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Getting Down to Business in the Balkans

Giant Clarity Display

ScribeVision was thrust upon a larger canvas when the testing of BDI (Balkan Digitization Initiative) resulted in the installation of a large computer monitor in the main MND(N) briefing area.

by Rodney Hammack

After a year of training, the real test of ScribeVision came when the 49th AD was actually 'on the ground' in Bosnia.

After the success of ScribeVision at the MRE at Fort Polk the previous November, there was high expectations for the product in Bosnia.  However, several issues arose once the 49th AD was actually 'in country'.

One major problem was finding the time to actually work on ScribeVision.  Because the DAMO section (Division Automation Office) portion of G6 had been contracted out by SFOR6, I found myself moved into the Network Technician job slot.  My time was suddenly monopolized by VTC (Video Teleconference) and phonebook issues.

In addition to getting ScribeVision up and running, I was also tasked with implementing the official Task Force Eagle web site for the public Internet, the Talon On-Line as well as an intranet site for Task Force Eagle called Eagle Vision.

I arrived in Bosnia February 18, 2000.  My first web priority was dealing with the Task Force Eagle web site.  I had trained for a year with the expectation that I would be the webmaster for the TFE web site.  However, I learned at the MRE (November, 1999) that SFOR 6 had contracted that function out to civilian contractors.

Once in Bosnia, I was told I was to do the TFE web site, despite the contract with civilian contractors.  This turned out to be fortunate, because the civilian contractors did not have a webmaster in Bosnia to assume web responsibilities.

To complicate matters, the SFOR 6 TFE Web Site was shut down by the DOD because of questionable material posted on the site.  I was forced to devote my time and energy to getting the public Internet site up and running immediately following TOA (Transfer of Authority) on March 5, 2000.

In addition, I was tasked with creating an intranet site to include the type of information that had crated problems for the SFOR6 TFE site (phonebooks, transition handbooks, etc.). 

Once the TFE and Eagle Vision sites were up and running, I was able to devote attention to ScribeVision.  That's when I discovered that "size matters" as the result of something called BDI (Balkan Digitization Initiative).

BDI was an ambitious project to provide a tactical mapping system for Task Force Eagle.  The project involved the installation of tracking devices on patrol vehicles to allow the commanders to visually monitor patrols.

A component of BDI was a large display system that was installed in the BUB in April of 2000.  This display system was  manufactured by Clarity and was basically a large computer monitor comprised of 9 individual monitors - creating a screen approximately 12 by 10 feet in diameter.


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