Middle East Special Operations Commanders Conference (MESOC 2012)

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Under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan represented by His Royal Highness Prince Faysal bin Hussein, and with special support of the Jordanian Special Operations Forces, the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, INEGMA held the Middle East Special Operations Commanders Conference (MESOC) at the Royal Hotel Conference Hall in Amman, Jordan on the 7th of May 2012.

MESOC was attended by a crowd of political and military leaders, diplomats, and industry representatives. More than 50 Arab and international delegations headed by Ministers, Chief of Staffs & Commanders of Special Operations Forces attended the conference among them: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE, Yemen, Australia, Austria, Belraus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Ruwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA.

INEGMA organized MESOC for the sixth consecutive time, as the official conference of the biennial the Special Operations Forces Exhibition, Jordan (SOFEX).

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 said: “Special Operations Forces have become the backbone of all modern armies. Their role has evolved and expanded over the past years. In addition to their old traditional role in taking the fight to the enemy's rear lines, today they spearhead the war on terrorism, and have become a major player in peacekeeping and peace-enforcing operations around the world. They were fast to embrace the digital age and put technology to their use in many efficient ways.”

AmerTabaa, Managing Director of SOFEX, welcomed the guests to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and to the SOFEX 2012 Middle East Special Operations Commanders conference. He added: “SOFEX is just one of those success stories. Every two years, SOFEX brings together world leaders from Governments, Militaries and industry from every corner of the globe here in Jordan to strengthen relations, share best practices and develop partnerships in order to help peace and provide security for all our citizens.” He stated that it is thank to his Majesty’s vision and his Highness’ guidance that SOFEX was able to succeed.

General Meshal al-Zaban, Chief of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces delivered the keynote speech.  HH Prince Faysalstated that SOFEX this year is happening while the region is witnessing instability and is facing terrorist threats. According to Al-Zaban, this requires additional cooperation between the different sectors of the army and security apparatus. He went on to argue that “The enemies of the peace will always try to acquire the newest technologies in order to sabotage the peace. This is why we should always be ready to face those threats, not only by using high-tech equipment, but also by expending our knowledge and experience and empowering our self-confidence.”

He asserted that the Jordanian Army always stood by the Arabs and helped them facing all security threats. Al-Zaban expressed his pride that 80,000 Jordanian Armed Forces are taking part of the peace forces worldwide. He finally stressed on the importance of the continuation of the war on terrorism using the armed forces as well as the education.

First Plenary Session:
Session One, chaired by INEGMA President and Former Commander of the UAE Air Force & Air Defense Maj. General (Ret.) Khaled Abdullah Al Bu Ainnain, featured three speakers. Brigadier General Khalid BaniYaseen, Commander of the Jordanian Joint Special Operations talked about "The Evolution of Special Forces in Capabilities and Mission".  He stated that his forces are characterized by their speed of response and their flexibility which enable them to respond to any threat they face backed by an air brigade.BaniYassine added that the training of the Jordanian Special Operations Forces were trained in a professional way and are highly equipped, which enable them to conduct all required missions separately or in cooperation with the Armed Forces.BaniYassenwas followed by Brigadier General Sean Mulholland, the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) whohad a presentation on “Village Stability Operations (VSO)”. He stressed on the importance of the participation of the U.S. Special Forces in counter-terrorism operations around the world in cooperation with its allies.The last panelist in this session was Major General Patrick Blervaque, the Director of French International Cooperation, Special Operation Command (SOCOM). His presentation was entitled: “Special Forces: A Capable Tool of Modern Military Power; the Strategic Benefits of Having Special Forces”. He discussed the needs of a new generation of Special Operations Forces that works under the guidance of the political leadership but secretly and with full cooperation with the intelligence services

Second Plenary Session:
Session Two, was chaired by Brigadier General Omer Al Khaldi, the Chief of Strategic Planning of the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces.

Major General Jörg Vollmer, Commander of the German Special Operations Division, Germany presented a paper on the “Mobility & Firepower in Enhancing Special Operations” where he stated that his forces depend on the element of surprise which require high skills and abilities. He added that the German Special Operations Division will acquire over the next two years attack helicopters.

Brigadier General ChamelRoukoz, Commander of the Lebanese Special Forces briefed the audience on “Future Challenges in Combating Terrorism & Role of Special Forces”. Brigadier General Roukozmade an overview of the major combats the Lebanese Special Forces engaged at in the last two decades.

From his side, Major General Maurizio Fioravanti, Commander of the Joint Special Forces Command in Italy made a presentation on the “Special Operations Forces in Personnel Recovery Operations”.

Third Plenary Session:
The final Plenary Session was moderated by Vice Admiral (Ret.) Joe Maguire, Principal of the Special Operations Enterprise at Booz Allen Hamilton. The first topic focused on the “Development of the Polish Special Operation Forces” and was presented by Brigadier General PiotrPatalong, Chief of Staff of the Polish Special Operations Command. He was followed byBrigadier Dan Fortune, Deputy Commander of the Australian Special Operations Command who gave an overview on the “Use of Simulation in the Training of Special Forces”. The final presentation was given byColonel Aref Al Zaben, Commander of King Abdullah II, 37th Royal Special Forces Brigade of Jordan. He talked about the role of “The Message of Amman” in Afghanistan.

MESOC is sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton & Volga DNPR Airlines (Gold), Goodrich & Oshkosh Defense (Silver).