Blastwave Mitigation

USMC Military Reservation
Quantico Virginia, May 1999  and  May 2003

I've made a couple of business trips to the Quantico Marine Corps Base (MCB Quantico) in Virginia, both times to attend Homeland Security’s “Force Protection Equipment Demonstrations” (FPED).    While I couldn't find a link to the two events I attended, I managed to a link (with video!) to the one in 2009 (link) which looks much the same.

My first trip was to demonstrate our company's foam/sand blast wall- used to prevent sympathetic detonation of stored munitions, (See company website) the second to demonstrate a customer's briefcase bomb- blast mitigation receptacle, which utilized our rigid foam as the attenuating material

The explosions are indeed  fun to see (and feel) from a safe distance.  Later, we'd walk down range to examine the remains.   It's also an education to talk with military, security and police folks from all over the world who attend this event.  While I did have a press pass, taking pictures of some areas was forbidden and lots of people seemed camra shy- so I took only a few.  

Finally, at our booth in 2003, I had a delightful conversation with a pretty, snow-cone eating, very pregnant lady with a CIA badge- a “pregnant spook”.   When I asked if she knew whether it was a boy or girl, she answered playfully “If I told you – I’d have to kill you”….  then, smiling, strolled away eating that snow-cone.   Now, was that cool or what!

May 1999:  Blast Wall Demo;

Our blast wall structure before the shot.  Observing, with me Ron (of Sandia National Laboratories)

30 pounds of C-4  (40 pounds TNT equivalent)

Telephoto images at ~100, 200, 300, 400 and 600 msec. by Ted Hile (Ted and I went together)

  Yah-   Don't try this at home.


May 2003:
  Briefcase Bomb-
Blast Mitigation Receptacle

Me, working in our company booth.  Ted on the right.
Wheeling the G-Man outside the hanger.

      Bad Boom Rising

              First test unit had a weak weld

       Second unit was a success- the weld held and foam worked.


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