Abu Dhabi: The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex), held under the patronage of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, today announced the line-up for the second Gulf Defence Conference (GDC).
Organised by the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (Inegma), the GDC is the official conference of Idex 2013 and will take place on Saturday, February 16 at the Armed Forces Officer’s Club, Abu Dhabi.
Leading the conference with keynote speeches will be France’s minister of defence Jean-Yves Le Drian and the British deputy minister of defence for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne.
“The GDC is a key opportunity for Abu Dhabi to host industry and government thought leaders addressing critical areas of industry development,” said Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, head of the 2013 Idex higher organising committee. “As the official conference of Idex, the GDC helps reinforce Abu Dhabi’s position as a major hub within the global defence industry while addressing issues key to sustainable regional security,” he said. “It is our honour to host the event’s guests and we look forward to a successful conference in the coming weeks.”
Riad Kahwaji, chief executive officer of Inegma, added: “GDC 2013 will be a two-star-general-plus event, which makes it the highest-level conference to be ever held on the side of an international trade show. With an expected full house of over 500 top defense commanders that include ministers of defense, chiefs of staff, land forces and naval commanders from around the world, the event will likely be the most important defence gathering in the region this year.”
“Advanced technologies are playing an increasingly central role ensuring national defence and security,” said John M Urias, president, Oshkosh Defence and host of the first panel discussion ‘New Paradigms in Land Warfare’. “While technologies like unmanned systems and network-centric architecture are changing the face of modern defence, these are just tools no better than their implementation. Analysis and discussion of industry best practice are critical to ensuring intelligent and successful advancement across all areas of land, air and sea defence.”
Distinguished GDC participants will include Lieutenant General Vincent Brooks, Commanding General of the US Third Army; Staff Major General Ali Mohammad Subaih Al Kaabi, Military Advisor to General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; Major General (HEA) Nikolaos Zachariadis, Chief of Staff, NATO Rapid Deployable Corps, Greece (NRDC-GR); Lieutenant General Andre Blattmann, Chief of the Armed Forces, Switzerland; General Cho Jung-hwan, Army Chief of Staff, South Korea; Major General Leszek Cwojdzinski, Director of the Armaments Policy Department, Ministry of Defence, Poland; Vice Admiral Marin Gillier, Commander of Indian Ocean Maritime Zone, France; Vice Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi, Chief of Staff of the Navy, Italy; and Vice Admiral Mohammad Shafiq, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Pakistan.
The conference will be split into three main themes covering ‘New Paradigms in Land Warfare’, ‘Future Air Power Transformations’ and ‘Naval Force Projection and Future Maritime Operations’. The land warfare section will address the successful integration of technology to ensure force mobility and the impact of the changing nature of warfare on unified land operations. The session will also cover best practices from the UAE on the role of the military in humanitarian relief and peacekeeping operations.
The section on future air power defence will address integration of unmanned aerial vehicles to effectively serve current and emerging trends. The panel will also include discussions on how air defence can best be optimised to reinforce ground and naval force operations.
The final section on naval defence will focus on future naval operating environments, multi-mission optimisation for current forces and effective integration of future stealth and unmanned equipment.
GDC is fully supported by the UAE Armed Forces and forms an integral part of one of the most important international gatherings of the defence and security community in the GCC. Organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company in coordination with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ, Idex will take place at Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibition Centre from February 17-21, 2013.