[DRACO Spark CELL]
The 18th Air Support Operation Group chartered the Draco Spark Cell In March 2022. As part of the Air Force's AFWERX Spark program Draco works to bring next level capabilities to the Tactical Air Control Parties Weapon System. Through Research, Development, and Test, Leveraging SBIR and STTR programs Draco has partnered with Industry to work on advance technologies ensuring TACP is ready to meet the challenges of future warfare.
August 2020 Started the "Accelerate Change or Lose" Air Force.
"We must focus on the Joint Warfighting Concept, enabled by Joint All-Domain Command and Control and rapidly move forward with digital, low cost, high tech, warfighting capacities." -Gen Charles Q. Brown
Draco Spark Cell is the Tactical Air Control Party's first Spark Cell. We believe this is our calling.
The mission: "Draco Spark Cell will develop new low cost, light weight digital weapon systems, to advance warfighting capacities and outpace the enemy."
TACP is the most forward extension of the ASOC and the USAF's Theater Air Control System. TACP coordinates airpower across all domains, Information Exchange Requirements, and provides procedural routing and Safety of flight for the Air Forces flying in combat.
From Supporting all aspects of the Air Component Commander's air war to coordinating and striking targets on the ground TACP must meet the challenge.
That's cool, but what does it do?
There is a trend in innovation, that is to develop technology without intent. When you build something and think "I'm sure I'll find a use for this later". That method works for the consumer marketplace, but what about for National Security and Defense?
Draco Spark Cell puts the Mission First! ideas must match a requirement or improve a capability. That doesn't mean we don't take risks. We can and do use "yes and" and "fail fast" approaches, but we do so with an eye towards managing risk. True innovation tends to fail 80% of the time while succeeding the remaining 20%. The 80/20 rule as its called is the innovation Airman's calling. Draco Spark Cell believes our methods can best that ratio at every turn.
Return On Investment
CSAF, General Charles Brown has listed his top priorities as:
#1. Joint All Domain Command and control.
Draco Spark Cell is working to increase Command and Control Capabilities across all domains, returning investments by fielding technologies faster then ever before.
#2. Working with Industry
Draco Spark Cell is intentionally set up to collaborate with the top technology companies in the United States. Combined with AFWERX Small Business Innovations Research grants. The TACP weapon system has saved a conservative $3.75M in research and development funds.
#3. Developing Airmen
Draco prides itself on establishing in-routes to training and certification opportunities not otherwise provided to Airmen in TACP units. In collaboration with AFWERX and partner Spark Cells, Airmen can get experience in CPI, Program Management, Finance, Venture Capital and Scientific Methods