues Phoenix Spark is pursuing to expand its footprint and develop solutions to enhance the lethality and efficiency of today’s warfighter. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

Professionals from across industry, academia and government tour a C-5M Super Galaxy during a base visit as part of a Phoenix Collider event at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 1, 2017. Government and industry collaborations like Phoenix Collider are one of several avenues Phoenix Spark is pursuing to expand its footprint and develop solutions to enhance the lethality and efficiency of today’s warfighter. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Professionals from across industry, academia and government met with representatives from Travis Air Force Base’s Phoenix Spark program here Aug. 1 as part of an effort to connect external experts with problem sets faced by today’s warfighter.

The event, known as Phoenix Collider, brought together experts within the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing technology, virtual reality, software development, business and mechanical engineering to meet face-to-face with Travis Airmen to garner firsthand accounts of “pain points.”

Phoenix Spark is a program modeled to bridge the challenges of rapid innovation at the unit-level while navigating the administrative hurdles of compliance that often impede the velocity of change.

“We are creating ways to innovate by allowing creative thinking to resonate with the youngest Airmen to improve processes and equipment,” said Col. John Klein 60th Air Mobility Wing commander.

With Travis strategically located in close proximity to Silicon Valley and several prestigious academic institutions, Phoenix Spark strives to leverage, develop relationships and play an active role in Northern California’s innovation ecosystem.

“We are trying to connect you, the experts, with interesting problem sets that the warfighter has identified,” said Maj. Tony Perez, 60th Operations Support Squadron and a founding member of the Phoenix Spark program, during the opening remarks. “After this event, our goal is to go beyond discussing the problems; we want to partner with you and actively work on solutions.”

The overarching concept Perez stressed during the collaboration was posed to the group in the form of a question, “How do we bring tomorrow’s tools to the warfighter today?”

The Phoenix Spark program and events like the Phoenix Collider are “the connective tissue” between Travis Airmen and experts who can realize solutions, said Perez.

Over the course of the day-long event, the group of more than 15 industry experts met with Airmen with a variety of specialties.

Topics and ideas presented to the group ranged in complexity, which aligns with the intent of Phoenix Spark. Innovation is not confined to large-scale projects and advanced technology; instead many encompass modest solutions to overcome day-to-day challenges.

Government and industry collaborations like Phoenix Collider are one of several avenues Phoenix Spark is pursuing to expand its footprint and develop solutions to enhance the lethality and efficiency of today’s warfighter.

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#TeamTravis, as we enter wildfire season you may have seen news reports about PG&E Public Safety Shutoffs. Public Safety Shutoffs are preemptive/deliberate power outages during high heat, low humidity and high wind periods where the fire risk due to a downed power line is high. Currently, Travis AFB has been categorized as a Tier 1 fire risk, which is the most unlikely tier to be de-energized due to fire risk and we are currently NOT expecting to be affected by a public safety power shutoff. Should we receive a notification from PG&E of a public safety power shutoff we will provide notifications via AdHoc (PLEASE make sure you've updated your information on the new system) and Balfour Beatty's "One Call Now" service. Informally, we will also post our Facebook and Twitter (@Travis60AMW) feeds. Thank you and #NoBounds!
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