SALT LAKE CITY – The Logistics Officer Association Symposium continued Thursday, March 17 with an update from Tesseract highlighting the team’s successes and detailing their roadmap for the future.
The Tesseract team has become the epicenter of innovation for the Air Force logistics community since the concept was first presented to the masses at the 2019 LOA Symposium in Oklahoma City.
Championed by Maj. Gen. Linda Hurry, Director of Logistics, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Tesseract has spent the last three years connecting Airmen and their ideas to a network of resources.
“If you want to talk about innovative examples, I’m here to tell you it’s already happening; it’s happening today,” said Hurry.
Hurry led a five-member panel who gave real-world examples of Tesseract’s effectiveness, like how the team scaled an F-22 Raptor defueling idea that originated at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to five other bases. Tech. Sgt. Robert Trump, Concepts Integration Team Program Manager, said the new process cuts defueling time by up to 70 percent.
Trump said he’s learned there are two critical factors related to scaling ideas. The first is that Tesseract doesn’t act alone, and its success relies heavily on its network and partnerships.
“The second ingredient is an agile mindset and the ability to pivot,” Trump said, while emphasizing the importance of flexibility and creative thinking in the innovation process.
Tesseract and its team are particularly useful for Airmen with logistics-related ideas who may be getting stuck in some of the Air Force’s other pathways for innovation.
Tech. Sgt. Devan Trammel, Concepts Integration Branch Program Manager, highlighted Tesseract’s involvement with 1st Lt Justin O’Brien’s Liquid Cooled Plate Carrier. The LCPC is a cooling system integrated into body armor to help regulate body temperature and prevent heat-related injuries.
Tesseract helped connect O’Brien to the necessary resources needed to test the LCPC in the field and hopefully have it approved for purchase at all levels of the military in the near future.
“What was so great is that the 18th Airborne Corps signed up to do field testing for the equipment,” Trammel said. “At the conclusion it will be ready for folks to swipe the GTC and buy for your units.”
The team devotes a great deal of time and energy to connecting with Airmen at all levels to communicate their capabilities and encourage participation. Tesseract hosts a podcast and has featured Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Brown and looks forward to hosting other logistics leaders in the future to include LOA President Jason Kalin.
Tesseract maintains a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn, too, but the team noted they rely heavily on word of mouth. They asked the audience to speak with their teams about Tesseract and encouraged everyone to reach out through their website with ideas or questions.
Team Lead Lt. Col. Jonathan Menashi outlined Tesseract’s plan for the future. First, he said the force can expect more of the same when it comes to connecting Airmen to the tools they need and scaling innovative solutions.
Second, Tesseract is focused on getting approval for organic manpower positions to solidify their place in the Air Force logistics community moving forward. Part of this line of effort also includes expanding their reach to security forces and civil engineering career fields.
Third, the team plans to explore opportunities to continue their mission while integrating into exercises as well as connecting with joint partners and U.S. allies.
With so much planned for Tesseract’s future, Hurry and team made it a point to mention they are hiring.
“Jump in the arena with us,” Menashi said. “Join up, but get ready for the ride, because you’re going to move out. Connect with us and join our cause.”
Hurry concluded the panel by motivating the audience to continue to submit innovative ideas to solve everyday challenges.
“I know you have ideas out there,” she said. “Please have the courage to share these ideas so we can accelerate change and execute the Chief’s action orders.”