An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 7, 2023

Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office to Host Hackathon in Hawaii

U.S. Department of Defense

The Office of the Secretary of Defense Chief Digital and AI Office, Defense Innovation Unit, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Army Pacific Command and the U.S. Air Force will host a multi-classification hackathon open to all U.S. citizens, Feb. 5 - 9, 2024.

A hackathon is an innovation event commonly employed by technology companies in which teams develop prototypes in response to enterprise challenges associated with data. The BRAVO 11 Bits2Effects hackathon will occur at one of the DOD AI Battle Labs on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Any American citizen is eligible to apply, regardless of whether they currently work for the federal government or possess a security clearance. Applications – available online here - will be accepted on a rolling first-come-first-serve basis with the first group of acceptances taking place in mid-December. Due to past events exceeding 400 participants, BRAVO has secured an over-flow room, although organizers still expect demand to exceed supply.

Attendees are not required to hold a security clearance. However, certain spaces, use-cases, and datasets may require a U.S. secret security clearance or higher. Applicants may apply as an employee for the U.S. government, a U.S. government contractor working on behalf of a federal contract, or as U.S. citizen either affiliated or unaffiliated with a company. Any U.S. federal employees or federal contractors are eligible to submit potential use-cases and proposed collaborations within the application process. Sourcing a use-case to these hackathons often results in an operational prototype and feedback for the sourcing organization.

Starting in 2021, the U.S. Air Force began organizing multi-service prototyping events, known as BRAVO hackathons, to expedite learning and capability development from classified and protected operational data. This year's BRAVO 11 Bits2Effects, the fourth BRAVO hackathon and first-held inside a combatant command, 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.

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.

"In the early 1920s, Army Col. Billy Mitchell assessed battleships, a top military funding priority of the Department of War, could be sunk by bombers just 1/80th the cost," said Stuart Wagner, Chief Digital Transformation Officer for the Department of the Air Force and BRAVO AI Battle Labs Executive Agent. "To disprove widely held resourcing beliefs of senators, four-star generals and the Secretary of War, Mitchell organized the Project B exercises where bombers repeatedly sunk German-captured battleships, changing warfare by turning investments to airpower in the leadup of World War II.

The BRAVO DoD AI Battle Labs are again seeking to change how warfare is conducted by enabling innovators to develop and employ data driven effects during competition and conflict."

Applicants looking to participate may do so in one of three roles:

  • The "Hacker" role is open to all applicants and expects 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. Hackers may optionally supply a use case during the application process.
  • The "Hacker Subject Matter Expert" (HackerSME) role is open to government and government contractors who lead one or more teams with specific expertise about a use case or dataset, or supplies and administers infrastructure utilized at the hackathon. HackerSMEs will be required to supply a use case during the application process.
  • The "Supporter" role, open to government and government contractors, provides administrative support to the event by running security, facilitating supplies delivery, organizing social events, and facilitating the delivery of science fair materials and attendee check-in.

Any federal government organization (contractor or government) is eligible to submit a use case, dataset, infrastructure, or potential collaboration with the hackathon by submitting a Hacker/HackerSME application to the event. Further clarification can be obtained via U.S. citizens and industry not leveraging an existing DoD contract for their proposed collaboration are encouraged to contact the Defense Innovation Unit at


Like Us
Follow Us



Marine Aircraft Group 12 concludes Cope North 24
U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232 performs preflight inspections on an F/A-18C Hornet aircraft at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 30, 2024. Nicknamed the “Red Devils,” VMFA-232 traveled from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan to Guam as a part of their Aviation Training Relocation Program deployment to train multilaterally with allies and partners, and enhance the squadron’s combat readiness. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David Getz)
Feb. 28, 2024 - Marines with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, completed Cope North 24, a three-week-long multinational aviation training exercise, alongside joint, partner, and allied forces in Guam and the Northern...

Department of Defense completes Underway Recovery Test 11 with NASA
U.S. Navy Divers assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 1 help NASA Astronaut U.S. Navy Capt. Victor J. Glover Jr. out of a crew module test article (CMTA) during Underway Recovery Test 11, Feb. 25, 2024. In preparation for NASA’s Artemis II crewed mission, which will send four astronauts in Orion beyond the Moon, NASA and the Department of Defense will conduct a series of tests to demonstrate and evaluate the processes, procedures and hardware used in recovery operations for crewed lunar missions. Amphibious transport docks, like USS San Diego, have unique capabilities that make it an ideal partner to support NASA, including embarking helicopters, launching and recovering small boats, three dimensional air search radar and advanced medical facilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Connor Burns)
Feb. 28, 2024 - NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Landing and Recovery team and the Department of Defense successfully completed the second recovery test for the crewed Artemis II mission aboard the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego...

Japanese Special Boat Unit, U.S. Naval Special Warfare Unit Conduct Joint Training Exercise
A West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit conducts underway training with members of a Japanese Special Boat Unit near Naval Base White Beach in Okinawa, Japan. Naval Special Warfare is the nation's elite maritime special operations force, uniquely positioned to extend the Fleet's reach and gain and maintain access for the Joint Force in competition and conflict. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chelsea D. Meiller)
Feb. 28, 2024 - A West Coast-based U.S. Naval Special Warfare unit integrated with a Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Special Boat Unit (SBU) to conduct joint training on navigation, communications, radar, and more from Feb...

PACAF hosts Philippine Air Force for bilateral talks
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark Weber, Air National Guard Assistant to the Pacific Air Forces Commander, provides opening remarks during an Airmen-to-Airmen Talk hosted by Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Feb. 13, 2024. Events like A2ATs enable PACAF personnel to expand foreign relations with Allies and partners across the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)
Feb. 27, 2024 - Pacific Air Forces hosted leaders from the Philippines Air Force for a bilateral discussion and subject matter expert exchange on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Feb. 13-15, 2024...

America Arrives in Osaka
Feb. 27, 2024 - The forward-deployed amphibious assault carrier, USS America (LHA 6) with embarked Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Osaka, Japan, Feb. 27...