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NEWS | June 24, 2020

How the 437th is modernizing its scheduling

By Senior Airman Joshua R. Maund Joint base Charleston Public Affairs

437th Airlift Wing schedulers at Joint Base Charleston have begun to utilize an innovative web-based platform that has already saved countless man-hours here and across the C-17 Globemaster III fleet.

The data-driven software, dubbed “Puckboard,” is a multifactorial solution to the legacy system of shuffling pucks around a whiteboard.

In the past, operations teams of up to 20 Airmen took days to manually generate various training schedules. Now, with the help of the software, gaps and overlaps can be mitigated and changes can be populated in an instant with a much smaller margin of error, according to Capt. Christian Brechbul, a C-17 pilot assigned to the 16th Airlift Squadron.

“We would spend a lot more time and man-power manually putting together a schedule and ensuring that it logistically made sense,” he said. “With Puckboard, the computer can do most of the work for us instantly.”

The modernization of the scheduling software was created by a development effort, dubbed “TRON,” at Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii. With the software being relatively new, developers and schedulers remain in communication to de-bug and optimize the interfaces capabilities.

“The advantage of this system is that its [Air Force] owned and operated, maximizing security and minimizing the communication with outside developers,” said Capt. Kayla Gibson, A training officer assigned to the 16th AS. “As of now, the website is accessible using a Common Access Card and a card reader, allowing our aircrew and schedulers to check the schedule anywhere with CAC-enabled hardware.”

Brechbuhl said the new innovation allows Airmen to utilize the time saved to conduct training and ensure readiness.

“It maximizes the time of many highly qualified Airmen so that they can spend the majority of their time doing things that require a human element,” he said. “This new system is constantly undergoing continuous development to ensure that it meets the need of the scheduler. As their needs evolve, so will the software.”

The data and feedback collected from the fleet here at JB Charleston will help developers create and optimize scheduling software for other airframes throughout the Department of Defense.