I think there’s a huge benefit to AFIT to send us out here on a fellowship, partially because of the relationships that we built out here. I know there’s a lot back on the AFIT side—the research they’re doing is similar in a lot of ways to the research that’s being done out here in Silicon Valley. The AFIT-DIUx fellowship program is an opportunity for top students at AFIT to go and internship with DIUx. DIUx is an organization that tries to take top technology out of Silicon Valley and bring it into the DoD. So it’s an opportunity for these students to go in, immerse themselves in this Silicon Valley entrepreneurial culture, learn about and understand technical problems and how they can apply to DoD Air Force problems. We’ve got students coming out of AFIT who have now taken the things that they’ve learned and applied them in a practical way, now are going to be going to other units and being able to show them, “hey, this is how we can apply research in meaningful ways.” So it gives them a little bit of exposure to a new way of doing business. The experience has been awesome. Just getting to learn about everything they do here at DIUx. The tech out here in Silicon Valley…it’s been a great experience. So far I’ve been able to attach myself to several different projects. There’s a lot of cool things going on here: new radar network systems and then also working on artificial intelligence problems too. The XU challenge actually put on by DIUx is an awesome challenge. In machine learning, one of the primary ways that advancement happens is by producing high quality data. And that’s what DIUx has done here is provide an awesome satellite imagery object detection dataset, so that’s really going to spur advancement in the field of object detection. Our role in the challenge is to create the best model we can to correctly identify objects in satellite imagery. When these two AFIT students showed up—Dan and Danny—they came to me and said they were looking for a good project and I heard they could write code. And we just so happened to have a project we’ve been thinking about, we didn’t have enough people to do. So we kind of laid out the requirements for them and just let them go to work. It’s great to have two people added to the team who are pretty self-starting, they’re delivering a great solution. So it’s great to take young guys who otherwise may not be noticed in some sort of a casual job somewhere and be able to put them to work on some cutting-edge stuff that’s going to go (probably) down range very quickly. The project we’re working on at Rogue Squadron is an ATAK plugin. So ATAK is the Android Tactical Awareness Kit. On Android phones, some of the SOF guys will have this app and it links them all together and it’s pretty much a map and awareness kit. So we’re working on a plugin that will detect UAVs with certain types of radios on them and then provide real-time detection. The AFIT fellows have definitely brought a new energy to our space here. We have a pretty unique work environment that everything is very open and collaborative and you can see the energy and the zest that they bring is kind of revived just like the difference between standard students verses workers...there’s a little more energy there and vibrancy. We’ve bonded a lot. We end up doing a lot of activities together. We play volleyball. We go to trivia. We volunteer together. And so we’ve really formed that bond working together and playing together as well. We also volunteer on a weekly basis at Street Code. It’s a lot of chaos because you’ve got little kids running around with soldering irons and saws and stuff, but it’s fun seeing them get excited about technology and STEM. I think this experience will really help me in my Air Force career, not only with the connections we’ve made at DIUx, but also with the things that I’ve learned. I’ve spoken a lot with my future group commander at my next base and he’s really involved in DIUx. He’s bringing a lot of issues up with what he’s experiencing in the electronic warfare community, and so I think that will especially help me for my next assignment as I know what I’m getting myself into, how I can plug myself in and help in the future with what problems we’re facing. This has been a very fun experience and it’s been a learning process and it hasn’t been easy, but that comes with the territory. I would just recommend to anyone who’s looking to do this in the future to just prove to your advisor that you’re a self-starter. That’s probably the number one thing you can do. I would definitely recommend this fellowship to future AFIT students. I mean, you can’t really beat spending three months out in Silicon Valley and being part of an awesome organization like DIUx.