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News | Oct. 25, 2022

386 AEW stands up innovation cell--Task Force 99.M

By Senior Master Sgt. David Salanitri, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Office

Once again, the 386 Air Expeditionary Wing is leading modernization throughout the region, standing up the very first satellite innovation cell under U.S. Air Forces Central Command’s Task Force 99 at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait.

On Oct. 26, 2022, the 386 AEW stood up Task Force 99.M, paying tribute to its mascot--the Marauder.

About one month ago, Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, Combined Forces Air Component Commander, announced the creation of Task Force 99--an agile, specialized unit designed to look for opportunities to enhance AFCENT’s ability to detect and defeat any form of unfriendly drone and to rapidly innovate in all domains to ensure victory.

In response, the 386 AEW is the first wing in the region to bring Grynkewich’s vision to life.

“We have completed out initial launch of Task Force 99.M, manned with two-full time action officers to charge hard at getting after Lt. Gen Grynkewich’s vision,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Elwell, Chief of Staff and TF 99.M overseer. “Our wing has a history of innovating, which can be seen every day at the region’s busiest aerial port. Task Force 99.M is a continuation of this legacy.”

The two-person staff is looking for 10 volunteers to join their team. This team will compile inputs and recommendations throughout the wing and present them to the wing Commander, Col. George Buch Jr. The wing had already informally had an innovation team, which has built several proposals, including fortifying the force so that deployed members are fully taking care of themselves, just like we do all weapons systems.

“To be amongst this new team is an opportunity I don’t assume lightly,” said Tech. Sgt. Joseph Martínez, TF 99.M action officer. “The challenges we’re resolving will protect our teammates and deter threats, now and in the future.”

The team isn’t starting from scratch. Throughout the last four months, cells throughout the wing have compiled solutions to make Airmen stronger in all aspects and increase lethality across several functions.

“We’re not starting from square one thanks to our innovation cells throughout the wing,” said Maj. Brian Wright, action office for TF 99.M. “Soon, we’ll be presenting vetted solutions to wing leadership that will help current and future Airmen. The best part is that these solutions aren’t from people who are out of touch, but are sourced from Airmen who are in the fight every day.”

If you’re part of the 386 AEW and would like to volunteer for TF 99.M, notify your leadership—positions will be emailed to leadership the week of Oct 31, 2022.