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Dawn of a New EMPIRE: Electronic Systems Center officials at Hanscom AFB, Mass., this month expect to release a planning and management tool called EMPIRE-A that will support personnel overseeing overhead intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance assets in a theater. It will provide a more complete view of the battlespace, they say. "EMPIRE-A allows a team in a [combined air operations center] to look at all theater assets collecting full-motion video and decide how to best manage task requests," said Capt. Casandra Wolak, advanced development team lead in ESC's airspace mission planning division. The first EMPIRE-A prototype appeared in Southwest Asia in February. Refinements since then have resulted in "a more mature and capable version" that is ready for CAOC installation, said Wolak. EMPIRE-A stands for Evolved Mission Planning Interface to Raise Enterprise-level Awareness. (Hanscom report by Patty Welsh)