Pathfinder Airman creates time-saving solution with Defenderzon

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jennifer Zima
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

A flight sergeant for the 422nd Security Forces Squadron at RAF Croughton, England, recognized a need and benefit for adopting a supply delivery system for his squadron.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dillan Whitehead was selected as one of eight finalists at the 2022 Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Innovation Rodeo for his idea.

His invention, the Defenderzon, is a website giving USAF Security Forces Airmen the ability to order equipment directly from the appropriate supply section, which ultimately gives valuable man-hours back to their unit.

“Security forces supply sections are not located at our squadron,” said Whitehead. “We must travel to the squadron to meet with supply to either get them to go to the warehouse with us or set up a time to meet there. I came up with the idea of Defenderzon and hoped to enhance the quality of life for Defenders at RAF Croughton.”

Throughout the process, Dr. Zoe Dyndor, 501st Combat Support Wing process manager, was involved and submitted Whitehead for the Innovation Spark Tank.

“We need to step up the pace of our innovation efforts to make sure we stay ahead of our competitors,” said Dr. Dyndor. “Everyone can do that from the ground level up.”

This year’s Innovation Rodeo theme was Accelerate Change through Innovation. Finalists spent a week in San Antonio learning from leading innovators, collaborating with industry partners and networking with peers, senior leaders and innovation teams. Finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of senior leaders Aug. 19.

In addition to funding, winners will be matched with innovation teams from AFIMSC primary subordinate units – Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Air Force Security Forces Center, Air Force Services Center and Air Force Installation Contracting Center – for project development, testing and execution.

The 501st CSW will be hosting a conference Oct. 21 to showcase innovation across the wing. Dyndor recognizes the need for innovation and set up the conference to help bring  ideas to life as well as educate leadership about fostering a culture of process improvement.

“Innovation is something that will make everyday lives easier for Airmen and Guardians,” said Whitehead. “With the right innovations, you can cut out the need for certain jobs enabling more efficient manpower use and, ultimately, create a more effective team.”

Your Wing Process Manager (WPM) is here to assist with submissions and answer any questions:

Spark Tank Cell

DSN: 314-236-8102