Some aspects of warfare have changed very little over time.
While many top military leaders often talk about about cyber capabilities, fifth-generation fighter jets and training with virtual reality, the Marine Corps continues to demand gear that would be familiar to Roman warriors 1,000 years ago.
Andrew Howell, a managing director with the British company BCB International, stood on the sprawling vendor exhibition hall at the annual Modern Day Marine gear show selling flint sticks and steel strikers for Marines to use for starting fires.
“This is low-tech,” Howell said as he scraped the flint and created a small shower of sparks, demonstrating it as part of a kit for cooking in the field.
“Marines want a survival kit, so when a cyber attack happens and all the systems get knocked out, they can be self-reliant. I think it’s a good strategy.”
BCB sells field-cooking kits to the British Royal Marines and Howell hopes the U.S. Marines will order some, too.
The Modern Day Marine conference at Marine Corps Base Quantico is the largest annual gathering of Marines and defense industry professionals who showcase their wares in the hopes of landing big contracts with the Corps.
Amid the massive radar systems on display and software engineers showing off intelligence analysis tools, a salesman with the Ontario Knife company displayed one of the most ancient weapons of war.