Article: MBA Student spearheads project leading to expected $10M in savings for the Air Force

Apr 13, 2023 | Business, Impact

Note: This article appeared in the Bossier Press Tribune on April 11, 2023. 
Written By: BPT Staff

Cyber Innovation Center partnership, program leads to expected $10M in savings for the Air Force

Cyber Innovation Center’s partnership with Air Force Global Strike Command added to its $250 Million-plus return on investment with a recent effort saving $10 Million for the Air Force.

The Global Strike National Security Fellowship Program, administered by the CIC through its partnership intermediary agreement with AFGSC, utilized the Dante software that resulted in the preliminary savings.

In his testimony before the U.S. House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, AFGSC commander Gen. Thomas Bussiere stated, “…Global Strike National Security Fellowship Program utilize[s] a small team of interns trained in coding, automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to develop tailored analytic tools for bomber operations.”

Jonathan McBride, a Louisiana Tech University graduate student and a fellow in the program, served as the lead for Dante modeling and simulation of nuclear security physical features, manpower and systems supporting the multi-billion dollar Weapon Generation Facility military construction project.

“The cost-savings were generated when the program faced cancellation due to cost overruns and McBride’s inputs not only saved money but help save the program,” said Dr. Paul Hausgen, Deputy Chief Scientist at AFGSC. “His performance-oriented inputs directly drove efficiency improvements in the physical design features and future manpower support required to provide security for the facilities.”

CIC collaborated with Sandia National Laboratories and the Command’s Operations and Communications Directorate to incorporate and support training for the Dante software in advanced force protection modeling, simulation, and analysis.

“Jonathan provided performance-oriented security design inputs that directly led to efficiency improvements in the physical design features and future manpower support,” said Hausgen.

Now in its third year, the Fellowship program brings together university junior, senior, and graduate students and AFGSC project champions to foster collaboration and innovation while also exposing members in academia to Department of Defense careers.

“The Fellowship is centered around talented students working with their mentors and partners to achieve impactful national security outcomes. Fellows in the program have produced tangible results while discovering major career opportunities at the same time,” said Jeff Smith, CIC project manager.

Due to his performance and efforts, McBride has been hired by the Air Force as a civil service employee to continue his work in Dante.

“There is no better illustration of the fellows program creating innovation and demonstrates how our partnership is providing a robust return on investment to the command,” said Kevin Nolten, CIC vice president.