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Press Release | May 20, 2024

USCENTCOM conducts weeklong hackathon


May 20, 2024
Release Number 20240520-01

TAMPA, Fla. – The United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) concluded a weeklong hackathon featuring 20 expert hackers in partnership with Defense Digital Service, 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, 18th Airborne Corps, and the Defense Information Systems Agency.

The event, known as Desert Architect, was designed to tackle critical data and software challenges associated with countering one-way unmanned aerial systems (UAS) within USCENTCOM's area of responsibility.

The Desert Architect hackathon, held at USCENTCOM's headquarters, brought together top-tier hackers and USCENTCOM subject matter experts. The event emphasized rapid innovation to enhance the efficiency and precision of UAS-related processes, vital for the safeguarding of US and allied forces. This initiative underscored the Department of Defense's commitment to advancing cutting-edge technology solutions to meet evolving threats.

"US Central Command is committed to leveraging every talented individual, technical solution, and innovative process available," said Schuyler Moore, chief technology officer at USCENTCOM. “Desert Architect has combined exceptional hackers and brilliant software prototypes with a repeatable process to provide creative solutions building on progress made at our previous hackathon. This initiative targets critical operational issues, expanding the command's network of technical experts and enhancing capabilities in the counter-UAS space.”

Throughout the week participants collaborated to create innovative prototypes that promise to enhance the speed and accuracy of UAS countermeasures. USCENTCOM's subject matter experts played a pivotal role, engaging closely with the coding teams to facilitate seamless integration and pave the way for rapid capability transitions beyond the hackathon.

“Our strategic approach, summarized by ‘people, partners, and innovation,’ is successful when we give team members a chance to bring new and creative solutions to the table,” said General Michael Erik Kurilla, USCENTCOM commander. “Desert Architect provided that opportunity, and future hackathons will drive better solutions to critical missions advancing data-centric warfighting for the command.”