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Opening of the 7th Edition of the Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference
Dubai- Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and with the support of the UAE Ministry of Defence and the UAE Air Force and Air Defense, Specialized Events and General Marketing Activities (SEGMA) today opened the 7th Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference (DIAC 2015) at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The conference drew high level delegations from the UAE and over 40 countries from around the world. Notable attendees included UAE officials, high level delegations, industry representatives as well as Air Force Commanders and senior staff from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, and others.
The opening session was commenced by Mr. Riad Kahwaji, CEO of SEGMA, who thanked the UAE Ministry of Defence and the UAE Air Force and Air Defense for their notable support. He also gave a warm welcome to UAE officials, international delegations, and industry representatives for their participation in DIAC 2015. He also noted the importance and current relevance of the UAE Air Force and its neighbors.
The opening remarks was followed by a keynote speech from His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, President of the Department of Civil Aviation, CEO and Chairman of The Emirates Group and Chairman of Dubai World on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Defense and Ruler of Dubai. His Highness discussed the changing nature of threats and hybrid warfare emerging as a new trend in the current environment. The importance of developing air power and capability is especially relevant now with all that is happening in Yemen, Syria and other countries in the region. He stated that the UAE always pushes for diplomacy and peaceful ways to resolve conflict, it has participated in many international initiatives to encourage other nations to pursue peaceful approaches to resolve their differences. UAE has always maintained a policy of building partnerships with allies and friends to achieve peace and stability. He paid tribute to all troops who lost their lives in Yemen in the name of freedom and integrity. He asserted that the UAE will continue to invest heavily in manpower and in acquiring the latest technology to remain as a leader in the industry as it aspires to be a regional hub for defense technology. He concluded by thanking the organizers of the event, Ministry of Defense, UAE Air Force and Air Defense for their efforts.
The opening session was concluded by Major General Ibrahim Nasser Al Alawi, Commander, Air Force and Air Defense, United Arab Emirates who thanked all organizers responsible for the event. He argued that the UAE continues to set a standard in economic growth both in the region and internationally. He discussed the importance of Dubai Air Show as one of the fastest growing Air Shows in the world and is expecting this years air show to be the biggest yet. He also discussed neighboring countries experiencing armed conflict and the importance of keeping all conflict away from the UAE’s borders. Today the UAE Air Force and Air Defense as part of a coalition led by Saudi Arabia are deployed in 6 different locations within Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
First Session on “Facing the Regional Threat - Developing an Effective Coalition Force”
The first session was moderated by Vice Admiral (Ret.) Robert S. Harward, Chief Executive Officer, UAE, Lockheed Martin, featuring two speakers. The first speaker, Lieutenant General Charles Q. Brown Jr, Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Southwest Asia presented the topic on “Air Power’s Role in Counterinsurgency Operations: Joint and Coalition Lessons Learned from the Past Decade.” He discussed the importance of addressing emergency threats and lessons learned from the past and their effect on the structure and operations of coalitions today. The Lieutenant General also spoke about the importance of winning the trust of people and how every action, reaction and failure to act becomes part of the debate. Finally he addressed challenges faced by the coalition and focused on several points of lessons learned including surveillance and reconnaissance allowing coalitions to gain insight and successes achieved by supporting ground operations by air lift.
The second speaker Brigadier General Staff Pilot Rashed M. Al Shamsi, Commander, Khalifa Bin Zayed Air College, UAE lectured on the topic of “Building Partnership Capacity: Addressing the Integration and Interoperability Successes and Challenges.” He primarily acknowledged the issue of finding a way to overcome integration and interoperability challenges between NATO and non NATO nations. Brigadier General Al Shamsi spoke on the importance of preparing future airmen as they must be diversely skilled and highly trained. He also discussed a dramatic shift taking place from traditional to non-traditional conflict as it takes a more hybrid form of counter insurgency and counter terrorism. He concluded that this calls for an increased need for more effective targeting and strike processes.
Second Session on “Shaping the Battlespace: Leveraging Air Power’s Kinetic and Non-Kinetic Elements”
Major General (Ret.) Douglas L. Raaberg, Chief Executive, UAE, Northrop Grumman Corporation chaired this session that featured three speakers. Air Marshall Leo Davies, Chief, Royal Australian Air Force held a discussion on “Seizing the Tactical and Strategic Advantage: Air Mobility as a Force Multiplier in Counterinsurgency Operations”. Air Marshall Davies argued that the four Air Power roles apply as much to Counter-insurgency operations (COIN) as they do other forms of warfare. Control of the Air sets the conditions for Effective Strike, Air Mobility and Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance operations. In the era of Information Warfare he stated that the joint system of sensors and shooters must integrate seamlessly. He concluded by stating that Air Mobility assets are most effective in counter-insurgency warfare when operating as part of a balanced and integrated joint force.
