First stop this time was Maryland. Jerry Carroll paid a visit to OpTac International, the premiere hostage rescue training facility. Carroll met up with Stuart Meyers, OpTac's CEO to learn how he has combined his experiences from SWAT work and Harvard University to make his organization the best in the world.
Meyers and his staff have built a model for SWAT teams to follow. Carroll learned the ins and outs of the program first hand. After gearing up in over fifty pounds of equipment, Carroll had to run in that equipment as part of a fitness test. He also had to climb a six foot fence. After a few failed attempts, Carroll made it over and the OpTac workers cheered in unison.
Carroll also took part in a skills test, live simulation with paint balls, and a hostage crisis drill in which he played the bad guy. All while telling his trademark jokes, Carroll actually did quite well. At one point he pulled a "downed officer" to safety.
Palin lauded the work of OpTec saying their "programs have proved to be invaluable." There are around 1,200 SWAT teams across the country. Training that is provided at OpTec is crucial to their success and safety.
"It takes a huge level of commitment and bravery to go through such grueling training to choose this line of work knowing you're risking life and limb for the greater good," Palin marveled.
Carroll agreed wholeheartedly. "SWAT teams are truly America's unsung heroes and thank God they're there," he said. Thank goodness for the folks at Optec.
In the episode's second segment, Mark Christopher Lawrence headed to Inert Products, LLC. There he got to play bomb technician for the day. Inert Products produces the most realistic training aids available on the market today while keeping them cost effective and durable. Inert Products is more relevant than ever considering IEDs have been responsible for more than half of U.S. casualties overseas since 2001.
Lawrence met with Donald Buza of Inert Products, who showed him some unique explosives--a pizza bomb for one, an ordinary looking pizza box with an explosive inside. Buza stressed the importance of being able to recognize what's being used in battle and theaters of war so our troops can be safe.
Then things got really interesting. Lawrence put on a bomb suit. Well, kind of. While he was able to get the big green helmet on and the bottoms, Lawrence couldn't quite squeeze into the top part. "You know you're fat when you can't even fit in the bomb suit," cracked the self deprecating Lawrence.
So, partially dressed for the job, Lawrence was given the task of dealing with an unattended bag. This type of scenario is quite common for those who work with explosives. Lawrence gave it the old college try but after carefully approaching the bag, Lawrence picked it up and seconds later smoke and a bang came out of the side of it. It was funny to see Lawrence in the "Green Goblin suit" as he put it, trying to handle the bag, but the simulated explosion really showed just how dangerous things can be for our men and women in uniform.
The latest episode of Amazing America with Sarah Palin highlighted OpTec International and Inert Products, two groups invaluable to the safety of Americans.
"They both are driven by a singular and razor sharp focus to protect those who would be in harm's way and as a result protect us all," said Palin.
An all new episode of Amazing America with Sarah Palin airs Thursday night on Sportsman Channel.