This blog post was written by CSM (Ret) Rick Lamb, Director of Government Relations for the Global SOF Foundation.
On 18 August 2021 the Global SOF Foundation participated in the Defense Applications Expo (DAX) at the Osprey Global Solutions Training Facility in Council, NC.
The facility boasts a Short Take Off and Landing Strip, multiple Helicopter Landing Zones, a 1,200 meter sniper lane, a live fire “Hogan’s Alley”, Underground Facility, Obstacle Course, multi-room Shoot House, and two “Troy’s Gate” live fire engagement facilities for both personnel and vehicles.
Trade Show Meets Demo
The Facility is run by MG (R) David L. Grange– a Vietnam Ranger who I consider the father of the Modern Day Ranger based on his innovative planning, preparations, and task organization during Operation EAGLE CLAW.
Many of the missions, tactics, techniques, and procedures from EAGLE CLAW survive to this day in the 75th Ranger Regiment.
DAX is where the Trade Show meets the Modular Demonstration. Vendors from over 30 defense and Law Enforcement related companies not only displayed their capabilities, but actually had their products tested during a comprehensive live fire combat scenario conducted by an assault force led by Matt Grange, an Afghanistan War Veteran and former Ranger with the 75th Ranger Regiment.
The assault force consisted of former Army Rangers – many from Matt’s Platoon – US Army Special Forces Veterans, Marine Raiders, and International SOF Partners; all with recent combat experience.
Two of my favorite gunslingers, Imri Morgenstern from The Tactical Rifleman and Rick Hogg from Warhogg Tactical were in the stack! One of my favorite Snipers, Mark “Flex” Kosarich, made the 800 meter shot that saved the hostage and started the assault; he continued to pound targets with ease! It made me emotional!
I also caught up with my old Sergeant Major Phil Clayton, who had the patience of Job, my favorite “Legionnaire” Seaux Larreau, who looked fit and ready to fight…OK, he was always ready to fight!
Our Buddies in Industry
GSOF Partners from TEXTRON, TACMED, Deployed Resources, and ATN provided critical product support to the operation, and our friends from Marathon Targets provided challenging, mobile robotic realism that tested the combat marksmanship of all participants on every shot!
Our Buddies from Horse Soldier Bourbon, Three Rangers Whiskey, Black Rifle Coffee, and Military Java Group provided beverage support and Charity “Gift” Bags with all proceeds going to the Three Rangers Foundation and The Honor Foundation Transition Programs. Thanks Crew!
Mr. Phil Gant, formerly of 3d Special Forces Group, represented the Honor Foundation’s new Fayetteville Campus during the event. Initially manning an exhibit table, he vaulted forward during a “downed driver scenario” and drove a Hummer with CBRN testing equipment during a “dirty” exfiltration of the assault force. You still got it, Bro!
Round Robin Rotation
Following the live fire test, the participants moved through the facility in a “round robin” rotation and put hands on the weapons and equipment, closely monitored by the assault force personnel to ensure safety. It was an awesome event that broke the mold. All participants received a promotional video of their product in action. Unfortunately, bad weather did not permit the helicopters to fly….next time!
A privately owned WWII era Ford Jeep from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association was transported all the way from Jacksonville, Florida by CWO3 (R) Frank Cashman representing the Round Canopy Parachuting Team (RCPT). RCPT provides purpose for Veterans who want to honor their legacy by jumping out of perfectly good WWII and Vietnam era Aircraft wearing the uniforms and equipment worn by our forefathers.
The old War Horse (the Jeep, not Frank) provided tactical transportation for LTG (R) David E. Grange and CSM (R) Robert Gilbert; both are National Treasures with wisdom covering WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Grange is one of the few remaining Veterans with three awards of the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and multiple Combat Jumps from WWII and Korea. It was humbling to be around them!
Thanks to all who supported the event! There is nowhere else I’d rather be, than surrounded by legends, friends, family, and partners…with the smell of cordite in the air!
Join Me In…
Next stop, the 2021 Global SOF Symposium – Europe scheduled for 26 – 28 October in Warsaw, Poland; and the 2021 Modern Warfare Week and Demo Days scheduled for 16 – 19 November at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Plus, keep an eye out for the 2022 Special Air Warfare Symposium scheduled for 22 – 24 February at Fort Walton Beach, Florida.