Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Freakishly Durable Container That Makes The Nightmare Of Moving A Total Breeze
It’s impossible, goes the old quote by Christopher Bullock in The Cobbler of Preston, “to be sure of anything but Death and Taxes.” But there’s one more thing you can be sure of: Moving sucks.
Frequent moves are perhaps the biggest source of frustration in modern life. Whether it’s your first major move or you’re a seasoned hand, things break in transit or are lost in the chaos. Hell, with the exception of two years in my beloved Brooklyn bachelor pad, I’ve moved almost every year for the last decade and it never becomes less difficult. Moving, it seems, remains a constant nightmare no matter where you are, or whether you’re in uniform or, you know, wearing regular people clothes.
That’s where the Speedbox comes in. After weeks of testing, I can attest that the military-grade molded mobile storage containers are perhaps the best vehicles for a big move, whether you’re deploying overseas or getting your kid (or yourself) into a college dorm.
Inspired by the “miserable” experience of loading up a pallet for a deployment to Afghanistan more than a decade ago, Army Special Forces veteran Matt Summers dreamed up the Speedbox as a simple, modular solution to the challenge of cramming all your expensive gear into a single container for a rough ride.
“Our misery stemmed from cheap, weak, and insecure boxes, that when stacked together either exceeded the usable dimensions, left a large amount of space unused, or created instability on the pallet,” Summers explains. “These conditions wasted our time, jeopardized the mission-critical contents and invoked the rejection by the Air Force Loadmasters: ‘Repack!’”
Loading pallets with the SpeedboxSpeedbox
The containers, handmade in the United States, get the job done. Durable and extremely stackable, they can haul up to 250 lbs (or 40 gallons) and provide a safe and secure storage unit for precious cargo while maximizing available space, an essential priority whether you’re loading a pallet onto a C-130 or filling up a U-Haul for a cross-country move. Indeed, Speedbox products have proven so efficient that they’re currently used by Army Special Forces, Navy explosive ordnance disposal techs, and Air Force PJs when shipping out.
They may be military-grade, but they’re not just for the military. I tested lugging the Speedbox around my neighborhood with various loads, from heavy and unwieldy items (my books, which are a nightmare in standard cardboard moving boxes) to some valuables (that nice bottle of Remy Martin 1738 I picked up during my stint at Maxim — don’t ask). If it’s good enough for the military, it’s good enough for a nasty civilian, right?
I was proven right. Not only did the container make packaging and stowing each item easy, but the wheels and handle system provided handling more akin to airport luggage than hefty storage containers, making moving around tight corners and up narrow flights of stairs a relative breeze.
Even better, the handles on each Speedbox snap into the body of the neighboring unit, preventing items from shifting unexpectedly during transport. On top of that, the container's airtight gasket seal protects against water damage or shifts in atmosphere, ensuring that items remain in the same condition they were in when packed regardless of where you might travel.
If you’re someone who moves frequently (or even just has some valuables they’d like locked away), the Speedbox might be the best possible option for you. At $575 apiece, they may be a bit of an investment, but here’s a bonus: With a drain in the bottom, it doubles as a beer cooler.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — A Navy SEAL sniper on Wednesday contradicted earlier testimony of fellow SEALs who claimed he had fired warning shots to scare away civilian non-combatants before Chief Eddie Gallagher shot them during their 2017 deployment to Mosul, and said he would not want to deploy again with one of the prosecution's star witnesses.
Special Operator 1st Class Joshua Graffam originally invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege before Navy Judge Capt. Aaron Rugh gave him immunity in order to compel his testimony.
Graffam testified that Gallagher was essentially justified in the shooting of a man he is accused of unlawfully targeting, stating that "based off everything i had seen so far ... in my opinion, they were two shitheads moving from one side of the road to the other."
Spotting for Gallagher in the tower that day, Graffam said, he called out the target to him and he fired. He said the man was hit in the upper torso and ran away.
