Under rows of tents and inside large aircraft hangars, more than 2,600 force protection products were demonstrated and exhibited for Defense Department, federal and local agencies at Force Protection Equipment Demonstration IV May 6-8. Among the highlights: Geocell Systems, which demonstrated how to build sand barriers using a foldable plastic device. The modular and collapsible plastic grids require no special tools and can be assembled in seconds to hold sand horizontally to any desired length. The grids are also stackable to hold sand vertically. Barney Greinke, director of marketing for the company, said the sand-filled wall can act as a barrier against vehicles, and can help stop small-arms fire and blast fragments from small bombs. “You have to understand that a wall of sand 4 feet wide by 8 feet tall weighs around 12,000 pounds,” Greinke said, “So it can be quite effective. It’s basically replaces the sandbag.”
The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy have formally transferred a shipment of refurbished radiological detection equipment to the Los Angeles Fire Department Hazardous Waste Unit, the Los Angeles Port Authority and the San Francisco Health Department. The equipment, with a replacement value of approximately $60,000, is being provided to these emergency responder agencies under a DHS/DOE pilot project called the Homeland Defense Equipment Reuse (HDER) Program.
Cruise missiles have proven themselves in combat many times since the Gulf War, but the Navy would like to drive their cost down–the ones currently in service cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has a program to use commercially-based equipment to build a “cruise-like” missile with good performance at a price ten times less than the norm. The new missile is called, appropriately, the Affordable Weapon.