BRAVO announces next hackathon at three locations and classifications, enabling government, industry

The next BRAVO Hackathon, BRAVO 1 Canary Release, will kick-off July 11-15 simultaneously at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

A hackathon is an innovation and software development event commonly employed by technology companies, in which teams self-form and urgently develop working prototypes that are later presented through science fair-style exhibitions to senior leaders. Canary Release takes its name from a data driven software release technique, leveraged frequently by technology companies, where new software is introduced to a user sample in production for telemetry collection and validation before distributing the software to the remaining population.

The purpose of the BRAVO hackathon series is to gather engineers, data scientists, user experience and data visualization experts, and product managers from industry, academia, government, and citizenry to build emergent capabilities with operational data, such as data-driven kill chains and cognitive electronic warfare, with mentorship and visibility from senior Department of Defense leaders.

“A senior DoD official recently referred to the capability to deploy updates to the Starlink communications system, in response to data indicating its signal was degrading, as ‘eye-watering.’ Telemetry-centric learning, iteration and testing already exists in effectively every big tech company in the world, such as in the use of Canary Releases, and is now utilized by some nation states,” said Stuart Wagner, the Department of the Air Force’s chief digital transformation officer.

“BRAVO hackathons seek to leverage these data-driven software development approaches pioneered in industry on DoD operational data to produce data-driven kill chains. If you are a cleared or uncleared American citizen with technology skills looking to participate in building national security capabilities during a one-week event, we are trialing a pathway to do so now.”

Unlike other Department of Defense technical environments, BRAVO hackathons allow hackers to bring open-source software and data into the development environment in minutes providing unprecedented software and data collaboration on operational data.

The goals for Canary Release are to 1) validate rapid development in a cloud-based environment across multiple bases, military departments and classifications on operational use cases, 2) provide a new way for American companies and citizens to partner with DoD to build capabilities, and 3) generalize the BRAVO development model to enable future scaling to partner military departments, combatant commands, United States government agencies, and United States partners and allies.

Canary Release is hosted by various organizations within Air Combat Command, Space Launch Delta 45 and Space Force Chief Technology Information Office, and the Department of the Air Force’s Chief Information Office with key support coming from STITCHES within the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center within the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, CyberWorx, AFWERX, the program office for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks, Secretary of the Air Force Management office, Bespin software factory and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force office among others.

At BRAVO 0, the prior hackathon’s 11 teams focused on challenges such as: jet sensor visualization and playback, target planning and pairing, multi-jet sensor fusion analysis, artificial intelligence-assisted radar sensor failure mitigation, maintenance visualization and automation/artificial intelligence-assisted personnel recovery. Since BRAVO 0 four months ago, one project’s work has been operationalized to the European theatre, while half have been selected by Air Force organizations for additional development, testing and fielding.

“The first BRAVO hackathon set a record for maximum concurrent users on our AI development environment. We agree that we must increase our digital and AI investments to operational use cases, including those identified and built at BRAVO hackathons. We are evaluating opportunities to scale this innovation model to the DoD and federal government enterprise,” said Greg Little, deputy director of Enterprise Capability at the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

For Canary Release, the primary focus will be air combat and space launch operations. All participants must be American citizens. Participation at Patrick SFB does not require a security clearance, while participation at the remaining bases requires a Secret clearance. Companies with employees holding active Special Access Program read-ins are encouraged to apply.

The hackathon is planning for 60% of hackers to be government employees or Department of Defense contractors on official government business, with the remainder coming from industry, academia and American citizenry.


DoD and DoD contractor hacker applications are available via CAC login here.

DoD support staff applications are available via CAC login here.

Federal Government employee (outside of the Department of Defense) or contractor without CAC card hacker application is available here.

Industry, academia and citizens interested in being considered to participate via Air Force CyberWorx’s Partnership Intermediary, CCTI, please apply here. Selected participants will receive additional details.

DoD and Federal Government employee applications for the Science Fair are available here.

The BRAVO hackathon series is named after Project B, a 1921 series of joint Army-Navy target exercises conducted on surplus ships in response to Army Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell’s claim that bombers sink battleships. This claim undermined the then-current investments and strategy of the then Department of War. The secretary of war and secretary of the Navy authorized Project B to disprove and disgrace Mitchell by demonstrating the insignificance of airpower. Mitchell instead directed his bombers to destroy all the test ships, changing military strategy, defense resourcing for aeronautics and aircraft carriers, and ultimately the Department of War by proving the need for a separate Air Force military department.

/U.S. Air Force Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.