USFK 2023 Pt.2 Coding Challenge

The USFK Command Team and Joint Planners are looking for innovative software engineers!

The USFK 2023 Pt.2 Coding Challenge is a new competition that encourages service members of any military occupational specialties to develop coded products and services. The challenge is focused on finding individuals who can code neural networks and produce artificial intelligence/machine learning-enabled tools and models to further the technological advancement of joint military activities.

USFK 2023 Pt.2 Coding Challenge & goals

Bring innovative ideas into the scope of joint military planning

Establish a thriving think tank of like-minded coding enthusiasts between the ROK and US to network, develop and learn.

Provide promising engineers with a path and resources to drive change in the military world

Challenge Information

The challenge will take place from September 30th, 2023, with submissions due by the middle of November 2023. All submissions are due by November 15, 2023.


Moreover, this coding challenge also offers participants a unique opportunity to work with joint planners in the Korean peninsula. It is an excellent chance to showcase their skills and work alongside experienced professionals in a real-world context. Additionally, the top 25% of participants will be invited to USFK for a showcase event, where they can present their projects and engage with experts in the field.


The challenge is open to individuals and groups of up to four individuals, encouraging teamwork and collaboration to solve complex problems and demonstrate innovative solutions.


We look forward to your participation and witnessing the remarkable talent that will emerge from this coding challenge.

USFK Coding Challenge 2023

Welcome to the USFK 2023 Pt.2 Coding Challenge! This year's theme is the Fire Operational Order Simulator, or FOS for short. In this challenge, participants will develop an AI system that can provide operational orders for suppressing fires in a simulated environment.


The program consists of three rounds, each with a different layout of fires on the screen. The AI must make decisions on the route, type, and number of aircraft to use based on their properties such as cost, velocity, and possibility to suppress fire. Additionally, the AI must decide whether to refill the aircraft's water tank from the lake or fly directly to the fire.


We encourage participants to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to this complex problem. As a reminder, the top 25% of participants will be invited to showcase their AI programs in person at USFK. This will provide an opportunity for participants to demonstrate their skills and network with other talented individuals in the field. We believe this will be an incredible experience for all involved and are looking forward to seeing what the participants come up with.



MICROSOFT has no influence, including legal and financial aspects, over this project. Microsoft/Github is simply an alternative release method for the convenience of communication.


So, get ready to code and show us what you've got!

Submission Guidelines

  1. Visit the 'How to run FOS' section and download the necessary files.
  2. Download the program description file.
  3. Submit one program description and either a video or image through the email address ''.

Downloading the "program description" file
Download and fill out the following .PDF and attach the "program description" file to your submission email along with either a video or images: PDF LINK [↓]

The following are acceptable formats for your submission:

  • Video Capture that shows a screen capture of the program or tool working. Acceptable video formats: .MP4 or .MOV or .AVI
  • Images are accepted in the following image formats: .JPG or .PNG

When submitting your work via email, make sure to use the following subject format:

[Score(your)][Pt.2USFK 2023][Name(your)/Organization(your)]

In the [Score] box, participants should put the score of their AI model obtained at the end of the Fire Operation Simulator.

As part of the submission process, all participants are required to email a program description file along with either a video or images of their work.

Judge Panel

The USFK 2023 Pt.2 Coding Challenge will be judged by a panel of key, expert joint military planners. The panel will consist of a group of senior officers, to include possible 1- and 2-Star General Officers, across all branches of the military.

The judging panel will review your submission based on applicability to the joint environment, innovation, and execution - among other criteria. 

The Demonstration Showcase Event

After reviewing all of the submissions, the panel will select the top 25% of submissions as winners of the challenge.

These winners will receive an official invitation to present and demonstrate their submission in front of the senior U.S. military planner in South Korea and also to other data scientists and experts in the software development field. Travel expense will be managed/coordinated by the Lead officer Lt Col Walker and your unit's DTS AO.

This will be an event and an excellent chance to talk and network with other software developers. 

