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Was This The Headset That Helped 'Neutralize' Bin Laden?

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May 18, 2011

Was This The Headset That Helped 'Neutralize' Bin Laden?

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

“We are probably part of the operation to find and kill Osama bin Laden, but of course that information’s classified and we can’t confirm or deny.” There isn’t a much more impressive pitch for one’s product than that these days, and it’s a claim that can be made by the Atlantic Signal (AS) Dominator waterproof/submersible bone-conduction tactical communications headset system.

Extra coolness points for being able to describe a product as “tactical.” As opposed to... what, exactly?

The headset will be making its official debut in a few days at 2011 NDIA Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (NDIA SOFIC 2011), according to [Atlantic Signal (AS) Dominator waterproof/submersible bone-conduction tactical communications headset system] DefenseReview, which had the opportunity to check out an operational prototype last year during NDIA SOFIC 2010.

The Dominator -- suckah, this headset freakin’ DOMINATES -- was custom designed, developed and built specifically for a specific U.S. military Special Operations (we’ll leave out all the acronyms military types are so jazzed by, like SPECOPS and SPECWAR), and according to DR’s review, pretty much “represents the current state of the art in custom military combat/ tactical comms headsets.” Military enthusiasts are also very big on slash/terminology.

DR feels it’s “possible” that the Navy 6 Seal team that “neutralized” bin Laden were using these headsets, adding that “this is just an educated guess on our part.” They recently interviewed Atlantic Signal’s Randall Hedrick, who noted that the Dominator “was developed following a meeting in 2009 with one of the U.S. Military’s Elite Counter Terrorism Teams. The concept – while simple on paper – involved incorporating one of our standard tactical bone conduction headsets with a Phonak product.”

It’s actually a quite in-depth interview, far more so than one might suppose could be conducted about a headset, after all, and well worth a read for people who want to know everything any decent person would need to know about the headsets used by the American army.

The main focus, as Hedrick says, was to build “a simple comms system that provided the end-user the ability to decide when and when not to engage hearing pro / ambient amplification. They did not want something in, on or over their ears at all times and particularly wanted a waterproof noise canceling/boom microphone to transmit.”

And it worked -- “we reached every goal requested by the client following multiple overseas deployments as well as stateside evaluations.”

And hey -- bin Laden’s dead.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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