The NGAUS conference tradeshow is an annual tradition, but one quality separates this year’s exhibition from past editions.
The 2023 tradeshow has more exhibitor space than ever before, with NGAUS selling 70,000 square feet for the event in Reno, Nevada, Aug. 19-21.
The 145th General Conference & Exhibition will also boast 323 exhibitors engaging with more than 3,500 attendees.
Of this year’s exhibitors, 119 are companies making their NGAUS conference debut.
An emerging theme among this year’s exhibitors is the need to properly hydrate Guardsmen.
Take HOIST, a Cincinnati, Ohio, exhibitor that sells electrolyte hydration solutions to U.S. service members.
According to Russ Campbell, the company’s director of military sales & food service, HOIST preserves personnel health and readiness.
"We don’t want anyone taken out of the fight due to heat casualty, heat exhaustion, what have you," he said Wednesday.
"You’ve got to complete the mission, whatever it may be," added Campbell, whose 30 years of military service included time in the Indiana Army National Guard.
Campbell said HOIST’s liquids and powders come in five flavors: fruit punch, grape, watermelon, tropical orange and peach mango.
In Reno, HOIST will provide samples of its products, which follow the Defense Department’s regulation for electrolytes approved for America’s armed forces.
While FluidLogic is another hydration exhibitor this year, the company handles the issue differently than HOIST.
According to Kevin Mantovani, the company’s senior vice president, federal programs, FluidLogic provides "active hydration."
The El Segundo, California, business’s wearable technology actively monitors data about its users, delivering them the exact amount of water their bodies need.
Racecar drivers already use FluidLogic’s products, and the company aims to market them to the U.S. military this fall.
FluidLogic’s initial military offering will be a backpack that monitors users’ hydration.
When users get dehydrated, the backpack alerts wearers to push a button that delivers them water.
"We can make humans perform better, make better decisions, recover faster, sleep better," Mantovani said Thursday.
"There could be a hell of a lot less water in the field," the former active-duty Air Force civil engineer suggested.
Hydration is increasingly important as the Guard operates in harsher environments more often.
Military.com reported Thursday that an Illinois Guardsman died Aug. 11 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, amid hot weather.
Besides hydration exhibitors, this year’s tradeshow will also feature some of the defense industry’s top companies.
On Aug. 7, Defense News released its annual list of the top 100 defense businesses.
The publication’s 2023 list includes multiple exhibitors at this year’s NGAUS conference.
Take Airbus, which will display a UH-72B Lakota helicopter on the tradeshow floor.
"It is invaluable," Craig Dupuy, Airbus’s senior manager, National Guard business development, said of the association’s annual conference.
"We’re here to support the soldiers," added Dupuy, who served in the Army Guard 24 years. "We want to make sure they have the parts on time to do the mission."
— By Mark Hensch