Update: Newly readily available facts about the selection board has been extra.

WASHINGTON — Air Training and Education Command is on the lookout for new suggestions on how to transform the way it trains the subsequent era of airmen — with hundreds of 1000’s of pounds in prize money is on the line.

The winners of the second annual iChallenge opposition will be declared in San Antonio, Texas, on May perhaps 24, throughout the ForceCon meeting.

The particular person or team who wins the major prize will acquire $225,000 to be used as seed funds to more develop the top notion. Two runners-up will each individual acquire a $125,000 prize.

In a May well 11 job interview, Chris Adams, AETC’s innovation advancement division chief, reported the command hopes the contest will spark airmen’s desire in innovating new approaches to teach staff, uncover individuals tips, and get the innovators the important sources to make their thoughts a fact and get them into airmen’s palms.

The iChallenge contest not only will get ground breaking airmen in entrance of command management, Adams reported, but it also connects them with one particular a different, business officials, academic organizations and funding resources so they can even further trade strategies. This will be the to start with time associates from sector and academia will listen to the iChallenge pitches.

“One issue that we’re performing this yr is sharing what our pitches are so we can aid clear up our pressure enhancement gaps and challenges and seriously accelerate change like [Chief of Staff] Gen. [CQ] Brown has tasked us all to do,” Lt. Col. CJ Hale, main of the fast deployment office at AETC, stated in the job interview. “This will be a wonderful opportunity for industry and academia to see the place our airmen innovators’ minds are and how they’re making an attempt to incorporate emerging know-how to modernize and greatly enhance the AETC mission.”

Competition in this year’s iChallenge entered in just one of four groups. 1 class focuses on training “multi-capable airmen,” a concept in which U.S. Air Power personnel are taught the basics of executing other positions in addition to their possess. This could develop into important in a wartime condition, in which airmen on isolated bases without the need of reinforcements would have to perform several employment to hold the unit performing. Brown emphasized the value of multi-capable airmen in his “Accelerate Transform or Lose” tactic.

One more group is seeking for methods to use augmented or virtual actuality, as properly as combined or extended truth — know-how intended to increase how the company trains its force. AETC has currently used these principles in systems this sort of as Pilot Instruction Up coming, which utilised artificial intelligence and virtual fact to boost and quicken the approach for schooling new pilots.

The other two categories consist of tips for setting up and providing customizable application apps, and for increasing airmen and leaders’ comfortable capabilities, these kinds of as conversation.

Hale explained AETC is significantly fascinated in earning coaching systems to develop multi-able airmen that are accessible, modern and customizable. The command also needs to generate and update these instruction programs in-home by airmen, as a substitute of contracting out and owning to go back to distributors for updates.

Locating fresh and progressive techniques to use engineering, such as virtual and augmented fact, in schooling is crucial as the Air Force seeks new recruits who grew up as “digital natives,” Adams said.

Digital truth permits comprehensive immersion in a pc-generated natural environment, at times by working with goggles, and augmented actuality overlays digital things on leading of the truth the person sees. As an case in point of augmented reality, Adams cited the recreation Pokémon Go, in which gamers use their smartphones to come across and seize hidden creatures as they wander around.

“This enables us to essentially fulfill our learners in which they are,” Adams claimed. “They’ve been employing this stuff all their lives. They’ve performed Pokémon Go and all these other factors, so this is very organic for them.”

And adopting these type of immersive mastering techniques gives college students extra command more than how they learn, Adams stated, considering the fact that they can generally retain learning at house and examine at their possess tempo.

Each contestant has 10 minutes just before the variety board, which will be led by Brig. Gen. Caroline Miller, who was till a short while ago commander of AETC’s 502nd Air Base Wing at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. That features a 3-minute pitch for their concept, followed by a seven-moment dilemma-and-answer session with the judges.

The inaugural iChallenge level of competition very last calendar year, which was structured in a different way than this year’s contest, awarded very first prizes to strategies in 3 diverse groups, which include an award for an interactive cyber education application known as Cyber Space Odyssey.

With $475,000 in overall prize income supplied this 12 months, there is also considerably far more dollars at stake than last 12 months, in which the prizes totaled $300,000.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter at Protection News. He earlier described for Armed service.com, covering the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare. Ahead of that, he included U.S. Air Force management, personnel and functions for Air Drive Periods.