KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Even before the opening hours of the expo, soldiers were let into the room to get a sneak peek at what new equipment was available to the military.
As service members walked the floor, the vendors didn’t care if they had to start their show case early because it wasn’t about them, it was about the troops.
On Aug. 3, 2012, ADS Inc. showcased operational and tactical equipment during a Warrior Expo at Kandahar Airfield.
“The overall goal for ADS conducting a Warrior Expo here is to give deployed troops a chance to see what new equipment is available to them to make their lives safer and mission accomplishment more likely,” said Bill Sabella, the Afghanistan Business Development Manager, ADS inc.
With access to over 3,000 manufacturers, ADS inc. offers operational and tactical equipment to the Department of Defense, the military and federal agencies.
“Most expos stateside have many more vendors who attend, but all of these vendors have spent thousands of dollars in travel and expenses to participate,” Sabella said.
During the show, a variety of equipment from bendable non-fog ballistic eyewear to a machine that can make water out of air was showcased to soldiers.
“Water is one of the most important things for a soldier because it’s a life sustainer so the WaterGen is a great machine, Sgt. 1st Class James B. Dolittle, 3rd Infantry Division said. “It was good to see a compact machine that doesn’t take up to much space be able to possibly give our soldiers an edge in the battlefield.”
The Warrior Expo allowed soldiers to test new equipment as well, which gave them a hand on experience with possible future equipment.
“The troops get to see what technology is out there and the way the military has started to move towards trying to prepare for the future,” Dolittle said. “Any improvement the military incorporates is going to strengthen their fighting power.”
Service members were not the only one’s interested in the Warrior Expo, as some high ranking officials such as Brig. Gen. Nasurlleh Zarifi, commanding general for Afghan forces, Regional Command South, and Col. Joan Iacob, commander, Romanian National Support Element, stopped by to see what the expo had to offer their troops as well.
“Our hope is that the soldiers and their allies know that there are organizations out there that really do care about them and what they’re sacrificing out here in a war zone,” Sabella said. “To have the ability to directly impact each soldier is great.”
As soldiers received free gifts for attending the expo, they got the chance to leave with just more than a t-shirt.
“Events like this peek their interest and gets their hopes up as to what’s going to help them win battles,” Dolittle said. “It keeps the troops motivated and I can only imagine what will be shown in the next 25 years.”
The expo does more than just showcase new tactical and operational equipment; it’s a chance for vendors to give soldiers a vision of the future.