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ScribeVision Created at MRE

Reprinted From SFOR 7 Talon On-Line Magazine
Published November 1999 at Fort Polk MRE

The 49th Armored Division's G6 Section has attracted high profile attention with a last minute addition to the MRE at Fort Polk.  

"It's technically a G3 Ops Display", explains 49th AD Division Automation Management Officer (DAMO), MAJOR Patrick Martin.  "But we dubbed it ScribeVision".

What began as a request to display the G3's status and event logs on the Battle Update Briefing's (A.K.A. BUB) large screen TV, soon developed into the multimedia centerpiece of the MRE.

"ScribeVision combines elements of Web Page design, VTC, satellite TV and distributed video into a seamless interface" added Martin.

ScribeVision did not exist until mere days before the MRE officially got underway.

"G6 arrived to setup the Tactical Area Local Area Network (TACLAN) on October 27," says MAJOR Martin. When we arrived there was no infrastructure in place so we had to make every 10BaseT, T0Base2, 10Base5 cable, configure six Cisco routers, NT 4.0 severs, and Exchange servers at all the Base Camps to connect the users to the TACLAN. Now we have 121 devices connected to the network running Windows 95/98, Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Windows NT Server, Exchange 5.5, Internet Information Server 4.0, Office 97, Internet Exploer 4.x/5.0, and Unix workstations. To date we have sent over 28,000 e-mail messages via Exchange 5.5 and Outlook 97/98. "Also, during that  time, the 49th Division, G3, LTC Rutherford, asked G6 to assist in developing a means to display the daily briefings onto the BUB's large screen projection system dynamically".

In a matter of hours, G6 had created an application that, when projected on the screen, had the capability of displaying slides and G3 BUB updates.

The initial ScribeVision was basically a Web page developed by WO1 Rodney Hammack  that used Java - based applications to read text files and scroll them across the screen.  One section of the screen displaying G3 Current Statuses and the other displaying G3 Events.  The text files are keyed in by the G3 scribe and ScribeVision automatically pulls the information in and scrolls it on the screen.

To add more functionality to the display, the program displayed a slideshow created in PowerPoint 97.

Once ScribeVision was unveiled, the G6 immediately sensed other possibilities for the application.

"After ScribeVision was rolled out," said 1LT Craig Yarbrough, "I was asked to investigate the feasibility of projecting the daily VTC's as well.  It seemed only natural to add VTC capability to ScribeVision."

Within days, Yarborough and Hammack, along with soldiers in G6 - SGT Daniel Schuman and SPC Tim Groenke began adding more layers to the original ScribeVision.

The acquisition of a Satellite TV system and a TV Video card for the ScribeVision computer enhanced the program's feature's immensely.

ScribeVision now has the capability of incorporating images and audio from the daily satellite video conferences, headline news from CNN and live video feeds from aerial cameras.CNN on ScribeVision

In addition to projecting on the BUB's large screen TV, the video and audio  feed is networked to several TV monitors throughout the BUB and staff sections located in the 49th AD Headquarters building.  Soldier's can also view PowerPoint slides on Force Protection Levels and the scrolling BUB update portion of ScribeVision on their individual computers while connected to the SFOR7 Tactical LAN.

"ScribeVision is a perfect example of how soldiers in the Division can come up with innovative means to support our mission and was a combined effort by the entire G6 DAMO section and the 249th Signal Battalion providing the pipline" concludes Martin.  In fact, it is so successful that a PhD, the Chief Technologist from the Army's III CORPS base in Ft. Hood, TX is coming to Ft. Polk, LA to see what the Lonestar Division has done. This project has also attracted the attention of Congressional Staffers and eight General Officers from around the U.S. Army and National Guard Bureau.

"Hopefully, this is just one of the tools we can take with us to Bosnia."



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