The second presentation was delivered by Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force on “Overcoming the Precision Engagement Challenge: Implementing a Multi-Layered Approach to Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Collection”. ACM Aman spoke about the vital role of intelligence in enabling precision targeting of targets in a changing threat environment to achieve operational effectiveness and avoid the loss of any innocent life. Layered intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities is a key force multiplier in the emerging environment, and air power must focus strongly on integrating systems and developing policies in support of a strategic architecture which can deliver round-the-clock situational awareness, precision targeting, and battle management to commanders.
Major Brigadier Waldeísio Ferreira Campos, Vice Director, Education and Training Department, Brazilian Air Force concluded the second session with a presentation on “The Employment of Fixed and Rotary Wind Aircraft in a Light Air Support Role in Brazil.” He reviewed light Air Support Operations as a type of support needed by ground troops in a COIN operation. He went on to give an overview of the A-29 Super Tucano in Light Air Support Operations. He concluded by discussing the Agatha Operation which was launched on the west borders of Brazil against drug trafficking, smuggling, illegal mining and logging and trafficking of wild animals.
Third Session on “Preparing Coalition Ready Airmen: Training and Equipping the Force”
The last session was moderated by General (Ret.) Gary North, Vice President for Customer Requirements, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and featured three speakers. The first speaker, Air Vice Marshal Gary Martin Waterfall, Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group, Air Command, Royal Air Force, United Kingdom delivered a lecture on “Response Force Readiness: Preparing, Mobilizing, and Deploying Airmen into a Coalition Operation.” He argued that wider coalitions are far more prevalent than independent missions and gave the example of Operation Unified Protector, the UN resolution on resolving the Libyan conflict in 2011. He described the role of international relations and host nation support as vital and without such support many challenges may arise including acquiring the correct fuel, equipment and more. The Air Vice Marshall also stressed on the importance of synthetic training today and even more in the future. He concluded by emphasizing on the great value of trust and innovation in a highly volatile world.
Following to his presentation, General André Lanata, Chief of Staff, French Air Force addressed “Combined Air Operations Center Planning: Leading the Air Campaign in a Distributed Operational Environment.” He started by acknowledging global terrorism as a major threat combined with the threat of scarce resources and massive territories for operations. He stated that optimizing situational awareness is a major challenge and is being tackled through a network approach and highly flexible structures. He gave an example of the OP Barkhane in Mali, launched in 2014 with the main strategic objective of avoiding destabilization in the region. General Lanata proceeded to discuss the optimization of national C2 structure and turning the legacy Air Sovereignty C2 into one sole global Air C2 facility.
The concluding session of the day was given by Lieutenant General Pasquale Preziosa, Chief of Staff, Italian Air Force. He delivered a presentation on “Supporting Personnel Recovery (PR) Operations in a Coalition Environment: Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) Considerations and Challenges.” He discussed the evolution of personnel recovery and three main elements of this topic: personnel recovery systems, commanders and staffs and recovery forces. The Lieutenant General stressed on isolated personnel and the risk of becoming isolated (ISOP). Training to survive and evade and not be captured is extremely important in this regard he continued. He discussed the differences of Combat Search Rescue (CSAR) and combat recovery as a method to recover isolated personnel where an interference may be expected. Finally he discussed examples of Recovery Forces in Italy and for the future: Agusta Westland HH-101 (equipped for CAESAR task) and the Alenia Aermacchi MC-27J for PRAETORIAN.
DIAC 2015 sponsors included: Gold Sponsors: Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin; Silver Sponsors: MBDA Missile Systems, SAAB Group, TEXTRON Systems, Raytheon, Rafale International and BAE Systems; Gala Dinner Sponsor: Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC).
DIAC 2015 media partners included: Official Media Partner: Nation Shield; Arabic e-Media Partner: Security and Defense Arabia; and Media Partners: Defense News, Al Defaiya, Defence21, Arabian Aerospace, 999 Magazine, Security and Defense Arabia, and Al Jundi Journal.
The conference concluded with enormous success.