Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference (DIAC 2011)

Post-Event Synopsis

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Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and with special support of the UAE Air Force and Air Defense, the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, INEGMA held the Dubai International Air Chiefs Conference (DIAC) at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel Conference Hall in Dubai, UAE on the 12th of November 2011.

DIAC was attended by a crowd of political and military leaders, diplomats, and industry representatives, from the UAE, the Gulf and abroad. Among them: the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Pakistan, Italy, Turkey, Australia, The Netherlands, Switzerlandm Canada, Germany, China, Sweden, France, United States, UK, New Zealand, Lebanon, Iraq, and Russia.

INEGMA organized DIAC for the fifth consecutive time, as the official conference of the biennial Dubai Airshow.

Riad Kahwaji, CEO of INEGMA welcomed the conference delegates and guests and spoke about the importance of the conference in today’s strategic and operational environment. He emphasized the special role that air power and air operations play in a changing strategic in balance in the region.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority & Chairman of the Emirates Group, delivered the keynote speech on behalf of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. HH Sheikh Ahmed stated “We gather here today to address the challenges that face us regionally and internationally. We are meeting as friends and allies to share ideas and views on how to overcome threats and improve our defense capabilities, especially in the important field of air power. Recent events have again reasserted the importance of the air force and air defense in achieving superior defensive or offensive capabilities. No nation can say it has a modern military without an efficient and effective air force, and this is something the UAE under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, has aspired to achieve and God willing intends to maintain and improve.”

He went on to arguee that “we in the UAE believe in peace and we believe in productive partnerships to enhance stability and fulfill progress and prosperity. Experience has taught us that staying alert and united, whether on national or international levels, is the best means to maintain stability and to overcome difficulties. This was tested in the recent regional events. The UAE was among the leading Arab states that contributed to the no-fly zone operations the United Nations Security Council established to protect the civilians in Libya. UAE pilots played an important role in enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya, and have subsequently gained valuable experience in air warfare. The UAE has invested heavily in its manpower to produce quality citizens, officers and soldiers. We have invested in importing the latest state of the art technologies to stay in the forefront of modernity in our industries, trade and commerce and way of life. The UAE civilian and defense industries are growing in various areas including aviation.”

Finally, he asserted that “the UAE military has achieved modernity on the international level. Its forces are for the protection of the nation, and also for serving the international community’s peacekeeping operations worldwide. The UAE has always sought diplomacy to resolve disputes with its neighbors, and has always called for dialogue as means to solving problems regionally and internationally. However, the UAE Armed Forces will always remain strong and on alert to deal robustly with any threats to the nation and the region.”

Major General Mohammed Bin Swaidan Saeed Al Gamzi, Commander of the UAE Air Force and Air Defense, welcomed the speakers and guests. He stated that there are many challenges that the UAE and allies face in the region and that homeland security and defense of the country are paramount in a changing threat environment. Interoperability is a key issue as his the additional use of advanced technologies in air power operations. Following the speech INEGMA and the main sponsor delivered gifts to the keynote speaker.

First Plenary Session:
Session One, chaired by INEGMA President General (Ret.) Khaled Abdullah Al Bu Ainnain, featured three speakers. Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force General Norton A. Schwartz talked about "Tailoring Air Power Capabilities for Joint Combat Operations in Asymmetric Environments". He was followed by Major General Ibrahim Nasser Al Alawi, Deputy Commander of the UAE Air Force and Air Defense who discussed the ways to posture for tomorrow’s challenges today by developing AF & AD warriors. The third speaker at the first plenary session was the Chief of Air Staff at the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton who discussed how to prepare for Network Centric Forces.

Second Plenary Session:
Session Two, was chaired by Dennis Muilenburg, the Executive Vice President of the Boeing Company, President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security.

Air Marshal Geoffrey Charles “Geoff” Brown, the Chief of Air Force at the Royal Australian Air Force defined the capabilities and missions requirements of a Fifth Generation Fighter. While Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleiman, the Chief of Air Staff at the Pakistan Air Force examined the employment of Air Power in irregular warfare. Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, Lieutenant General Giuseppe Bernardis’ lecture was on “Defining Operational Requirements for Integrated Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Capability – The multi-mission solution”.

Third Plenary Session:
Session Three, chaired by INEGMA Director of Research and Consultancy Dr. Theodore Karasik, featured three speakers as well. Chief of the Air Staff of the French Air Force looked at “Multi-tasking of UAVs: Actual needs and limits of devolpment”. From his side, the Commander General of Air Operations at the Brazilian Air Force Lieutenant Brigadier Gilberto Antonio Saboya Burnier discussed the ways to develop airlift capabilities for SAR and humanitarian missions. Finally, Major General Ates Mehmet Irez, the Chief of Operations of Turkish Air Force presented a views on the next generation stand-off weapons in air power

DIAC 2011’s sponsors were: Platinum: Boeing, Gold: Rafale Internationa & Northrop Grumman, Silver: MBDA, Baynuna Defense, Goodrich, Textron Systems, and SAAB.

DIAC was followed by a glamorous gala dinner at the Grand Hyatt, Dubai.