Economic "Security"

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Even without a war, Mustang Security has found a lot of demand for its products in the U.S. Armed Forces. Company Vice-President Kenneth Guilick says its products have been used in rescue situations, both overseas and at home.

"This is a vest a lot of the pilots and military personnel on helicopters wear when they are going into a rescue situation where they are not sure of what they will need," Guilick says.

"This is a general purpose vest they can pick the different pockets inside to carry the equipment they need."

The nation saw the benefits of that vest earlier this year, when it was used in a dramatic rescue on Mount Hood in Oregon.

While it isn't yet certain whether it will benefit from a pending war with Iraq, Mustang Security's products have been used in warfare before. Ten years ago, they were part of the Gulf War.

"We worked with a company and built an inflatable shower they used in the desert," Guilick says. "We have made over the years an abandoned ship vest called the "Mae West" used on a lot of the Navy ships.

And a pending federal grant could provide money for research and development, as well as training for Mustang's employees.

Mustang Survival purchased the former Wirt Inflatable Specialists Company in 1999, and is now Wirt County's largest employer.