Graffam, who joined the Navy in 2010 and has been assigned to SEAL Team 7's Alpha Platoon since September 2015, deployed alongside Gallagher to Mosul in 2017, occasionally acting as a spotter for Gallagher when the SEALs were tasked with providing sniper support for Iraqi forces from two towers east of the Tigris River.
Another SEAL, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Dalton Tolbert, had previously testified under direct examination by prosecutors that, while stationed in the south tower of a bombed-out building in June 2017, he had observed Gallagher shoot and kill an elderly civilian.
"He ran north to south across the road," Tolbert testified on Friday. "That's when I saw the red mark on his back and I saw him fall for the first time. Blood started to pool and I knew it was a square hit in the back." Over the radio, he said he heard Gallagher tell the other snipers, "you guys missed him but I got him."
Former SO1 Dylan Dille, who was also in the south tower that day, testified last week that he watched an old man die from a sniper shot on Father's Day. He said the date stuck out in his mind because he thought the man was probably a father.
Later that day, after the mission, Graffam said he spoke with Dille about the shooting and they disagreed about the circumstances. Dille, he said, believed the man was a noncombatant.
"I, on the other hand, was confident that the right shot was taken," Graffam said, although he said later under cross-examination that the man was unarmed. Dille previously testified that the SEALs were authorized to shoot unarmed personnel if they first received signals intelligence or other targeting information.
Graffam described the man as a male between 40 and 50 years old wearing black clothing, giving him the impression of an ISIS fighter who was moving in a "tactical" manner. He testified that he did not see anything like Dille had described.
Graffam further testified that he didn't see Gallagher take any shots that he shouldn't have on that day or any other.
Although Graffam said he did not hear of allegations that Gallagher had stabbed a wounded ISIS fighter on deployment, he testified that he started to hear rumblings in early 2018. Chief Craig Miller, he said, asked him at one point whether he would "cooperate" with others in reporting him.
When asked whether he would like to serve with Miller again in a SEAL platoon, Graffam said, "I don't feel as confident about it." A member of the jury later asked him why he'd feel uncomfortable deploying with Miller and he responded, "I just wouldn't."
Graffam said he would serve with Gallagher again if given the chance.
Under cross examination by prosecutors, Graffam said he couldn't say whether there were warning shots fired that day, though Dille and Tolbert both said happened. "There were multiple shots throughout the day," Graffam said.
Prosecutors also asked him about his previous statements to NCIS, in which Graffam said of Miller that "he has good character" and was "a good guy." Graffam confirmed he said just that.
Defense attorney Tim Parlatore, however, said those statements were back in January and "a lot had happened since then." Parlatore said Graffam had also said at the time that Gallagher was a good leader.
"That part remains unchanged, correct?" Parlatore asked.
"Yes," Graffam said.
The defense is expected to call more witnesses in the case, which continues on Thursday.
US troops are using dating apps more and condoms less as sexually transmitted infections surge within the ranks
The U.S. military is seeing an increase in sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in part due to dating apps, according to the Military Health System.
"There appears to be an increase in high-risk behaviors among service members; that is, having sex without a condom or having more than one sexual partner," Air Force physician Maj. Dianne Frankel said in a news release.
Three Marines killed in a December plane crash are finally coming home.
Five Marines aboard a KC-130J Hercules and one Marine on an F/A-18 Hornet were killed when both planes went down about 200 miles off the Japanese coast.
A recent salvage operation of the KC-130J crash site recovered the remains of three of the Marines, who were later identified, Corps officials said.
The Air Force is investigating an airman after he posted a video on YouTube rife with homophobic slurs and insults.
A man in an Air Force uniform, identified only by the YouTube username "Baptist Dave 1611" ranted in a recent video, calling gay people "sodomites," "vermin scum," and "roaches" among other slurs, according to Air Force Times, which first reported the story Wednesday.
"The specifics of the situation are being reviewed by the airman's command team," said service spokesman Maj Nick Mercurio, confirming the incident. Mercurio did not provide any identifying details about the airman.
Two U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, defense officials have announced.
Operation Resolute Support issued a terse news release announcing the latest casualties that did not include any information about the circumstances of their deaths.