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Virtual Wingman: Harnessing the Future Unstructured Information Environment to Achieve Mission Success

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Technical Report

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Air Force Research Institute Maxwell AFB United States

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The Department of Defense DOD is quickly reaching aninformation technology IT crossroad its choices will determine whether it achieves decisional superiority or becomes paralyzed and drowns in its own data. Information management technologies and practices currently used to exploit the exponentially growing volumes of data are rapidly becoming inadequate. For instance, a battalion intelligence analyst requirestime-critical information spread across 200 different networks in 20 different languages. Upon uncovering a badlot of batteries, a satellite program manager must survey 15 different contracts as-designed and as-built lists to ensure one of the faulty batteries are used. A deployed commander cannot write his or her subordinates promotion recommendation forms because the local area network does not host the requisite forms viewer software. A Marine platoon commanders intelligence requirements change a she moves from stateside training, to forward base operations, to patrol. These users must access and manipulate unstructured data, obtain and share contextually relevant information, and operate from and across dissimilar IT systems.

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