By Robert Bruce
“With the high percentage of Marines, both regular and reserve, male and female, deployed in harm’s way, it is a great credit to the Marine Corps League that much of the new equipment and technologies used by our Marines on today’s battlefield had their genesis through the Modern Day Marine Exposition.” – General James T. Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps
The enduring truth that “Every Marine is a Rifleman,” is a basic tenet of the Corps. While the 29th annual Modern Day Marine Expo was jam-packed with nearly 700 exhibitors offering the complete range of items needed for expeditionary warfare, SAR’s mission is to find the best guns and related gear on display that maximize a Rifleman’s ability to put steel on target.
There was plenty to catch our attention at dozens of elaborate display booths manned by representatives of the world’s foremost arms merchants. Running the alphabet from Aimpoint to Vingtech, the roster included all of the most prominent names in small arms and several up-and-coming firms.
Weapons and related items for precision shooting and remote operation dominated the field this year. This is not surprising given the proven effectiveness of the “one-shot-one-kill” fraternity and established doctrine intended to minimize Marine casualties.
What follows is a photo essay zeroing in on some notable examples of weapons, ammo, sighting devices and mounting systems. Although space requirements necessarily limit the number of examples shown, a full listing of exhibitors may be found at www.mdm.goexposoftware.com/2009/goExpo/public/listExhibitors.php
Modern Day Marine Exposition 2010
The 30th annual Modern Day Marine Expo is scheduled for 28-30 September 2010 at MCB, Quantico, Virginia. This is the largest of three related shows where exhibitors meet the Marines on their own turf.
Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA, is headquarters for the Corps’ combat development center and home to Marine Corps Systems Command, where warfighting requirements are defined and determinations made on equipment and systems to be used by Marines in worldwide operations for years to come.
Marine West Expo, slated for 27-28 January 2010 at Camp Pendleton, CA, and Marine South, 21-22 April 2010 at Camp Lejeune, NC, are held at home installations for two of the Marine Corps’ expeditionary forces, which are continually training and dispatching fighting elements to a broad spectrum of missions – in the air, on land, and at sea – around the world.
Exhibitors at the Marine Military Expos meet and exchange information, face-to-face, with not only the users of their equipment but also the men and women responsible for equipping the Corps, which is rapidly expanding to meet a broad range of existing and emerging demands. By the end of fiscal year 2010, the Marine Corps will have seen an increase of 10 percent more Marines than were in service in 2008.
At the same time, funding for equipment modernization programs is growing to meet the far-reaching, high-tempo operations in which Marines are engaged on a daily basis. Those modernization steps are made from both Marine Corps and Navy budgets, and are based not only on the current demands of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan but also existing and developing threats in other regions.
In addition to displaying products before thousands of users, Marine Military Expo exhibitors also exchange information with their target audience, listen to their needs and gain valuable insight into what works best in a wide array of combat, combat support and combat service support situations. Marines who have recently returned from wartime missions not only provide feedback but also convey suggestions and ideas that are often considered and adopted in designing or improving equipment and systems.
The decision-makers and procurement experts the exhibitors want and need to meet attend the expos for up-close and personal exposure to the leading-edge equipment, systems and services – solutions – their Marines need for the years ahead. At the Marine Military Expos, networking opportunities among the buyers, the users and defense industry professionals are unlimited. Take advantage of those opportunities for your company by exhibiting at the Marine Military Expos visit the website: www.marinemilitaryexpos.com
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V13N7 (April 2010)|