BISMARCK, N.D. - A new technology now allows the North Dakota National Guard to share events in real-time with military families and the public.

Last week's live web broadcast of former Gov. Arthur Link's public viewing as he lay in state at the Capitol's Memorial Hall was the first time the new video-streaming technology had ever been used in North Dakota or by a Department of Defense agency, said Ken Lee, president of StreamQuik. The hourlong broadcast drew 11,295 viewers.

Lee traveled to Bismarck last week to conduct training on StreamCell - a portable, live-streaming video device - with eight North Dakota Soldiers. On Friday, the Guard used the technology to share the historical event with those who could not physically attend to pay their respects.

The impetus behind purchasing the system came when the Guard's Visual Information department was searching for a more reliable, less expensive way to broadcast quarterly Town Hall Meetings during which the adjutant general, Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, talks and takes questions with Soldiers and Airmen from all parts of the state as a way to stay connected with the thousands of Guardsmen and state employees who fall under the Office of the Adjutant General. The usage possibilities expand greatly from there, however. For example, families could watch in real-time as their loved ones arrive in the United States after having been deployed; typically, Soldiers fly into a demobilization station and families do not get to see them until nearly a week later when they arrive in North Dakota. The system also could be used overseas with a small satellite attachment to share video of troops' missions even when Internet access is not available at their location, which is the case now with 21 North Dakota Guardsmen who are serving in Haiti.

StreamCell incorporates two USB modems and a battery pack into a briefcase-sized box. To go live, operators need only turn on a switch and plug a video camera into the pack; within one minute, a clear video stream will be available online. The footage also can be saved, edited and archived, providing the North Dakota Guard a way to tell its story and document history.

<i>Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,500 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about 600 North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas. With a total force of about 4,400 Soldiers and Airmen, sufficient forces remain in the state for emergency response and homeland defense.

High-resolution photos to accompany this release are available on Flickr: Navigate to the photo set titled "New Technology."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16