The ever-evolving digital war fighter

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Samuel Becker
Supra coders are Airmen and Guardians who develop, manage, and design software for the U.S. Space Force.

These individuals serve in a variety of specialties. Once they complete the Software Development Immersive (SDI) class, a software development boot camp that teaches full-stack JavaScript development and application deployment, they return to their bases to begin developing applications and solutions.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Urich Garcia, 45th Security Forces Squadron supra coder, and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Hardy, 45th SFS supra coder, completed the SDI class December 3, 2021 making them the first supra coders at Patrick SFB and the first supra coders in the security forces career field.

“The fact that we have defenders coding Department of Defense programs and solving digital problems is a testament to Space Launch Delta 45 and the 45th SFS commitment to developing our future digital force,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Steven Brenoskie, 45th SFS commander.

Supra coders enhance warfighter capabilities in an ever-evolving digital domain by creating innovative, cutting-edge software.

“We primarily use your basic web element languages of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Those are what make the internet speak essentially,” Hardy said. “On top of that, we use different programming libraries and frameworks to make those work the way we really want to.”

Garcia and Hardy are currently developing applications that could save the Air and Space Force millions.

“We have designed a duty position evaluation (DPE) application that will allow us to take exams online,” Hardy said. “The application will also allow an administrator to edit quizzes on the fly, instead of the archaic system where a DPE had to be printed out, graded, and then re-scanned back in.”

Hardy explained that developing applications and moving away from older, less efficient practices, allows the Space Force to harness technology and maximize its potential by creating a centralized location where everything lives.

Another application the defenders are working on is an inventory app that allows the 45th SFS to catalog thousands of items for their armories, the defenders said. The app can also send out notifications when an item is running low.

“We’re experimenting with creating an application for your phone that will allow us to scan equipment out to individuals and assign it to them in a profile,” Garcia said. “You may have paper documents every time something is handed out, but if it gets lost or damaged, you no longer have that record.”

The application will also allow other units to see real-time inventory.

“It costs $300,000 to outsource this kind of job to another company,” Garcia said. “Now we are leveraging our skills to build an application in house to save the Space Force and Air Force all that money.”

The supra coders program offers several benefits to the Air and Space Force, Brenoskie said.

“The supra coders program, although primarily Space Force, is a massive benefit to both the Space and Air Force,” he said. “The real story here is that you have two defenders who were given the opportunity to tap into their technical skills, and grow them, so they can contribute to the unit, the Delta, and the Department of the Air Force through opportunities well-beyond their normal duties.”