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Virginia Beach's 'Warrior Expo' returns for year 14 after pandemic hiatus

The Warrior Expo brought in hundreds of defense supply companies to show off their advanced technology to military members and first-responders.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — U.S. Department of Defense contractor company, ADS Inc., hosted the "Warrior Expo" at the Virginia Beach Convention Center Wednesday morning.

Hundreds of companies set up booths within the Convention Center's main hall to show off advanced technology, military equipment, and first-responder uniforms. 

They showed gadgets that help troops overseas access clean water and other tools, which help keep firefighters safe.

Companies came from all over the state, as well as from here in Hampton Roads. HDT is one of the companies showing off its water filtering machines and stabilized tents to serve troops overseas. HDT's Command & Control Product Manager, Jeff Bufahl, says returning after a year hiatus in 2020 felt like a family reunion.

"It's great to be back, see the other vendors, my customers, and new faces," said Bufahl.

Another company called Aryse showcased its products on helping military members and first-responders avoid injuries during their training exercises.

ADS Chief Marketing Officer, Jay Basnight, says while it's an exciting event for many, it's serious business at the end of the day.

"This brings together lots of members and suppliers of the Department of Defense, as well as government and law enforcement agencies," said Basnight. "And it's all saving lives. These are the most important people we want to keep safe and the most important technology we can find for them."

Military, government, and law enforcement officials attended the event to see the latest supplies to keep our troops and first-responders safe while on the frontlines.

The company says they had to postpone last year's event due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The event runs Wednesday, July 28, and Thursday, July 29 from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. It is not open to the general public.