Marine Corps South brings technological future to Lejeune

19 Apr 2004 | Sgt. Christopher D. Reed

Marine Corps South brought the technological future to the Marine Corps community during an exposition here April 14 and 15. 

More than 100 defense contractors exhibited products ranging from weapon systems to language survival guides at Marston Pavilion during the two-day exhibition.

Stephen G. Olmstead, national chairman of the Marine Corps League Exposition Committee, commented on the importance of the Marine South exhibition.

“The Marine and the exhibitor have the chance to talk to each other,” said Olmstead. 
“The exhibitor has the chance to find out what the Marine really wants.”

In addition to military prototypes, the vendors displayed products that are being used in the ongoing war on terrorism.

One such product was the Iraq culture smart card created by GAIA Communications, Inc. 

“The smart card is a guide for communication and cultural awareness,” said Laura Lee Madonna, manager of business development and communications for the company.  “It is simply language insurance that fits in your pocket.”

Glenn Harris, owner of Gypsy Rack, a California based military contractor displayed a High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle that featured ballistic underbody protection.

“The reinforced floor of the humvee will provide protection against mines and improvised explosive devices during operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom II,” said Harris.

The exhibition also gave Marines who attended the opportunity to revitalize their interest in Marine Corps history.  Mary Sabourin, from the Women Marines Association, displayed a book titled We are Marines which details the complete history of women in the Marine Corps.

Some Marines had a “shocking” time compliments of Taser International as they were hooked up to a stun gun used for law enforcement. When engaged the stun gun delivers 50,000 volts of electricity designed to take an assailant down, but not out.

Second Lieutenant Brendan Rome, a logistics student of Boyertown, Pa., described the two-second blast of electricity as “bad.”

“All your muscles tense up,” said Rome.  “And there is horrible pain in the lower back.”
During the opening ceremony, Helen Hicks, commandant of the Marine Corps League, expressed her appreciation to all participating contractors.

“Thank you for taking care of today’s Marines even as you have your eyes on the Marines of tomorrow,” said Hicks.