View it in your browser
Opening of the 4th Edition of the Middle East Missile and Air Defense Symposium
Abu Dhabi – Today the fourth edition of the Middle East Missile and Air Defense Symposium- (MEMAD 2014), held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Defense and with the support of the UAE Air Force and Air Defense, was opened by His Excellency Mohammad Ahmad Al Bawardi Al Falasi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense. Brigadier General Saif Al Aryani, Representative of the UAE Ministry of Defense, delivered the welcome note on behalf of the mentioned Ministry. He emphasized that the UAE leadership does not spare an effort in promoting its armed forces to always be at the forefront in all areas. He also asserted that the most significant areas of progress and prosperity lie in the field of knowledge and information, as power of knowledge is now as important as financial power; equivalent to owning the latest equipment, the armed forces also require more military knowledge. The first day of the conference was attended by the Secretary General of the Higher National Security Council; Major General Saif Sultan Al Aryani, senior leaders of the UAE Armed Forces, high level officials from the GCC, international allies including U.S. Central Command, ambassadors and defense diplomats. MEMAD 2014, a high level two-day conference organized by the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) at the Armed Forces Officers Club (AFOC) in Abu Dhabi, UAE, gathered leading subject matter experts in air and missile defense, military leaders, and key industry partners from the region, US and Europe.
Mr. Riad Kahwaji, CEO of INEGMA, welcomed the audience in his opening remarks and thanked the UAE Ministry of Defense, Air Force and Air Defense, sponsors and media partners for the continuous support. He added that the threat of ballistic and cruise missiles is a global one, and seems to be only getting worse as missile technology is proliferating and advancing, which in turn make Missile and Air Defense an essential capability for all modern armies. Also, he asserted that the major advances in missile technology has multiplied the threat level of ballistic and cruise missiles making it more challenging to air defense forces to remain up-to-date in preparation for a possible future war. Brigadier General Saif Al Aryani, UAE Ministry of Defense Representative, presented the conference welcome note. He emphasized, that “the UAE under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, has succeeded in building a formidable military capability to deal with different threats in order to maintain its unity and peace from the influence of these missiles.” Lieutenant General John Hesterman, Commander of USAFCENT who spoke on behalf of General Lloyd Austin the Commander of USCENTCOM, concluded the opening plenary session with a keynote address and he said that “No one understands missile defense better than the UAE- setting the example for integrated air defense. The U.S. will continue to provide security in the region through robust ground, air and naval presence. Regional security must continue to be a combined effort. Any future conflict will require a multinational and multilateral response. All exercises should thus be carried out in a multinational and multilateral framework.”
First Session on “Strategic Perspectives on Regional IAMD”
The first session was chaired by Robert S. Harward, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin in the United Arab Emirates, and featured three speakers. Frank A. Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Space and Defense Policy at USDOS, delivered a presentation on “The Strategic Imperative of BMD Cooperation in the Gulf.” He argued that “We are experiencing an unprecedented moment of engagement and dialogue around the world. We are also acutely aware of the anxieties felt here in Abu Dhabi and throughout the Gulf. We cannot and will not forget our commitment to the security of our Gulf allies; protecting them is a strategic imperative.” He added, “At his first Forum as Secretary of State, John Kerry made clear that the Foreign Ministers’ first priority would be enhanced US-GCC coordination on ballistic missile defense, including the eventual development of a Gulf-wide coordinated missile defense.” He was followed by Major General (Ret.) Khaled Al Bu Ainnain, Former Commander of the UAE Air Force & Air Defense, and President of INEGMA, who presented a briefing on “The Air and Missile Threats Environment in 2020 and Impact on GCC Vital Interests.” He emphasized that the “GCC requires greater information assurance measures to ensure each country protects its information while sharing common information with others.” The first session was concluded by Scott Kripowicz, Directorate for International Affairs at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), who addressed “The US Ballistic Missile Defense Program and International Cooperation.” He asserted that “We are focused on enhancing kill vehicle concepts and components. MDA has demonstrated great progress in developing and integrating BMD systems.”
