USAFE-AFAFRICA preps for 7th annual Innovation Madness competition

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  • By Capt. Kaila Bryant

The seventh annual Innovation Madness competition will begin this March at U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa. This event highlights and encourages operational innovations that used the Continuous Process Improvement across the command.

Participating USAFE-AFAFRICA wings compete against each other for the opportunity to win a portion of the allotted $250,000 based on cumulative scores from the three rounds.

“We are excited to announce the kick-off for the seventh annual USAFE-AFAFRICA Innovation Madness competition,” said USAFE-AFAFRICA commander, Gen. Jeff Harrigian. “Last year, our Airmen's creative spirit spurred 242 innovations across the command, totaling $14.1 million in monetary savings and 1.8 million in annual labor-hours. Our team has a history of taking innovations that positively impact our mission readiness all the way to the Air Force level for implementation, and I’m looking forward to seeing that same creativity in 2021.”

The first round of judging focuses on mission improvement initiatives from submitted award packages, with the winner announced on March 18.

The second round will grade 59-second videos highlighting the wing’s innovative culture with time and cost savings. The videos will be available on both the wing’s and USAFE’s Facebook pages, with the winner announced March 25.

The third round will judge the wing’s CPI program using the total number of CPI events, total validated money and time savings and other CPI program criteria provided by Wing Process Managers throughout the year. The winner will be announced April 1.

A champion will be announced April 7 and be recognized with the Lieutenant General William H. Tunner Innovation Madness award.

“Innovation Madness gives the USAFE-AFAFRICA commander the opportunity to celebrate the tremendous work the wings have done over the past year and it gives wing commanders the opportunity to highlight the innovative culture at their wing,” explained Daniel Kjolhede, Innovation Madness 2021 project officer. “Every year, Innovation Madness shows how creative and ingenious our Airmen are at solving problems and finding better ways to do their job.”

USAFE-AFAFRICA’s Innovation and Transformation Office and the Office of Financial Management and Comptroller started this competition in 2015. The ultimate goal is to improve operational processes, maximize mission capabilities, and reduce costs while ensuring our force is always one step ahead of our adversaries.

Videos, round winners, and other announcements can be found at