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Roadshow saves hours with automation

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Tabatha Arellano
  • Air Force Test Center

Air Force Test Center Directorate’s Continued Process Improvement and Innovation office sponsored and organized a three-day Robotic Process Automation Roadshow, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Feb. 7-9.

The Roadshow utilized an automation program called UiPath, which mimics human actions and connects multiple systems without changing the existing information technology.

David Sorrels, chief innovation officer and customer success manager for the DoD’s UiPath accounts, led the event.

“We partnered with the DAF bot operations team out of Maxwell AFB, Alabama to bring robotic process and technology to business process and find where we can automate repetitive high-volume manual tasks,” said Sorrels. “The initial training effort and automations were built this week, but the effort is already ongoing throughout the entire Air Force.”

The Roadshow, sponsored by Secretary of the Air Force Management, created the events to empower citizen developers, allowing organizations to capture missed opportunities and put automation in the hands of employees.

"AFTC/XR expects to train the initial cadre of citizen developers able to automate and thus error-proof repetitive data processing tasks to free them up to do more value-added work," said Neil Repke, AFTC Center Process manager.

The Roadshow was open to all Air Force members (military, civilians, and contractors), and no skillset or training background was required to participate.

“[Having this program means] data is processed faster, moves through the system faster, work is completed faster, causing less manual labor and less error,” said Alexandra Rajadhyaksha, 412th Test Wing, division contractor and tools developer. “This is simple, you don’t need to be a programmer. Almost anyone can do this.”

Roadshow participants, like Rajadhyaksha, were given example bots already created through the UiPath program to use as templates for their own.

“We used a website that selects a specific point [to automate] and then adds it into the path to tell it what you need it to do. Selecting things such as ‘yes’ or ‘no’, or my name, we can automate,” said Tyler Borsberry, 419th Flight Training Squadron, physical security and Roadshow participant. “Through the process of continuity, I think it’s extremely beneficial to be able to automate the system, from visitors coming in to generating alarm letters.”

Edwards AFB Roadshow has been planned after a successful event at Eglin AFB in May 2022. Initially trained citizen developers produced at such events are empowered to train follow-on cohorts.

At the end of the week, all participants presented 18 of their automated and error-proofing bots throughout the class of 26. Overall, the created bots will save 3,227 repurposed hours per year. The bot with the most saved time was 1,040 hours a year.

“The Roadshow was held in Europe and across the United States and has grown the functional community of practice throughout the different functional areas with over 300,00 manual hours saved,” concluded Sorrels.

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.