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Marines get a glimpse into the future

If the Marine Corps had a time machine to observe their new and improved equipment, the Marine West Exposition would be its destination.

More than 170 vendors gathered at Camp Pendleton to introduce a variety of new technological prototypes designed specifically for the U.S. Marine Corps during the 15th Marine West Exposition, Jan. 27 and 28.

Technology continues to empower our Marines and support them in the field, said Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, commanding general, 1st Marine Division, during the exposition’s opening remarks. “Everything here translates to victory on the battlefield,” Mills said.

Improvements on existing weapons, such as weapons that would allow troops to shoot around corners of buildings, intrigued Marines as they envisioned themselves utilizing such weapons on the battlefield.

“You can see around corners without exposing your body,” said Pvt. Juan Soto, base facilities, assistant chief of operations, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “These advancements in technology give Marines a tactical advantage.”

Other prototypes included remote-controlled robots equipped to apply non-lethal tactics, such as projecting loud noises to lethal capabilities, like firing 400 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition. The robots can also be utilized to x-ray suspicious packages, inspect vehicles, sweep an area for mines and lift projectiles weighing up to 39 pounds.

Marines also observed small, but imperative items such as waterproof socks and insoles for their boots.

New equipment is useless without a Marine to utilize it. Therefore, educational booths from online and campus universities were amongst the myriad of technological prototypes which allowed Marines to observe and gather information to further their education.

“I laugh when people tell me that I’m facing a smart enemy…I say, if he knew what he was facing – he would surrender today,” Mills said.

The Marine West Exposition is an annual event, but is counter-matched by Marine South, held at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Modern Day Marine, held at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

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