More than 20 navy delegations and numerous high-ranking naval officers from around the world will be heading for Hamburg at the end of September. Destination is the international conference and exhibition “Maritime Security & Defence” (MS&D), to be held at the Hamburg Fair site from 30 September to 2 October 2009. Organiser Hamburg Messe und Congress and the MS&D media partners Mönch Verlag, Bonn, represented by the magazine NAVAL FORCES, and the DVV Media Group GmbH with the publications Schiff & Hafen/Ship & Port, also anticipate many supreme naval commanders amongst the MS&D participants.
Amongst others, Russian naval commander-in-chief Admiral Wladimir Vysotzkiy has announced his arrival. The participation of the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy makes the international importance of MS&D 2009 even more evident. Admiral Vysotzkiy will meet with representatives of the German Navy and utilise the exhibition and conference in Hamburg to inform himself about the latest analyses and methods pertaining to the topics security and defence of sea routes, defence and prevention of piracy and terrorist attacks.
The MS&D conference at the Hamburg Fair site brings together security experts from numerous navies and other organisations and bodies concerned with the security of harbours and sea routes as well as governments, science, shipping and industry. It will be officially opened by State Secretary Rüdiger Wolf from the Federal Ministry of Defence. The conference programme pertaining to the two thematic issues Security and Defence is clearly arranged in two parallel panels, framed by two plenary sessions. Vice Admiral (Ret.) Lutz Feldt, Chief of Staff German Navy until 2006 and current President of the German Naval Institute (DMI), is chairman for the entire conference, and especially the SECURITY panel. Chairman of the DEFENCE panel is Rear Admiral (Ret.) Ulrich Otto. Admiral Feldt, whose panel will portray the dangers for international shipping through pirates as one main topic, intends to emphasise “the dialogue between those who must act from an operative-tactical viewpoint and those who provide the capabilities for them as a central future requirement”. Feldt sees the current international cooperation of navies in the Horn of Africa region as a unique opportunity for the future of crisis operations. Moreover, it is important that the communication between the shipping lines and ship owners and the navies improves.
High-calibre experts from navies, industry and maritime institutions such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) will provide reports in both panels. Undoubtedly included among the highlights are contributions from the executive levels of numerous navies. For instance, Rear Admiral Heinrich Lange, acting on behalf of the Inspector of the German Navy, will provide a general overview of the worldwide security situation as keynote speaker. Rear Admiral (UH) Salvatore Ruzittu from the Italian Navy will speak about the situation in the Mediterranean region, in which the stream of illegal immigrants from Africa also has an influence. Rear Admiral Frank Craig Pandolfe, Commander, Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 2, US Navy, will report about the deployment of the US Navy in the world’s current crisis areas. Rear Admiral Jose Antonio Ruesta from the Spanish Navy will portray the role of navies for maritime security.
Commodore Konstantionos Mazarakis-Ainian from the Hellenic Navy will describe the tasks of the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC) on Crete within the scope of combating piracy and general security of sea routes. Commodore Per Bigum Christensen from the Royal Danish Navy will focus on the operations of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 and its effects in combating terrorists, and Rear Admiral Hank Ort from NATO Maritime Component Command (MCC) Northwood will speak about NATO anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast. Rear Admiral (LH) Veli-Jukka Pennala, Deputy Chief of the Finnish Navy, will present the new Sea Surveillance Cooperation Baltic Sea (SUCBAS) project, which was founded in March of this year in Helsinki in order to improve the exchange of information and the cooperation in the Baltic Sea.
Rear Admiral Rainer Brinkmann, Director Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters (COE CSW), the German Navy competence centre which cooperates closely with NATO, will examine the operative circumstances of mine warfare in the defence sphere of the MS&D conference. A series of high representatives of other navies are also on the list of speakers for both panels. For instance, Rear Admiral Stephane Verwaerde from the French Navy, Captain W. Entwisle, UK Royal Navy, Rear Admiral George Basson, Director Maritime Warfare of the South African Navy will provide various reports, and Rear Admiral K.G. Hussain from the Pakistan Navy will describe Pakistan’s contribution to anti-piracy and anti-terrorist operations in the Arabian Sea and adjacent waters. Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Director General of the Indian Coast Guard, will report about India’s activities in this connection.
The MS&D 2009 will provide more than an inventory and analysis of the current security and menacing situation of international shipping, and offer approaches for solutions in order to get a grip on the problem of international piracy. In addition, the industry will present a broad spectrum of defensive mechanisms and instruments such as so-called “acoustic cannons”, helicopters, underwater devices, etc. For instance, Rear Admiral Rainer Brinkmann is convinced that the piracy in Somalia will only be successfully inhibited if it is possible to implement stable governmental structures with appropriate authorities, which will consistently take action against pirates. And MS&D Chairman Vice Admiral (Ret.) Lutz Feldt advocates that military actions in the currently most dangerous waters around the Horn of Africa against the Somali buccaneers will be flanked by economic, political and diplomatic initiatives to protect international shipping.
At the accompanying exhibition, about 60 companies, shipyards as well as suppliers and institutions will present the latest technologies and products which will be required for safeguarding international shipping routes and harbours against piracy terrorist attacks or for the utilisation of crisis management through naval forces.
Also planned for exhibitors and conference participants is a podium evening under the aegis of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), at which high-ranking representatives from the realm of politics and economics will discuss the opportunities and challenges in the sphere of maritime security in the maritime atmosphere in the harbour city.
Info is available at: www.msd2009.com