U.S. Marines with 4th Force Reconnaissance Company slide off F470 Combat Rubber Raiding Crafts during training in Waimanalo, Hawaii. The French company Zodiac has been the U.S. military's choice for inflatable rubber rafts for roughly two decades. Now the company is making the rafts in the U.S.
Credit Lance Cpl. Reece E. Lodder / Marine Corps Base Hawaii
For roughly two decades, the Zodiac has been the U.S. military's choice for inflatable rubber rafts. These rafts, especially the high-end model F470, are not the recreational rafts you take out to the lake on a Sunday, says Lionel Boudeau, the head of Zodiac's North America operations.
"It is used for a large variety of missions, like assault landings, infiltration and exfiltration," he says. "It can be deployed from the shore or deployed from the air by an aircraft, a helicopter, by a submarine. It is used by special forces and regular Army."
Civilian workers for the Department of Defense will have to take six mandatory unpaid furlough days instead of 11 days, according to an Associated Press report that the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
Update at 2:20 p.m. ET: Pentagon Confirms Reduced Furloughs
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Pentagon have issued a statement announcing the reduction in civilian furlough days, from 11 to six.