RaiderWerx innovation space opens doors on Ellsworth Air Force Base

BOX ELDER, S.D. — Ellsworth Air Force Base has opened the doors to its new RaiderWerx innovation cell, which is designed to provide new opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

Bases across the Air Force have started to install innovation cells as a way to give Airmen a place to invent solutions to relevant problems, and even collaborate with the community.

RaiderWerx opens doorsThis space in particular was supported by AFWERX, an Air Force innovation program, and Midco, and it’s easily accessible to anyone on base.

Lori Vega, Deputy Mission Support Group Director, discussed the advantages of the new location, saying, “It’s located in our military training facility, so all of our Airmen that come here for training will actually see this cell and have access to it, and it will help build that culture of innovation.”

Innovation has always been a priority for the Department of Defense, but it’s been particularly crucial to the development of the 28th Bomb Wing.

“Before we were ever a branch, we were doing innovative things,” says TSgt Timothy Kenney, Director of Innovation. “It was because of our innovation that they saw that we had a need for a new branch.”

The RaiderWerx space is equipped with tools like virtual reality, white boards, 3-D printers, and even a podcast studio.

The hope is that Airmen will be able to apply their experience in the field to solving problems faced by the Department of Defense with the help of the surrounding community.

“If we can’t manufacture it on the installation, then we reach out to our community partners and see if there’s a company that can help us or a startup that maybe has something that could be modified,” Vega adds. 

Leaders believe that the collaboration between military personnel and civilian experts can help them to reach new heights in a rapidly growing, technology based world.

“If we’re all going to meet the intent of accelerating change and that strategic vision, we really have to open ourselves up to new ideas, to new people, and to new partnerships,” says TSgt Kenney. 

With additional resources and a fun, bright space, Airmen now have the chance to bond and share ideas that will help shape their futures.

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