Marine West Expo shows off advances in technology

Nearly 150 industry partners ventured to Camp Pendleton to show their craft

Marine West Expo shows off advances in technology

The Marine West Expo showcases the latest technology and prototypes aimed at preparing today’s Marines for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. (Photo by Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)

By Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Service members toured exhibits at the 2014 Marine West Expo at the Pacific Views Event Center, Jan. 29 and 30.

The expo showcased technology and equipment that could help service members conduct everyday missions more efficiently and keep them safe in combat situations.

“There are nearly 150 industry partners that we have out here to show their craft,” said Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations-West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, during his opening speech during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the exposition.

The products ranged from new weapon systems to combat trauma simulators.

“How the individual Marine looks today is truly light years ahead of how they looked yesterday,” said Bullard. “The equipment of the individual Marine is how that’s changed.”

Some of that new equipment includes technology that allows service members on deployment to communicate easily.

“When I think about platoon level communication, it is all hand and arm signals and at night that is hard to see,” said Ret. Capt. Thomas R. Shine, junior vice commandant of the Department of California Marine Corps League. “Now here, I was talking to one of the platoon leaders from a regiment out here and I asked him about communications between platoons. He said ‘I can talk to my squad leaders and even to the individual members in the platoon.’ I think that is probably the best thing that has ever happened to our Marine riflemen.”        

These new advances are accomplished by Marines looking at equipment that is already good and knowing how to make it better, according to Bullard.

“The troops have been in the field, they’ve used our products and provide us feedback through after action reports, and direct communication back to the vendor,” said John Prus, military sales for North American Rescue. “They let us know if the product is good, bad or if it failed and if it did, how we can improve it.”