Software speeds airborne preparations

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FusionNet in action

Army officers in charge of deploying paratroopers overseas are working with a Raleigh, N.C., software company to compress preparations for airborne operations from days to hours.

Officials at CC Intelligent Solutions Inc. and commanders in charge of 150 to 200 paratroopers are developing a suite of applications known as FusionNet Genesis, which cost $330,000 to develop. The software has helped commanders deploy equipment, collect intelligence, order goods ,and plan airborne and helicopter attack operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

FusionNet replaced bulky logbooks and old software that didn't meet the logistical needs of paratroopers assigned to fight the war on terrorism, Army officials said.

The software uses Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, Office products and Web technologies, said Maj. Guy Buice, deputy knowledge management officer for the 18th Airborne Corps, which is based at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Airborne troops in Iraq and Afghanistan use five FusionNet Genesis applications: the Distribution Management Module, the Web Information Network, the Air Assault Planning Module, the Deployment Planning Module and the Interim Deployment Network.

Lt. Gen. John Vines, commanding general of Fort Bragg and the 18th Airborne Corps, requested technology like FusionNet in September 2001. CC Intelligent

Solutions and Army officials started working on the data-gathering effort and

successfully tested it during a military exercise in January 2002. Paratroopers started using the applications in Afghanistan in June 2002, said Maj. Kurt Warner, knowledge management officer for the 18th Airborne.

The key to FusionNet's success is its simplicity, said Chip Bullock, CC Intelligent Solutions' chief executive officer. "Software sometimes in the military does something to soldiers rather than something for them," Bullock said. "Commanders like it when their subordinates want to use software rather than have to."

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