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Innovation with Airmen’s morale in mind

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Christopher Quail
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright said the Air Force must think of new ways to innovate over the coming decades to ensure it’s ready to win wars.

In one aircraft hangar, aircraft maintenance Airmen seized an opportunity to design a new gym. Utilizing innovation funding from both the 736th and 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons, as well as other agencies, the idea of one Airman became a reality.

“I am grateful [for] all the support from other agencies, as well as my leadership, in making this happen,” said Tech. Sgt. Adam Olson, 736th AMXS Home Station Check dock chief and brainchild of the new gym. “At least three to four agencies helped us with donating some of their innovation funds.”

Built in two days and costing approximately $80,000, the gym consist of free weights, treadmills, speed bicycles and row machines.

Olson’s inspiration for the new gym came from experiencing several deployments, during which he observed that morale was always high.

“We have the work side down here … but for the long time, the perception was that the morale was really sagging around here,” said Olson. “On the other hand, across the pond, being deployed, we call it a working vacation because the morale is so high over there. We take care of each other so well over there. I was trying to find any and all aspects that I could find in the deployed environment that boosted morale to bring here. One of the main things is having our own gym (close by) where we could all go work out together and still being easily contacted if needed.”

The flight line is a 24/7 operation and members on shift need to be available if called upon. Having the gym in close proximity to duty locations keeps Airmen accessible if the call comes in for support.

“Most of the time we come out in uniform and work out,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Miller, 436th AMXS communication navigations and electronic warfare journeyman. “It’s nice to have this gym here, because I can bring my radio with me and hear it if they call out for a plane.”

Innovative ideas can come to any and all Airmen. Dover AFB Airmen are encouraged to reach out to the base’s innovation lab, also known as Bedrock, by visiting

 “This innovation will be a major boost in morale and comradery,” said Olson. “It is easy to say we care about you. It’s easy to say you should have big morale. It’s easy to say we are doing things for you, but this is an actual resource that is put here, an actual, ‘Hey, this is for you, literally put here for you, to make sure you are taken care of – and we mean it.’”