September 11th: Manufacturers Standing Beside Those Who Fight the War on Terror

By September 11, 2005General

September 11th

Another in a series of features on NAM members’ role in everyday lives.

As we recall the attacks of September 11th on this fourth anniversary, we remember the innocent who died and those that are protecting our country, including the manufacturers who are developing innovative products for our troops to fight the War on Terror, to building democracy and keeping us safe.

Bullet-Proof Glass
As the threat of terrorist attacks with explosive devices increases we have become much more aware of the need to secure buildings against blasts and injuries sustained as a result of flying glass. Blairsville, Pa.-based Dlubak Corporation develops laminated glass products for blast mitigation and the company builds glass windshields (up to 2 inches thick!) for military vehicles in Iraq. A recent letter from U.S. Army First Sergeant Michael D. Brown, recounts how Dlubak saved his life.  “My convoy was ambushed with heavy small arms AK-47 fire, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs)…Most amazing, the heavy ballistic windshield took a direct hit from an RPG, at an angle, and seemed to bounce off and then explode immediately to my right…I realize I was very lucky, but your team increased my odds significantly,” Brown said.

Broadcasting Liberty
On September 21, 2004, President Bush spoke before the United Nations General Assembly and said, “Terrorists know the stakes in [Iraq]…They know that a free Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will be a decisive blow against their ambitions for that region.”  Critical to any democracy is freedom of the press. Radio transmitters and related equipment from Melbourne, Fla.-based Harris Corporation will be used to help rebuild the communications infrastructure of Iraq, bringing listeners news and entertainment programming from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Radio SAWA, Radio Free Iraq and Voice of America broadcast services. “Our products have been deployed in developing nations around the world, and we are addressing the specific needs of Iraq where infrastructure development is lacking or nonexistent,” said Howard L. Lance, chairman, president and CEO of Harris.

When Quality Counts
Another company that provides valuable support to our deployed troops is London Bridge Trading. The company had its beginnings in the fall of 1985, when Doug McDougal, Ph.D., president and CEO, was displaying some of his military surplus wares at a gun show when a colonel with the Marine Corps asked if he could make some shot-shell pouches. From its humble beginnings, with one seamstress sewing in a small office warehouse, the company has grown to well over 200 employees and a 70,000 square-foot site facility that specializes in load bearing, air drop, tactical and medical gear for military forces, elite law enforcement units, government agencies and special operation forces of NATO foreign militaries.  Among their products are a tactical field care medical backpack that allows para-rescue jumpers to provide rescue recovery, medical treatment and evacuation in any environment.  Another product is the NSW M60 Gunner Vest that was developed for the Navy SEALs.  The M60 vest allows each individual to carry almost everything he needs in a jungle or riverine environment including a flashlight, strobe or compass, M18 smoke grenades, up to 600 rounds of 7.62 linked ammunition, gunner’s tools, parachute flares and two 1-quart canteens.

Safe And Strong
Bill Perciballi, a Gulf War veteran, founded a company that manufacturers high-tech body armor for troops in Iraq.  Perciballi recalls a scene in the movie Black Hawk Down where a ranger takes off his body armor because it’s too heavy. “And he gets shot, he’s killed. It’s in the movie and the book…that’s the reason we developed a ceramic alternative,” says Perciballi. Today, his company, ArmorWorks, LLC, of Tempe, Ariz., is the leading manufacturer of ceramic and composite body, vehicle and aircraft armor to the Department of Defense.

Founded in 1996, ArmorWorks has produced over 300,000 ceramic armor components for a variety of personnel armor, aircraft and vehicle applications.  This number is expected to increase significantly over the next few years as the U.S Army Tank and Automotive Command (TACOM) in Warren, Mich., awarded ArmorWorks an $18 million delivery order for the production of Crew Protection Kits for the Army’s M915 tactical truck. Manufactured using the latest ceramic composite technology, the ArmorWorks armor kits will provide the M915 Tractor Cab and its personnel with much-needed protection against small arms fire, IEDs and roadside bombs. “We make a product that we hope is never used but we want to make sure if it is used it can be the best product it can be,” said Perciballi.

Protecting Passengers
NAM-member GE Security, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the General Electric Company, focuses on communication and information technologies for security, safety and lifestyle enhancements.  One of their newest products is the EntryScan3, more commonly known as the “Puffer Machine.” Developed with the help of Pennsylvania State University Gas Dynamics Laboratory, and the FAA/TSA and using research into understanding the natural airflow around the human body, the GE EntryScan3 releases several “puffs” of air that stir up particles clinging to exposed skin and clothes.  The system then captures and analyzes the resulting air sample for traces of explosives.

GE EntryScan3, has already been deployed to dozens of high-risk facilities worldwide to help detect explosives at passenger security checkpoints at airports in Boston, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Providence, Rochester, San Diego, Tampa and Gulfport, Miss. This past March, the Transportation Security Administration announced that it has allocated $28.3 million to purchase and install an additional 147 trace portals to have them deployed in airports by January 2006.

The NAM remembers all those who have died in the War on Terror and thanks all of its members who are helping to bring it to a victorious conclusion.

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