#DigitalAF: Digital Air Force

The #DigitalAF initiative was started June 1, 2020 by 11 individuals determined to disrupt the technology and the culture of innovation in our air force, the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Inspired by headway made at The Flight Deck , the #DigitalAF team came together to demonstrate to the Royal Canadian Air Force, Department of National Defence and the broader Government of Canada what a small group of talented individuals leveraging modern approaches to software development could do.

Coming in hot, within 3 three weeks of commencing work the team delivered the first solution to deployed members eligible for tax relief. It was clear that this wasn't going to be your typical government engagement.

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished? A slight understatement. In under 8 months the team delivered revolutionary changes to the core of the Royal Canadian Air Force's operational operating system.

Not only did the team bring powerful new features to the many heroes of our country, but we also led the way in modern approaches to building software delivering 24/7 availability. We pushed new code to production on average 8 times a day, every day of the week. It wasn't uncommon to have a crew member drop an idea at one stop and be delighted to see it implemented by the next.

A modern culture of innovation, inclusion and ambition was not left out of the mix. A military environment has clear constraints relative to a typical organization, however, there is nothing that precludes the RCAF operating as a generative organization outside of theater. In addition to the core features delivered for crews and staff, we also delivered the RCAF's first distributed innovation and collaboration platform as well as technology to support an internal program for surfacing big ideas to the Comd RCAF. Within weeks it was clear that "Great Ideas Have No Rank" and that we could organically grow a platform faster than anything in the history of the RCAF (with NO orders or mandates).

With all of that said, the opportunity in the Department of National Defence, CAF, RCAF and Government in general is abundant. One senior leader put it well for us: "working in government is like trench warfare, fight hard everyday to gain an inch, take a day off and lose a mile". It is an absolutely exhausting endeavour, and if we weren't doing it for the heroes and for country, it would be an extremely short lived. The amount of friction that must be overcome to help is phenomenal.

Above all else, we are greatly indebted to the members of the RCAF who consistently put themselves at risk to save the lives of others. We each have many friends that we would have never met under any other circumstances. The heroes are abundant in our Air Force, unfortunately it is sometimes hard for them to remember it.

Just a Taste

Below are just a few of the amazing features we delivered to stakeholders across the RCAF and across Canada.

Digital Flight Bag

Our crews are busy, so we decided to remove some of the stacks of paper they are responsible for with a modern cloud platform.

Flight Risk Framework

The Air Force is a risky business, however, that doesn't mean we can't accurately measure risk with the convenience of a phone.

Tax Relief Processing

As a small thanks for their service to Canada, members are eligible for tax relief on specific missions. We've streamlined this process to ensure they see the benefit of their contributions.

Logbooks and Currencies

One of the most robust logbook and currency tracking systems in industry. Quick to start, powerful to scale to the unique needs of the various RCAF communities.

Crowdsourced Innovation Platform

A digital platform to foster innovation across ranks, across the country and across the world! The results thus far have been astounding.

Aicrew Information Files

A powerful solution to ensuring crews have the information they need to fly successful missions.

The Team

Many have tried, none have succeeded, until now. This team came together for one purpose:
to support our Air Force with the best in software.

Tim Bartram

CIO

Grace Geng

Client Success Engineer

Bradley Leonard

Full Stack Developer

Jon Loos

Full Stack Developer

Ellen McGee

UX Engineer

Brad Moggach

VP Product

Moe Omer

Director of Engineering

Nika Salamadze

Full Stack Developer

Sophia Scott

UI Designer

Eddie Sun

Full Stack Developer

Chris Young

Project Executive