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Algorithmic Warfare Cross Functional Team (AWCFT) To Manage Data from Drone Surveillance

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work announced the creation of the Algorithmic Warfare Cross Functional Team (AWCFT) which will manage the masses of data currently collected by drone surveillance.

Known as Project Maven, the team will accelerate the Defense Department’s integration of big data and machine learning, reports GCN.

Masses of data have been observed and collected by drones in the fight against ISIS. AWCFT’s first task is to turn that massive volume into actionable intelligence that will help enhance military decision making. Project Maven will use artificial intelligence in the first stages to “provide vision algorithms for object detection, classification, and alerts,” according to a memo.

“We have a lot of technical problems with how to put the right information into the data stream, data formats, aggregation of classifications and making sure people can only see what they have the clearance to access,” Tom Michelli, the acting principal deputy for the DOD CIO, said at a May 19 breakfast program hosted by the Washington, D.C., chapter of Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, GCN reported.

“One of the initiatives in [Trump’s cybersecurity] order is look at the costs and business possibilities of further collapsing data centers all over government. So it looks like the rest of government is going to take the lead from DOD,” Michelli said.  “We are continuing to drive consolidation to reduce the impact [of the executive order] to our own systems.”

AWCFT will incorporate more advanced computer vision technology after the first  90 day sprint is completed and use that knowledge in other defense mission intelligence areas.

“Up until this year, we had 60 different databases with separate logins,” said Margaret Palmieiri, acting director of the Navy’s Digital Warfare Office, who argued that the move will enhance the Navy’s decision making performance and effectiveness, GCN reported.  “We have made an easier interface, which involved a lot of work on the backend to provide the architectural capabilities.”


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