Hackathon at Indo-Pacific Command’s new AI battle lab open to all US citizens

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the Chief Digital and AI Office, Defense Innovation Unit, U.S. Army Pacific Command and the Air Force are hosting BRAVO 11 Bits2Effects.
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (April 30, 2021) A 19-gun salute was fired during the change of command ceremony for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) for the arrival of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Rodriguez)

The first Department of Defense BRAVO hackathon to be hosted at a combatant command is slated for early next year in Hawaii, the Pentagon announced Thursday. And all U.S. citizens can apply to participate.

The “multi-classification” event, dubbed BRAVO 11 Bits2Effects, is scheduled to take place Feb. 5-9 in Oahu, where U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is headquartered.

The hackathon “is seeking to produce solutions to combatant command challenges utilizing Indo-Pacific operational theater data. BRAVO utilizes a permissive software development environment that permits the co-mingling of classified and protected data with untrusted open-source and commercial software otherwise not approved for production systems within minutes,” according to a DOD press release.

The hosts include Indo-Pacom, the Chief Digital and AI Office (CDAO), Defense Innovation Unit, U.S. Army Pacific Command and the Air Force.


“Prior hackathons have produced prototypes influencing major Defense Department programs in areas including large language models, space launch, flight telemetry and biometrics, unmanned systems, personnel recovery, security classification, sensing and targeting, and battle damage assessment among others,” the release noted.

In September, the Pentagon announced that it was standing up two BRAVO AI battle labs at U.S. European Command and Indo-Pacific Command to develop and test new data-enabled capabilities.

A website has been set up where people will be able to apply to participate in the first hackathon at the Indo-Pacom battle lab in one of three roles: hacker, subject matter expert, or supporter.

All applicants can seek to be hackers including “project builders with varying skill sets and experience, including operational and warfighter expertise, software development, data science, machine learning, design and user interface/user design, data visualization, and product management,” according to the release.

Government employees and government contractors who lead teams with relevant technology know-how, may apply for the subject matter expert positions. Federal workers and contractors can also seek to provide administrative support for the event, per the release.

Jon Harper

Written by Jon Harper

Jon Harper is Managing Editor of DefenseScoop, the Scoop News Group’s online publication focused on the Pentagon and its pursuit of new capabilities. He leads an award-winning team of journalists in providing breaking news and in-depth analysis on military technology and the ways in which it is shaping how the Defense Department operates and modernizes. You can also follow him on X (the social media platform formerly known as Twitter) @Jon_Harper_

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