U.S. Navy hack event encourages innovation in maritime security

SEATTLE. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) recently hosted HACKtheMACHINE, the Navy’s digital experience for building a community of practice in maritime security.

More than 500 attendees competed, learned, and engaged in solving problems in the areas of maritime , artificial intelligence, and development operations.

The three tracks of the event focused on “Maritime Capture the Flag,” “Data Science and the Seven Seas,” and “Hack for the Oceans.” Competitors built cross-disciplinary teams -- consisting of Navy personnel, academics, and industry attendees -- as they worked on developing innovative approaches to complex problems. Each of the three tracks was sponsored by a Navy major program manager who took insights from the attendees and turned them into relevant outcomes.

Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, the Navy’s chief engineer and HACKtheMACHINE event lead, said of the event: "I am accelerating a digital engineering journey to bring the very fastest software development practices from America’s most talented digital developers and then synchronize the delivery of those capabilities to continually upgrade our capabilities while ensuring that the underlying industrial systems remain stable and secure."

Insights and action items gleaned from Maritime Capture the Flag will inform the design requirements that NAVSEA’s naval systems engineering directorate standards team will use for the installation of programmable logic controllers aboard ships. Additionally, representatives from NAVSEA-affiliated Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems’ Command and Control directorate plan to take lessons learned from Data Science and the Seven Seas to build tools that support safer navigation. Other ideas taken away from HACKtheMACHINE will be used to provide future Consolidated Afloat Network System developers with ideas to accelerate the use of the new Agile Core Services, while the Navy’s Warfare Development Group will use lessons learned to implement high-velocity learning for new engineers.

Topics covered in this article