Cool looking ladder. The Atlas Devices vendor was busy showing it to a guy in khaki pants and a polo shirt. His name badge read only USSOCOM. No name. No branch. No unit. A real Operator. With a U.S. government line of credit.
I wanted to see the ladder, but the free market kinda had the floor. I came back to Atlas’ SOFIC booth an hour later. My audience was granted at that point.
This lightweight tactical ladder articulated out to 10′. It weighed a mere 12 lbs. It was obviously strong, as the vendor extended it fully, propped each end onto a Pelican case, then stood in its middle and jumped up and down. My eyes bugged.
The guy showed me how to fold it up and open it again. Not too difficult. It made for a fairly compact package–I can only compare it to the beastly “portable ladders” we have on my TAC unit. They are heavy and irritable.
I hefted the miracle height-maker once more. The salesman lamented, “If it only had less titanium…” Whuck? I asked him, So this whole thing is titanium? He said, “Yup.” OMG, what’s it cost? He looked ill. “Ten thousand dollars.” Holy Budget Busters, Batman!
Alright, so a municipal agency is out of this horse race. But for the big boys deploying outside of CONUS, I can see some purchases. I told this story to a fellow sergeant at work who has had his share of military uniformed time he can’t talk about. He said every ounce matters in the Teams.
I know advanced technology comes with a price tag. My experience is that the cost falls with time. And I got to hold a ten thousand dollar ladder. How cool is that!