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Team Dover Airmen Test Innovative Technology

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman John Rossi

Active-duty and Reserve Airmen at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, tested a new communications and sensor platform kit on the flight line in October. The Helios platform, developed by a California-based defense technology company, is designed to provide aircrews with satellite internet connectivity anywhere in the world. 

The team of active-duty and Reserve Airmen deployed the Helios from its portable case during a mission scenario involving a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Capt. Christopher Baude, a pilot assigned to the Reserve 512th Airlift Wing’s 326th Airlift Squadron and the unit’s chief of innovation, said the crew was able to set up the kit and connect to Wi-Fi in just over five minutes.

“With the ongoing digital transition of Air Mobility Command and Air Force Reserve Command, aircrews are more reliant than ever on having internet connectivity,” he said. “In an environment where there is no cell service, this technology gives us the capability to get the mission done without delay.”

Anthony Lugo, the technology company’s head of government communications, said collaborative events like this tactical demonstration are vital for gaining insights from military members to guide their future product design.

“The passion and commitment displayed by Dover’s team in their pursuit of modernization is both commendable and motivating,” Lugo said. 

Dave Jackson, the 512th AW’s chief of continuous process improvement and innovation, said collaborative efforts such as the Helios flight test are hallmarks of innovation the Air Force strives for. 

“Continued efforts such as this will continue to push boundaries to bring ideas in the realm of possible,” Jackson said. “I encourage all Airmen who have innovative ideas for the workplace to speak up and share. We stand ready to support you and accelerating change for mission accomplishment.”

(Rossi is assigned to the 512th AW public affairs office.)