Congressman John Garamendi visits Gonge Innovation Lab

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Travis Air Force Base, Calif.-- John Garamendi, congressional representative of California’s 3rd District, attended the Lt. Gen. John F. Gonge Innovation Lab grand opening ceremony Aug. 20, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California.

Garamendi also serves as the Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and oversees over one-third of the Department of Defense's annual budget, has jurisdiction over 1,100 military installations and bases worldwide, and oversees all U.S. military training, logistics, and equipment maintenance.

“As the chairman of the House of Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, I understand the significance of innovation in the military,” Garamendi said. “It offers endless, creative solutions to problems and has a substantial impact on enhancing mission readiness.”

Proceeding the ribbon cutting ceremony, Maj. Eric Robinson, Phoenix Spark director, updated Garamendi on the Travis AFB Exceptional Family Member Program CareStarter pilot.

Robinson explained the CareStarter Pilot is designed to enable the delivery of essential resources to Airmen and their families based on the age, diagnosis, and location of their loved ones.

“The big thing that will come out of this laboratory… We don’t know what it is,” Garamendi said. “We do know that there are individuals on this stage, around the military and community that have an idea, that see a problem, see an opportunity and they now have a place to bring that idea, that curiosity, that necessity and suddenly have a solution and from that solution there will be a problem that will be solved, an opportunity that will be addressed and that’s right here.”

Garamendi also learned about the Easy Aerial small unarmed aircraft technology used by the 60th Security Forces Squadron.

“It is very crucial that we modernize the Air Force,” Robinson said. “This lab and the Airmen within are paving the way to what our Air Force will be 10, 15, 20 years down the road.”

After spending a portion of the morning at the Gonge Innovation Lab, Garamendi visited the KC-46A 3-Bay hangar construction site to see the progress and learn what capabilities the KC-46 will bring to Travis AFB.