By Bill Johnson-Miles, MCSC Corporate Communications
Hundreds of equipment items from vests to helmets, body armor, boots, holsters, ballistic eyewear and even a sled fill the Marine Corps Systems Command display at this week’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.
The brimming 1,000-square-foot booth is just one of many at the expo heralding, “Maritime Crossroads: Strategies for Action,” during the show’s April 8-10 run on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. The expo traditionally brings together government employees, active-duty U.S. military, foreign military and defense industry representatives from around the nation to exchange input on national defense needs.
Systems and equipment at the MCSC booth include those managed by Acquisition Logistics and Product Support; Combat Support Systems; Infantry Weapons Systems; Information Systems and Infrastructure; and Systems Engineering Interoperability, Architectures and Technology.
“It’s great to get a feel for the equipment, to get hands on and to meet the people behind the gear,” said Lindsey Hooyer, a defense contractor from Patuxent River, Md.
More than 25 MCSC subject matter experts will trade off manning the exhibit for the three days of the expo, including Chief Warrant Officer 3 James Hatcher of ISI.
“Many in the fleet and industry don’t understand what MCSC does, how we support the Marine Corps mission,” Hatcher said. “Our exhibit helps them see the infrastructure, what is accomplished in the background and how we use modern technology to support Marines.”
One expo attendee who seemed to understand this was Lt. Col. Rush Filson of Combat Development and Integration.
“It shows what’s offered and available to warfighters,” Filson said. “It’s a good forum to vet ideas for equipment improvement.”
Tables covered with equipment filled the allotted space. One such display included many different kinds of scopes. Archie Robinson, a Naval Seas Systems Command employee from Herndon, Va., picked one up and peered through the lens.
“When you think of a scope, you never imagine there are so many different kinds needed, and that’s because there are so many different missions,” Robinson said. “Displays like this can help explain where defense budget funds are spent and why it’s so important.”
“Many of the people who have stopped by our kiosk today are intrigued,” Hatcher added. “They have not seen this perspective. It’s great for visitors to learn that there are vital people working on important programs.”
The chief warrant officer also stated that it’s important for MCSC to show how the command continues to explore new technologies to stay current.
“We’re trying to help the public become more aware of how MCSC supports our warfighters, how we provide modern cutting-edge capabilities in the field and save lives,” said Mark Urrutic of Family of Field Medical Equipment. “This helps those at home who have sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, in the military. It puts their minds at ease.”