Airman leads way in innovation

Hunter

Second Lieutenant Nathaniel Hunter, 50th Operations Support Squadron chief of intel for the 2nd Space Operations Squadron, used innovation to develop a more efficient space mission report tool. The tool can be used indefinitely and efficiently to record anomalies and capture significant observations that occur on each shift as required of space operators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE, Colo.-- --

Innovation is a crucial factor in leadership and maintaining the edge over our adversaries.

For 2nd Lt. Nathaniel Hunter, 50th Operations Support Squadron chief of intel for the 2nd Space Operations Squadron, his tool for better organizing space mission reports is not only innovative, it adds a layer of convenience to an otherwise time-consuming process.

“Second Lieutenant Nathaniel Hunter is on the cutting edge of intelligence support to space operations,” said Col. Suzanne Streeter, Air Force Space deputy director of integrated air, space, cyberspace, and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance operations and Senior Intelligence Officer. “Ultimately, Hunter created a tool that was efficient and effective, is easy to train and use and satisfies mission requirements in a timely manner.”

Hunter realized he could develop a tool that can be used to indefinitely and efficiently record anomalies and capture significant observations that occur on each shift.

 He developed this in response to a 14th Air Force Space Intelligence Requirements Document on July 17 emphasizing the need to complete MISREPs in the space domain.

At the time, there were no ready tools to submit MISREPs for operations in space.

Hunter noticed problems when he initially opened an original document containing an outline.

“I opened the 8-page outline we had as to what type of information needed to collect on for the MISREP,” Hunter said. “I noticed there were several small details included in this template and it was hard to differentiate category headers from text that was intended to be written over.

 “I thought this would be a huge obstacle for us to overcome in the collection and documenting of data from each shift, and that it would take an overwhelming amount of time to complete relative to the shifts we work in the intelligence flight.”

 He had a goal in sight.

 “I imagined an ideal: that I could just type information in and it would fit right where it should go and be easy to repeat the process over and over again,” Hunter said. “As I imagined this, it became apparent to me that I could actually use it as an office tool.”

 Hunter began pursuing his ideal.

 “I opened Microsoft Excel and got to work,” Hunter said.

 He first formatted the sheet into different types of data that could be received from a MISREP. Then, he created header and sub-header fields and left areas open for data.

“Ultimately, my goal was to be able to capture all of the inputs into a correctly formatted MISREP that could be copied from one cell and pasted into a Microsoft Word document as a complete and finished product,” he said.

After adding colors, hyperlinks, removing clutter and making general tweaks for ease of navigation and to make it more user-friendly, Hunter finished the project within two days.  His new MISREP tool was soon disseminated to other operation squadrons in his wing.

Those embedded with Hunter as intelligence support for the 2nd SOPS said the tool’s ingenuity was not a surprise coming from him.

“Lt. Hunter is an outstanding officer and Airman,” said Maj. Michelle Saffold, 50th Operations Support Squadron senior intelligence officer. “He is always motivated, innovative and full of personality. When he is not embedded in 2nd SOPS, he regales the SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) with stories of living in Alaska and entertains us with random trivia knowledge.”

 Thanks to Hunter and his use of innovation to increase efficiency, Schriever Airmen have a stronger asset now and into the future.

 “His (Hunter’s) innovation with the MISREP tool has been instrumental with the operations and intel relationship,” Saffold said. “It helps provide a repository for crucial intelligence analysis on today's mission execution, and drives tomorrow's mission planning.”

 Hunter said he’s happy with the results.

“The most satisfying part of creating this tool was coming up with a solution to several different problems with one fell swoop,” he said. “I like helping people, and knowing this could help our missions and our situational awareness is rewarding.”