Second Session on “Burden-Sharing in IAMD”
The second session was a strategic focus group that was moderated by Orville Prins, Vice President of the Air and Missile Defense Business Development at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, and featured four panelists; Rear Admiral James T. Loeblien, Deputy Commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command, Major General (Ret.) Sameer H. Khoshaim, Former Director of the Computers and Telecommunications Department at the Royal Saudi Air Force Headquarters in KSA, Major General (Ret.) Henry “Hank” Morrow, Former Senior Defense Official, Chief of Security Cooperation, and Defense Attaché at the US Embassy, Abu Dhabi, UAE and Michael “Mike” G. Matis, Vice President of the Business Development, Air and Missile Defense Systems and Missile Defense Agency Programs at Raytheon Missile Systems. This strategic group was closed to media where it addressed the “IAMD Burden-Sharing in the Arabian Gulf-Strategic Considerations for a Multinational/Coalition Layered Architecture.”
Third Session on “IAMD Design and Development”
The third session of this day was moderated by Dr. Theodore Karasik, Director of Research and Consultancy at INEGMA, and featured three speakers. Starting with the Brigadier General Fryc, Commander of the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC) at the United States Army, who delivered a presentation on “Standardization and Transitioning towards a Common CONOPS for Regional IAMD- Important Tools and Enablers”, he laid out four areas for a Common Concept of Operations in Regional IAMD. He argued that despite our differences, there must be an agreement on whom and what the threat is and how we will negate that threat. Brig. Gen. Fryc asserted that a second arena, and probably the most technically difficult with all the different equipment and systems, is to strive for interoperability to allow all forces to see the same picture of the battlefield and conduct integrated and seamless command and control, early warning, and battle management of systems and personnel. Thirdly, he maintained that all parties must write down and codify their agreements so that Operational Guides; tactics, techniques, and procedures; and pre-planned responses all become second nature. Finally, Brig. Gen. Fryc stated that partner forces must conduct hard and realistic training. Importantly, exercises allow simultaneous practice of multi-echelon responsibilities to evaluate and sustain skills and procedures for the best chance of success in Regional IAMD. Brigadier General Philippe Montocchio, Chief of Staff at the Air Defense and Air Operations Command (ADAOC) in the French Air Force, lectured on “The French Approach to Air C2 and IAMD: A Pragmatic, Flexible and Fully Interoperable Model to Cover the Full Spectrum of Aerospace Defense Operations.” He stated that “France has the most robust air defense system in Europe, and described the French approach to Air C2 and IAMD “as a pragmatic, flexible and fully interoperable model to cover the full spectrum of aerospace defense operations.” The last session of the conference for Day One was concluded by the presentation of Staff Brig. General Majid Humaid Al Nuaimi, Commander of Air Defense Brigade at the UAE Air Force & Air Defense, on “Developing a Robust Regional Integrated Air & Missile Defense Force: Enhancing Multi-Lateral Exercises and Training.” He emphasized that “Building a regional IAMD capability can’t be fully achieved without interoperability between UAE regional and allies’ forces and we should work together with our allies to find a quick solution to the foreign disclosure issues.” Furthermore, he asserted that “enhanced training exercises will lead our forces to the highest readiness standards and finally Regional Integrated Air and Missile Defense is the key to security and stability in the region.”
MEMAD 2014 Sponsors included: Platinum Sponsor: Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Gold Sponsor: Rheinmetall Defense. Silver Sponsors: MBDA Missile Systems, Oshkosh Defense, Kongsberg 200 and Northrop Grumman.
MEMAD 2014 Media Partners included: Lead Media Partner: Defense News; Official Media Partner: Nation Shield; Arabic e-Media Partner: Security and Defense Arabia; and Media Partners: Al Defaiya, Al Jundi Journal, Arab Defense Journal, Defence21, Shephard Group, The Security Review and 999 Magazine.
The first day of the MEMAD conference was concluded with enormous success.