The AUSA Annual Meeting is the largest land-forces exposition and professional development forum in North America. The three days of informative presentations on military and national security topics also includes exhibits from more than 500 industry and military suppliers. Items of note this year ranged from weapons and vehicles, to equipment designed to support, sustain and protect our warfighters. Here is a sampling of some new and particularly noteworthy additions to our warrior’s toolkit, as seen among the 500,000 square feet of displays.


Made to compete with other platforms like the Range Rover, as a fast, economical, maneuverable and light utility vehicle, the new Jeep has a lower center of gravity with variants that include light patrol, cargo, discreet armor and ambulance variants. Offered in both three-and five-door versions, a 2.8L turbocharged diesel engine (optional 5.7L Hemi gas engine) with automatic transmission, command-trac 4WD with heavy-duty air conditioning, brakes, suspension and sturdy Dana 60 rear axle, these are made for off-road havoc. It can even mount a .50 BMG and M240 for “Rat Patrol” missions.

Made to support weapons for a whole platoon, this new OTIS kit has all the tools to maintain and clean the M4, M16, M240B, M249 (SAW), plus shotguns and Mk19 weapons in the field. Containing more than 55 different types of tools that include everything from a 10-inch adjustable wrench, vise, and cotter pin pliers, to a hard Arkansas stone, everything is all-American made and will keep your bullet throwers up and running with an easily transportable 35-pound case that can double as a workbench.


BERETTA NRX 160 5.56 NATO Carbine
This short-barreled rifle can be easily changed for left-or right-hand use, has a gas-piston action, a side folding, adjustable stock, a full length top plus additional side 1913 (Picatinny) rails, and a quick-release barrel that allows not only a fast barrel change, but change of caliber as well. Via a simple change of the barrel, bolt and lower hand grip/mag well assembly, an operator can change out a 5.56×45 NATO for a 7.62×51 NATO weapon. Currently in prototype in the U.S., the weapon will be available as a potential replacement for the M4.


ELCAN Optical Technologies seems poised to challenge the tactical market ACOG sight with their new SpecterOS4x rifle sight. Developed to meet the demanding requirements of the British Army FIST (Future Infantry Soldier Technology) program, the SpecterOS4x by ELCAN is a rugged lightweight optical day sight designed for 5.56 NATO standard light arms like the SA80, C7 and M4. The SpecterOS4x is a fixed 4X magnification optical sight with a large exit pupil and long 70mm eye relief. The very bright, high-resolution optics provide optimum target acquisition and identification. For the operator working under low-light conditions, situational awareness can be enhanced due to the OS4x’s ultra-wide viewing angle. SpecterOS4x is a lightweight optical day sight with no compromise on performance. Pre-production models were shown for the first time at AUSA with market availability to be announced in 2010.

As an answer to the call to better protect personnel from CBRN threats, DuPont has developed the Tychem Responder CSM (Chemical Surety Material) that combines multiple film barriers, laminated to both sides of a three-ounce polypropylene, for high-level protection against toxic and corrosive chemicals. It is especially effective for handling chemical agents as well as military site cleanup and HazMat first response. All Tychem Responder CSM garments are made to military quality control specifications. Each suit undergoes rigorous inspection and pressure testing, and one suit per lot is selected randomly for seam and material testing with live toxic agents. Tychem Responder CSM garment configurations include encapsulated, vapor-protective Level A suits as well as splash-protective Level B coveralls.


The newest TASER ECD (Electronic Control Device) that solves the drawback of single-shot capability, the new X3 can deploy a second and third cartridge immediately to counter multiple threats. The proven NMI (Neuro Muscular Incapacitation) pulse can be used to neutralize three subjects using less-lethal force. With built-in lasers, the probes can be accurately and quickly aimed for resolution of a situation that does not require use of deadly force.


One of the few things that actually improve John Browning’s M1911 .45 ACP is the addition of a Mil-Std rail on the lower frame. Colt’s new Colt Rail Gun is currently available in stainless steel and has an integral Picatinny style rail to allow users the option of mounting lights or lasers depending on the need or mission. The Rail Gun also offers many “custom” features including skeletonized trigger, white dot carry sights with Novak rear sight, National Match Barrel, Smith & Alexander upswept beavertail palm swell safety and front and rear slide serrations. Simply a winner.

A new combat helmet Enhanced Protection Individual Comfort system for helmets currently in service, EPIC gives a 40% increase in protection for high-speed impacts that actually increases comfort for MICH and PASGT wearers. These new inserts are made to replace older liners and are currently used by today’s warfighters wearing the ACH.


SureFire has developed the Tactical Trinity, a complete illumination system created to give officers every advantage in the dark. This innovative grouping of illumination tools includes a primary, a backup and a weapon-mounted light designed to identify and dominate all threats. For complete information officers can visit SureFire is also sponsoring a website where officers will be introduced, at no cost, to the training, tactics, and tools for low-light situations. This comprehensive training site, launching in early 2010, will provide a certificate to all officers upon completion.


Developed to meet the demanding requirements of the original .45 ACP Joint Combat Pistol specifications issued by SOCOM, the new Beretta Px4 Storm SD (Special Duty) is an ultra-reliable double-action pistol (with decocker) now available to the public. Boxed in a heavy duty, waterproof case with two 10-round and one 9-round magazines, the dark earth colored pistol has an extended barrel suitable for threading. Soon to be produced in .40 S&W, the SD also includes two additional backstraps and magazine release buttons for complete personalization.

Using state-of-the-art computer visualization, Raytheon has developed a portable, fully immersive, IED training platform that uses commercially available, off-the-shelf components to provide accurate, real-time, live-soldier simulation. Although looking like a three-dimensional video game where the participants experience interactive computer-generated scenarios, this technology is part of the company’s IED Defeat Task Force to identify and field technology and training solutions designed to defeat IEDs. In a no-hazard situation, individuals, teams and even full units can be trained simultaneously to learn life-saving error reduction tactics to enhance proficiency prior to deployment or while in-country. The virtual training was developed in conjunction with the JIEDDO (Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization) whose servicemembers work as part of counter-IED teams to gather information and evidence from improvised explosive device event sites. Locations where IEDs have exploded or were discovered are searched for clues and forensics and that information is sent to higher headquarters for further analysis. The necessity to learn more and defeat the insurgents behind this threat is clear with the cold hard fact that one casualty is produced for about every six IED’s located. Servicemembers scheduled to deploy on a counter-IED team now can have realistic, pre-deployment training that can allow non-fatal errors and a sensible learning curve for the job they will perform in-theater.

An improvement on the SCAR-H, the 7.62×51 NATO Mk 17 SSR has a lengthened one-piece receiver that will allow mounting of day and night optics although equipped with the standard SCAR iron sights. In addition the Mk 17 SSR also has a match grade, two-stage, target trigger and completely adjustable buttstock. The rifle is hand fitted and comes with a one MOA, 20-inch barrel that can be used with any suppressor. The rifle is a prototype and should be fielded to Special Ops within a year.


Just what a Colt AR-15 user wants to upgrade their weapon; Colt is now offering a complete Colt flat-top monolithic rail upper with bolt, bolt carrier, sights and 16-inch barrel for about $800. Since it is an upper receiver it can be bought and shipped with no FFL required. For shooters that don’t have a Picatinny rail upper, this is the best deal seen in quite a while!

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The AUSA Annual Meeting is the largest land-forces exposition and professional development forum in…