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Wing Innovation: Raider Spark Cell debuts with $450,000 awarded funds

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Abbey Rieves
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

The 17th Training Wing Raider Spark Cell awarded a total of $450,000 for use in eight approved innovation projects, during the annual Financial Management Board, February 15.

“There were eight to ten projects or innovators who were awarded,” said Tech. Sgt. Justin Crook, 17th Training Wing Raider Spark Cell section chief. “Those new innovations will pay dividends to the units, the Airmen, and the students.”

Launched in late 2022, the Raider Spark Cell is a physical and opportunistic location designed to accelerate change by transforming service members’ ideas into workplace realities.

“This is an organization where people can come with their ideas,” said Master Sgt. Anthony Lefemine, 17th TRW Raider Spark Cell superintendent. “We exist solely to help those people.”

One recipient of the squadron innovation funds was the Goodfellow Air Force Gaming Cell. Previously, the program did not have a dedicated space and borrowed equipment before these funds.

“I am extremely excited we were able to receive these funds,” said Space Force Staff Sgt. D’Andre Floyd Space Force Gaming base ambassador. “This is a huge step in the right direction, not only for the base, but our community as well. This enables us to further amplify our message, build our community and boost morale.”

“I am remarkably proud that we were able to receive these funds and that leadership backs up our vision,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Vialpando, Air Force Gaming base ambassador. “This is a great opportunity for us to start something that has not been established yet on this base.”

The Raider Spark Cell’s efforts made this vision happen.  

Aligning with Air Education and Training Command, members efforts to incorporate digital-age technology across the training wing became easier through the spark cell team’s resource navigation.

“We are here to help mentor and coach service members through funding, resources, and outside perspectives,” said Lefemine. “A lot of big impacts come from small ideas.”

Brainstorming space and facility use is open to everyone with base access, to include joint services.

“What a lot of people don’t see is there are so many different ways to solving their problems,” said Crook. “There is a lot of untapped experience, knowledge, and ideas that don’t make it out there. We want to help those Airmen with those ideas and ultimately make Goodfellow better.”


Congratulations to the following Squadron Innovation Funds recipients:

  • 315th Training Squadron, $7,500 for a target development instrument
  • 313th Training Squadron, $300,000 for an Agile Combat Employment (ACE)/Joint All-Domain Operations (JADO) visualization tool
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs, $10,000 for a Green Room and Information Domain Nerve Center
  • 17th Training Support Squadron, $19,000 for a Lightboard Studio
  • 17th Training Support Squadron, $46,800 for Circadian Classroom and Office Lighting
  • 17th Logistics Readiness Squadron, $25,511.16 for Operation Go for Flight
  • 17th Communications Squadron, $25,000 for an Initial Equipment purchase for Goodfellow Air Force Gaming Cell
  • 17th Comptroller Squadron, $22,000 for a Comptroller Squadron Kiosk