People and innovation

  • Published
  • By Col. Mitch Hanson
  • 301st Fighter Wing


Happy August men and women of the 301st Fighter Wing! As we near the end of another successful fiscal year I have two topics I’d like to cover this month, people/teamwork and innovation.

I’ve said this many times before, but let me re-iterate, we cannot do the mission without every one of you. Each one of you contributes to the mission and it’s the combined teamwork of each group and individual that makes the 301st a great, successful organization. I’m a huge football fan, specifically Air Force and Alabama (Go Falcons and Roll Tide!), but I enjoy watching almost any football game. While I am not a huge New England Patriots fan, I am always amazed at how they continually field a great team. The Patriots have an okay roster, many times comprised of little known or young players, so why are they still good? Communication and a common goal. They know what is expected of them and what they can expect from fellow teammates. Everyone does their part, has each other’s back and everyone works toward one common goal. A group of individuals will act for themselves while a cohesive team working towards a common goal will always succeed. Let’s continue to work together as a team towards our common goals. If you are unfamiliar with the wing’s mission, vision and priorities then please take some time to learn them, an easy way is to grab a wing mission/schedule card available when you sign-in/sign-out for the UTA.

You’ve probably read about the Air Force’s quest for innovative ideas. According to the dictionary, to innovate is to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.  Why would we as an Air Force or the 301st Fighter Wing want to innovate? Are the established methods of doing business working okay? Do you see a process that could be improved? Do you have a better idea of how to do something? Great! Let me hear about it. In the coming weeks, you’ll see an additional link on your computer desktop. When you click on it you will be taken to a fillable form where you can submit your great ideas directly to 301st wing leadership. The Air Force is serious about innovative ideas coming from the ranks of all airmen, so much so that the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein allocated money to the squadrons to use on innovation. As a wing the 301st pooled our funds, over $80,000, and have used them for ideas to help us accomplish the mission smarter and better.  In fact, if anyone has an idea of what to call the new ‘innovation’ link on our desktops let us know. I look forward to hearing your ideas.

 I recently attended a dinner celebrating the completion of Alliance Airport’s expansion and the success it has had as the world’s first industrial airport. There were several speakers to include a member of Congress, a local mayor, a judge, and several other politicians and business owners. Every speaker kept coming back to the one reason the development has been an overwhelming success, the innovative thoughts and actions of one person. Mr. Ross Perot Jr. had the vision to develop over 26,000 acres in what was once pastures and farm land.  Because of his innovative idea, Alliance, Texas has 488 companies and over 48,000 jobs located within his master-planned community’s boundaries. The development has generated more than $69 billion in economic impact for the North Texas region and has helped propel North Texas into one of the fastest growing areas in America. The best part about the story is that Mr. Perot is a former 301 FW member who flew the F-4 Phantom while assigned to the 457th Fighter Squadron during the 1980s. He still cherishes his time in the military and is proud to have been a Spad; he’s also very proud of every person who wears a uniform. I’m not asking anyone to develop 22,000 acres, but one good innovative idea can make a difference. The 301 FW needs your ideas.


Thank you for your service!

Col. Mitch Hanson



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