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Improved U.S. Military Unmanned Aerial System Software

Sergeant Mickey Reeve of the Massachusetts Army National Guard the Defence Meritorious Service Medal develops innovative counter-unmanned aerial system training software that simulates the operating systems of U.S. military c-UAS. The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) awarded Sergeant Mickey Reeve for winning Innovation Oasis.

The tool enables operators to train in a variety of scenarios and locations. The operator teams can use the adaptable trainer to improve reaction time and engagement drills. The creative idea recently won the U.S. Central Command’s (CENTCOM) Innovation Oasis competition. Later, the United States Army Futures Command’s Software Factory will work on fielding the counter-unmanned aerial system training software.

“This tool has the potential to influence operators to become more proficient at their jobs, which could have a positive impact on the mission and save lives,” Reeve said. “I believe it will be a huge benefit to our organisation.”

While assigned to the Prince Sultan Air Base counter UAS team, Reeve came up with the winning idea. He used his programming background to solve a training gap in their simulators. Reeve believes he is a person who focuses on his work. As a result, he is always looking for the next thing to do. Therefore, it is a fantastic opportunity for him to provide an outlet and work on a solution that benefits his base.

After seeing flyers for Innovation Oasis, he decided to enter and spent hours perfecting a functional prototype for his pitch. The Interim Platform Agnostic Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System Trainer was created by those around him. He is grateful for his team’s support throughout the journey.

Reeve has gone on a world tour with CENTCOM leadership to discuss his experience and the value of innovation in the military. After his selection, Reeve travelled to Washington, D.C., and the Middle East to promote his idea and innovation across CENTCOM. Hearing Reeve’s story, the hope was that it would inspire other service members. He was also allowed to attend the military school of his choice during the school year. Following the success of the first Innovation Oasis, CENTCOM is already planning a second contest for this spring, with the hope of making it even more prominent.

CENTCOM promotes military innovation through the Oasis innovation competition. The Innovation Oasis is a “Shark Tank” style innovation competition in which select service members and civilians will present ideas, inventions, and processes for possible implementation. All military personnel are welcome to enter the competition and pitch their innovative ideas to benefit the organisation. The contest was a way for CENTCOM to find a practical idea to help the joint force and inspire change throughout the command.

“This programme is about instilling a culture of innovation throughout CENTCOM,” said CENTCOM Commander Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla. “It’s about finding those great ideas hidden from view inside a squad, trapped inside a ship, locked down in a cubicle in one of our bases, or tucked away in an aircraft hangar. We want to unlock, embrace, and uplift those ideas before implementing them throughout the organisation.”

Commander Gen. Kurilla has identified the Culture of Innovation as a top priority and he wants to recognise, embrace, elevate and leverage the ideas of United States service members from across the command. He encourages the organisation to innovate, find new approaches to old problems, and reset the member’s mindset.

For him, ideas come from somewhere other than the top down or the fourth floor of the CENTCOM headquarters building. Because the military establishment does not have a monopoly on innovative ideas. Hence, he believes that some of the best ideas are already hidden away by military structure and bureaucracy within U.S. military formations.

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