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12 Jan 17. Textron releases iCommand 2.5. Textron Systems Advanced Information Solutions has released a new version of its iCommand integrated command suite, iCommand 2.5. The company announced the new version on 10 January. iCommand is a command and control data fusion engine, designed to help convert and merge disparate intelligence and other data feeds to create a coherent operational picture for military users.
The new version collates and collapses previously disparate data and systems onto a single pane of glass and adds mission critical contextual information to raw data. Connected elements can be quickly integrated along with data from remote platforms including sensors, operational assets and a variety of information and operations feeds.
iCommand 2.5 has an intuitive web-based interface, allowing operators to dynamically manage critical aspects of the data including name, symbology, attribution, layering and attachments. The new integrated command suite delivers interactive mission planning with multiple time based courses of action, and users have the options to create custom and standard georeferenced entities, and set-up automated alerting and event logging.
The version also offers enhanced recorded video review, enabling users to start and stop video stream feeds and review video data captured over a 48-hour period.
Daryl Madden, Textron Systems senior vice president and general manager of Advanced Information Solutions, said: ‘iCommand 2.5 enhances interactions and collaboration between mission commanders and tactical edge users for greater performance and scalability in robust operations.
‘It takes the capabilities of our previous iCommand solution to the next level and expands its application to a wider range of environments. With increased information access, users are able to maintain a tactical advantage like never before.’ (Source: Shephard)

11 Jan 17. The Marine Corps is turning to science fiction and short stories to help forecast future operating concepts in an increasingly complex world. A Science Fiction Futures Workshop held at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory resulted in three realistic short stories based on the memo “Marine Corps Security Environment Forecast: Futures 2030-2045” (MCSEF), known as the “Science Fiction Futures.”
The project, put on by the Corps’ Futures Directorate, which provides assessments of plausible future security environments, was a collaboration of science fiction writers and service members to dream up short stories based on future environments described in the 2015 MCSEF. In every concept the Marine Corps writes, each should begin with a futuristic short story, according to Brig. Gen. Julian Alford, commanding general of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory.
“It’s the hook … it’s just like any great leader is usually a good storyteller, and that’s what this is,” he said of these short stories.
Speaking at the Atlantic Council on Jan. 11, Alford, who also serves as the director of the Futures Directorate, added: “If we’re thinking and writing about the future, we’re more likely to get it close.”
“When we think of what the future looks like, what is the thing that we aren’t thinking about, what’s the surprise?” Erin Simpson, former CEO of Caerus Associates, said. These projects force national security leaders to consider future operating environments and where the next conflict will break out — be it in a country or a particular set of geographic features, Simpson added.
The effort, and futurism projects writ large, differ from the intelligence business. Most members of the intelligence community and broader defense apparatus don’t spend much time thinking about the future, Simpson said. Rather, intelligence is driven by the requirements process, budget cycles and known threats.
One of the things futurists lik

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