Download Binary

To request a download link for the FOS Simulator file, please send an email to with following subject format: 


The email box above will auto-reply to your email immediately. If you do not receive a reply email immediately, please check your email subject or request help to us.

If you encounter any issues or bugs with the simulator, please contact SGT Mun, Chaeun, USFK J5 AI/ML Planning Assistant, Digital O-Plan, via email at for request assistance.

Detailed Description

For more comprehensive information on how to use the simulator and for additional details, please reference the document at release repository.

How to Run FOS Simulator

There are two methods for operating the FOS simulator: running on a desktop and using a browser.

Running on your Desktop
Please note that downloading FOS binaries on DoDIN devices, such as NIPRNET Computers, is strictly prohibited. According to the Army IT User Agreement (AUP), downloading or running any executable files on government devices without proper authorization from the AO is not allowed.

To run the FOS simulator on your desktop

  • Download the appropriate Binary/Executable FOS Simulator file for your operating system from the listed release repository (Please see the 'Download Binary' section above).
  • Execute the downloaded executable file with command line arguments. If the arguments are not specified, the program will attempt to receive required entries that have not been entered into the CLI interface since it was executed.


./"FOS Simulator" --host --port 8080
for index, arg in enumerate(argv):
      if arg == "help" or arg == "-help" or arg == "-h" or arg == "--help":
          --help : to list all available
          --host [IP Address, Str] : host to connect to
          --port [Port, Int] : port to connect to
          --visualize [0/1] : visualize or not
          --logging [0/1] : enable log printing using stdout or not
      match (arg.startswith("--"), arg):
          case True, "--host":
              result["host"] = argv[index + 1]
          case True, "--port":
              result["port"] = int(argv[index + 1])
          case True, "--visualize":
              result["visualize"] = bool(int(argv[index + 1]))
          case True, "--logging":
              result["logging"] = bool(int(argv[index + 1]))

The simulation log file will be automatically stored in the same directory as the simulator, named play_log.json.

Running on the Browser

To run the FOS simulator on your browser

  • Download and save the FOS Simulator HTML and WASM related files in one directory from the listed release repository. Open index.html with your browser. If you use the file:// protocol when running index.html, you may need to adjust your browser's CORS settings to enable the loading of WASM files.

C:\"Program Files (x86)"\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe --disable-web-security --user-data-dir="C:\Users\_YOUR_USER_NAME__\Desktop\FOSWEB"


  • It might be helpful to search for 'How to disable Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)'.

Alternatively, implement a web server to access index.html using the http:// protocol instead of the file:// protocol. You can also visit or FOS Simulator sample web page by referencing the document at release repository.

  • Enter the address of the controller server to which the simulator will connect.
The simulator operates using WebAssembly on your local machine, rather than on a remote server. Even if you are targeting to run FOS simulator with your browser, you can connect to a locally hosted server(FOS Controller). The browser implementation primarily caters to individuals working on DoDIN computers. If you need to work within a browser, you can implement a local TCP server for the controller or use an external server to establish a connection.
  • After completing the simulation, remember to download your play log file from your browser.

If I submit my code to the challenge, will I still have ownership over my code?

All applicants will maintain intellectual property of any work submitted during the initial phases of the challenge. 



Can I submit my code in another format other than what is listed?

Unfortunately, not at this time but feel free to still submit your work for this challenge via the methods provided. 



Will there be someone else looking at my code?

All submission will be reviewed by the judging panel but in addition to that, your code will also be reviewed by the Joint Cyber Center. 



Can I use official work time to work on my submission?

That is up to each individual and his/her supervisor. The work being done for this challenge will have direct military impact on the joint planning requirement that occurs at the USFK HQ level. Primary work is the priority but we appreciate your interest and creative solutions as we look towards AI/ML solutions. 



Who is running this challenge?

This coding challenge is being managed by the USFK J5 staff.



I have another question but don't see it here. Who can I call for more information?

Please contact Lt. Col. Nicklaus Walker, USFK J5 Chief of Digital Planning, via email at or via phone at DSN (315) 755-4560 (COMM 050-3355-4560).