Battle Staff Training Facility - USMC Command Center, Quantico, Virginia

Introduction

The US Marine Corps has invested heavily in training and command and control technologies over the past decade.

From training schools that rival any private university (see Marine Corps University application note) to communications and networking as advanced as any corporation's, today's Marine Corps is as technically advanced as they are prepared to fight a war.

The Marines asked General Projection to design and build a command center that would be a natural evolution from General Projection's experiences at Southern Command and inside the Pentagon.

Design

Emphasis for this command center and communications hub was going to be on training. The Marines have found that in addition to finding a few good men and women, they must place tremendous technological skills onto them quickly.

Additionally, Marine commanders today rely on technologies such as video conferencing, data from the battlefield and electronic messaging more than ever before. The need to simulate the electronic aspects of war is as great as the need to command and control the worldwide forces that make up the Marine Expeditionary Forces.

Largely the brain-child of Major David West (USMC), the facility was designed with certain core features:

  • USMC Command Center
  • War Room
  • Executive Video Conferencing Center
  • Modeling and Simulation Center
  • Battle Simulation Cells
  • Control room to run all of the above

Major West's group would tie these facilities together from a data perspective, while General Projection was to tie the facility together from a visual communications perspective. Over the next two years, one of the largest command centers General Projection has built was created

The Command Center
This facility is packed with computer systems tied directly to Marine command worldwide when in command and control mode or locally to simulation algorithms when in simulation mode.

To support this, General Projection installed three Hughes/JVC ILA projection systems on Stewart high-gain screens. Collateral material is displayed on four Sony plasma displays (ceiling mounted) and two Toshiba large screen monitors.

Inputs include all of the various computer communication systems as well as sources assigned from the control room for presentations and briefings. Wireless and wired Shure microphones are used for voice reinforcement and video conferencing. Remotely controlled cameras provide inputs during videoconferences to the far end.

The War Room
This facility provides a forum for meetings between the "top brass" of the Marine Corps and is routinely used by the Commandant and other service chiefs.

Twin 6x8 foot Stewart high gain screens are filled with 4,000 lumens each by Hughes/JVC ILA projection systems located in the adjacent control room.

War Room

A Lectrosonics mix-matrix mixing system handles the 30 plus microphones for video conferencing and "voice lift" within the room for reinforcement. Apogee speakers are used to provide the room with tremendous sound for presentations.

Four remotely controlled camera systems allow the operators to view any participant during interactive events.

Presentation computers within the room (as well as notebook computer connections) and in the control room provide multi media computer presentations and training.

A smart lectern ties everything together as an AMX video-window-style touch panel provides complete control and preview for presenters from the lectern or the center table.

 

 

The Executive Video Conferencing Center
This facility was envisioned as a place where senior officers could retire to communicate with commands around the world. Three Sony plasma displays are wall mounted above a PictureTel camera for VTC's.

A pair of matching Sound Advance transducers provides sound. Table mounted microphones provide pick up for the far end. Computer connections (in addition to control room sources) are provided in the table as well. Document cameras (Canon) and other devices may be used within the room.

Simulation Areas
Numerous Hughes G series projectors serve the Modeling and Simulation as well as Battle Cell areas of the facility. Training, after-action reports and presentations are routinely made in all of these various rooms and facilities. Additional conferencing facilities have also recently been added to serve the growing needs of the facility.

Success

The facility is routinely utilized by the most senior members of the U.S. military (both civilian and Marine). Videoconferences are a daily event while the facility hosts simulations and exercises in the hopes that it will never have to be used for war...but they will be ready if that day comes.

 

For more information on military command and control center systems design and integration or other military multimedia communications systems, please fill out our Information Request form or email us at Solutions@genproj.com

 


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