Arkansas National Guard TAG review of UV light fixtures big hit

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jessica Roles
  • 189th Airlift Wing

On Sept. 2, 2020, the Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard, Maj. Gen. Kendall Penn, visited with the 189th Airlift Wing. The visit included a re-enlistment of a junior noncommissioned officer from the 189th Logistics Readiness Squadron as well as a tour of the 189th Operations Group, where he was briefed on the recent installation of the FAR UV Light System. Maj. Justin Fitzpatrick, who spearheaded the project, explained the process to the TAG as well as future plans for the product.

“This technology is promising for sure,” said Penn. “It is already a standard feature in many healthcare settings. I think our long-term solution for Coronavirus, short of a vaccine and herd immunity, will continue to be a multi-pronged approach that includes technology, as well as basic hygiene. This is a battle we can win, but like any battle, it will take attention to detail every day to win in the end.”

The 189th AW provides many innovative solutions to improve processes and reinvent outdated ideas. Over the past few years, the wing’s Innovation Team created new ways to make the maintenance group more functional, established an innovation lab for freethinkers to make ideas come to fruition and much more.

“The FAR UV Light system was a huge hit throughout the Department of Defense,” said Maj. Justin Fitzpatrick, the 189th AW Innovation Officer. “After we installed the light system, we had several major commands as well as other government and DoD entities interested in the process. We’ve started working with them to get the ball rolling and look forward to seeing the results. We are set to brief the Director of the Air National Guard this October on the program and way forward in hopes of even greater results.”

Innovation is a key stakeholder determining the success or failure of a unit. The 189th AW leads the charge in the process, making our Guardsmen extremely efficient and productive. Currently the wing is one of the top three innovation wings in the Air National Guard. Penn explains that necessity is the mother of invention and that our Guardsmen, Army and Air, are extremely talented when it comes to recognizing a need and potential solution.

“The wing’s motto is DUCIMUS, or Latin for “We Lead,” so it’s not a surprise that the 189th is out front on something like this,” Penn said. “I’m incredibly proud of our Airmen who are constantly looking for ways to work more efficiently and effectively. I think the wing has set the right culture for its Guardsmen to offer input, and for that input to be considered and acted on, as appropriate.”