Kessel Run delivers Chaos Engineering Practices to Black Pearl


Press Release

BOSTON (14 July 2021) – Kessel Run has begun the process of delivering Chaos Engineering Practices to Black Pearl - practices with the potential to enhance all software development units within the Department of Defense.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Detachment 12, also known as Kessel Run, is a DevSecOps unit focused on software development and acquisitions. The Department of the Navy’s Black Pearl, delivers an enterprise grade cloud-native platform and development tooling with DevSecOps technical and leadership expertise, across the Navy to enable current and future Naval software factories.

Kessel Run is the first software development unit within the DoD to implement Chaos Engineering, and are employing it as part of their day 2 operations. They stood up a team, Bowcaster, to implement those practices in 2019, in order to continuously strengthen their various applications from potential attacks from adversaries. To do this, Kessel Run uses Chaos Engineering to continuously attack it’s applications to identify potential weak points within its own system.

“I get paid to break things,” said Omar Marrero, the Chaos and Performance Tech Lead, and Kessel Run All Domain Operation System Test Manager with Kessel Run. “You have to constantly break the system to find where our weaknesses are. That’s essentially what Chaos Engineering is.”

In the summer of 2020, Kessel Run launched its first simulated attack. The resulting success focused Kessel Run to develop a set of Standard Operating Procedures for Chaos Engineering. Those practices are currently being shared with Black Pearl. Additionally, the SOP is being developed to be provided to other software units within the DoD.

“What we did was so successful that now we are sharing it with Black Pearl,” Marrero said. “That success has led us to create a ‘playbook’ in collaboration with Black Pearl for the DoD DevSecOps Reference Design Version 2.0 document set. It has the potential to be used by all of our peer software factories within the DoD.”

The Chaos Engineering Practices developed by Kessel Run mirror the practices developed by non-government software factories. Kessel Run has a proven track record in enhancing efficiency, saving cost and modernizing the way the Air Force operates with its agile software development. With its user-centered approach to development, Kessel Run’s mission is to rapidly deliver combat capabilities to warfighters and revolutionize the Air Force software acquisition process.

“The Bowcaster test report was able to show more than potential issues within our production, but allowed us to increase resiliency through the next steps of development,” said Col. Brian Beachkofski, the Commander of Kessel Run. “It’s important we help each other with those efforts whenever we can. Today we did that with Chaos Engineering.”

Air Force Life Cycle Management Center
Detachment 12, Kessel Run
Media and Communications Engagement
Email: media@kr.af.mil