Canadian Expo Showcases Non-Lethal Weapons

OTTAWA, Nov. 17, 2011 — More than 25 nations were rep­re­sent­ed here at the recent 2011 North Amer­i­can Tech­nol­o­gy Demon­stra­tion.

Atten­dees viewed some of the world’s lat­est non-lethal weapons sys­tems pro­vid­ed from 100 inter­na­tion­al indus­tries.

The need for weapons that don’t kill is becom­ing more appar­ent as mil­i­tary mis­sions become more diver­si­fied, said Lt. Gen. Richard Try­on, the Marine Corps’ deputy com­man­dant for plans, poli­cies and oper­a­tions.

Mil­i­tary oper­a­tions over the past decade, he not­ed, have ranged from human­i­tar­i­an and dis­as­ter relief efforts to coun­terin­sur­gency and antiter­ror­ism mis­sions.

Dur­ing such oper­a­tions, Try­on said, the “bad guys” are often inter­mixed with­in civil­ian pop­u­la­tions — a sit­u­a­tion which com­pli­cates efforts to deter­mine friend from foe.

In urban envi­ron­ments espe­cial­ly, he said, non-lethal weapons “must be ver­sa­tile and adapt­able in their appli­ca­tion.”

Atten­dees were able to observe the Active Denial Sys­tem being test­ed by the Defense Depart­ment.

Use of this sys­tem “allows us to find out who means harm and who is not a threat with­out hav­ing to start fir­ing bul­lets,” said Air Force Lt. John Thur­man, the ADS’s deputy pro­gram man­ag­er.

“So it gives us that sort of capa­bil­i­ty to see who is dan­ger­ous, and who isn’t,” he con­clud­ed.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)