CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) - The latest in military technologies and weapons were on display Wednesday at Camp Lejeune.
Nearly 100 vendors came out to the Marine South Expo showcasing everything from state-of- the-art combat vests to lightweight and compact satellites to virtual battlefields.
“The technologies that we use are so complicated these days that there has to be a constant contact between the war fighting Marine in this case and industry,” Gen. Robert Hedelund, II MEF Commander, said. “When we go to war with a particular piece of gear, industry is close behind us insuring that we have what we need.”
From guns to lifelike casualty dummies, to radio essentials, younger Marines said they’re looking for what makes their jobs easier. Like the AAV survivability upgrade, which can now better withstand IED blasts.
“I wish we’d had this when I was doing this,” Maj. Jose Kolunga said. “It would have made things a lot easier, a lot more pleasant when you’re riding in the back for long hours.”
Vendors are also looking to get feedback at these expos of what Marines are looking for to use on the battlefield.
One of the vendors that incorporated feedback from Marines is Bohemia Interactive, which makes software of virtual battlefields.
They said, since many of our current Marines grew up in the ages of gaming, these life-like training methods give them a more interactive experience and saves the Corps millions of dollars.
“You’re going to be in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, or in the different training sites inside of the United States,” John Givens, president of Bohemia Interactive, said. “They can go out there and train virtually prior to going out there. It increases safety.”
The software allows you to choose any location in the world and grabs images from that area.
Day two of the event kicks of Thursday at 9 a.m. The Marine South Expo will be held in April of next year. It will also be held at Quantico and Camp Pendleton.