The seventh biannual Force Protection Equipment Demonstration was held at the Stafford County Virginia Regional Airport and Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA. More than 600 vendors displayed and demonstrated commercial-off-the-shelf force protection and physical security products from 19-21 May.
The event was sponsored by the Department of Defense (Physical Security Action Group) and co-sponsored by Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Joint Staff, National Institute of Justice, National Nuclear Security Administration, and Technical Support Working Group.
When Forward Operating Base Iskandariyah northern Babil province was mortared on January 27, 2005, eight US Marines were wounded; one was killed, Corporal Jonathan Beatty. More than three years later, friends, relatives, and strangers leave fresh tributes to Beatty on memorial websites.
Beatty, 22-years-old, and other Marines from Charlie Company of First Battalion/Second Marine Regiment – “1/2”in Marinespeak - had been asleep in their tent. As the mortars exploded, I was a little over hundred yards away, safely huddled in a concrete bunker with grunts from Alpha Co. I shot video, my job, while fighting a surge of conflicting emotions – fear and a gut-churning powerlessness.