FAIRFAX, Va. (AFNS) —
headquarters 9th Air Force, US Air Force Central, formalized a partnership with George Mason University for joint research, rapid capability development, training and education of warfighters to support command mission readiness. The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement was signed on July 14 on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University by Mark Ginsberg, Chancellor of GMU, and Lieutenant General Alexus GrynkewichCommander of the Ninth Air Force.
“Mason is committed to providing access to educational excellence and innovative student learning experiences, while providing innovative research and capabilities to address the nation’s biggest challenges faster,” said Ginsberg. “This partnership will strengthen Mason’s unique approach to supporting our military professionals and provide the Air Force with access to world-class thought leadership from Virginia’s largest and most innovative public research university. This model of shared research and curriculum development with the Air Force opens up opportunities for additional collaborations with public and government organizations.”
“We are very grateful for this partnership with George Mason, where we see tremendous opportunities for collaboration, creative thinking and building a culture of innovation,” Grynkewich said.
The partnership will include applied research and development programs with defense and homeland security teams at the Volgenau School of Engineering, Mason’s rapid prototyping research center, along with digital transformation efforts coordinated through the Institute for Mason Digital Innovation. USAFCENT staff will also gain access to customized executive, continuing and professional education programs, along with specialized graduate and doctoral programs offered through Mason’s School of Business and College of Engineering and Computer Science.
“As the most diverse and innovative university in the state, Mason meets today’s needs and inspires future perspectives for organizations in the public and private sectors,” said School of Business Dean Ajay Vinzé. “By providing multiple pathways for all students, Mason is driving success in both the public and private sectors. As a top-tier business analytics university, this collaboration will deliver a direct impact and transformative experience for the men and women of the Ninth Air Force and beyond.”
“Our relationship with Mason has grown since August 2022 as they collaborated with us early on our journey to become a data-centric organization through the delivery of tailored data-driven senior leadership and decision-making programs. executed by the faculty of the School of Business and Executive Development. equipment,” said Lt. Col. Chaz LeDeatte, director of technology and data. “By December 2022, the success of the relationship sparked interest in expanding into a formal partnership with Mason across multiple disciplines.”
Leaders from the Mason School of Business, the Volgenau School of Engineering, and the Institute for Digital Innovation began working with USAFCENT fighters and senior leaders to design the research and curriculum. They included programs in innovation and creativity, digital transformation, applied engineering research and systems integration, program management, and military transition of advanced technologies.
“Collaborative efforts will prioritize refining our digital education program, data release, operational validation of digital and unmanned technology, and making our airbases more efficient and effective,” said Lt. Col. LeDeatte. In addition, Mason and USAFCENT will collaborate on projects related to accelerating digital capabilities in areas including digital transformation, cybersecurity and resiliency, sensor fusion and anomaly detection, predictive analytics, systems engineering, 5G, and data analytics capabilities in the edge of the battlefield, as well as advances in robotics, autonomous vehicles, smart cities and unmanned aerial systems, among other collaborations.