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On the shoulders of giants: AFGSC commander addresses innovation with community

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, discussed the future of Air Force innovation with local leaders and entrepreneurs at the Building our Region’s Future 2019 annual meeting, Nov. 6.

Building our Region’s Future focuses on creating the type of industry talent that the command is looking for. Part of the company’s mission is to mentor leaders in the local Barksdale community through innovation and the stimulation of the local economy.

In his keynote speech, Ray said Airmen stand on the shoulders of giants; giants like the Wright brothers, who played a key role in the development of aviation, but were not in the military. Rather, they were local citizens with a supportive community and an innovative idea that would change the world.

“We’re in a major competition for talent, but that’s no news to any of you,” Ray said. “When I look to industry, I ask myself ‘can they bear the thing I need and can they provide delivery on time and on cost’?”

Ray shared with the more than 400 BRF members and guests in attendance the standup of the command’s Innovation Engine process. This innovative project was outlined in the command’s 2020 strategic plan and is intended to make the command more competitive in regards to great power competition.

“We have so much talent in this area and our surrounding bases,” Ray said. “We want to tap into the talent within our communities to come up with the next innovation. We can all work together to be part of the solution.”

This solution is something that cannot be bought the general said. The command plans on going back to the Air Force’s roots of military and civilian partnerships that support each other and work together to overcome problems.

“The BRF is in the unique position to help Barksdale, Global Strike, the 8th Air Force and their mission to move forward,” John George Jr., BRF president and CEO, said. 

With new technology emerging around the world the command will utilize innovation to stay relevant, using available resources to capitalize on AFGSC’s future plans.