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NEWS | May 7, 2019

Arrow Spark, JFWORX bringing the light to JBLE

By Tech. Sgt. Robert Hicks 633d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis worked alongside the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Junior Force Warfighter Operations in RX team to come up with an innovative way to solve an aging lighting issue using the Arrow Spark program.

The two teams came up with the idea to use a lightweight extender to change several lights in the 733d Logistics Readiness Squadron mobility warehouse that hadn’t been changed in more than 10 years. They replaced old metal halide lightbulbs with new LED lights.

Arrow Spark is a program modeled to bridge the challenges of rapid innovation at the unit-level while navigating the administrative hurdles of compliance that often impede the velocity of change. JFWORX works toward a similar mission, providing junior military officers and civilians the opportunity to engage in rapid development projects of immediate benefit to the warfighter.

“The old hangar facility built up a mezzanine and the floor rating was not strong enough to support a man lift, so we came up with the plan to use a lightweight extender pole with an attachment,” said Christopher Falkowski, facilities engineer with the AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate.

According to Falkowski, using the lightweight extender to reach up 35 feet in the air to switch out bulbs seems to have never been done before. JFWORX will pass the idea along to other bases that may have a similar issue.

“We had to figure out a way to help them change out these lights,” Falkowski said. “The unit works 24/7 supplying the base with individual protective equipment under ambient light conditions. In some cases, personnel were having to wear headlights or use temporary flood lights to find equipment.”

An Airman who works in the warehouse explained how all but one of their lights were out, making it difficult to do their job at times.

“We have been trying to get new lights since 2011,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Meurer, 192nd Wing. “This is amazing. The unit has been working under natural lighting conditions for some time now, so these six new lights will help us be more efficient when it comes to finding and storing new equipment.”

For more information, or to submit an innovative idea through the Arrow Spark program, contact Capt. Robert Honea at 757-225-6560.