Europe, U.S. Leaders Examine Information Advances

January 2006

Lisbon Chapter President Rear Adm. Carlos Rodolfo, PON (Ret.) (l), welcomes Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Francisco Vidal Abreu, PON (c), and Lt. Gen. José Luis Pinto Ramalho, POA, director of the Joint Staff College, to TechNet Europe in Lisbon, Portugal.
Multinational conference explores the use of commercial technologies in military applications.

In a world full of uncertain threats, nations have learned that accurate, timely information may often be more crucial than firepower for combat mission success. To transform from a force-driven to a network-centric environment, militaries worldwide are calling on industry for capabilities that allow information to be accessible to the warfighter yet secure from attackers. These same capabilities must enable forces to be light yet keep them responsive and flexible. 

To cultivate ideas and better understand the lessons already learned by industry, leaders from NATO and European countries met in Lisbon, Portugal, for “E.Combat: Strategies for Success,” TechNet Europe’s annual symposium and exhibition. From October 20-21, 2005, keynote speakers and four panels reviewed the application of commercial technologies to the fields of training, logistics and security as well as to the battlespace.

Keynote speaker Lt. Gen. José Luis Pinto Ramalho, POA, director of the Joint Staff College, opened the conference by maintaining that information and technology must be used together to transform strategy, tactics and weapon systems. Maj. Gen. Georges D’hollander, BEA, director, NATO Headquarters Consultation, Command and Control (C3) Staff, followed with a discussion of  the NATO Network Enabled Capability, simulation, research and development, and coalition training opportunities.

Other speakers included Dag Wilhelmsen, general manager, NATO C3 Agency, and Vice Adm. Fernando José Ribeiro de Melo Gomes, PON, deputy commander, Joint Command Lisbon, NATO Joint Headquarters Lisbon.

At the AFCEA Portugal exhibit at TechNet Europe 2005, chapter representatives (l-r) Cmdr. Mario Simoes Marques, PON, command and control SINGRAR program; Capt. Paulo Santos, POAF, C-130H maintenance simulator program; and Capt. Carlos Sousa, POA, tactical system of information and communications program, all from the Ministry of Defense, are on hand to promote AFCEA.
Panel sessions covered topics such as how commercial technologies and products could be incorporated into military training and simulation, military management and support, and security applications for coalition defense forces. Panelists from several nations participated in the sessions, including Brig. Gen. Mehmet Çetin, TUAR, director, Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Center; AFCEA Bonn Chapter President Maj. Gen. Klaus-Peter Treche, GEAF, deputy commander, German Armed Forces Joint Support Command; Maj. Gen. Tony Raper, CBE, director general of Defence Logistics Transformation, U.K. Headquarters Defence Logistics Organisation; and Col. Rui Jorge Gomes, POAF, F-16 logistics manager and mid life update modification manager, along with Brig. Gen. Frantisek Maleninsky, CZA, director, Training and Doctrine Directorate, Support and Training Forces Command.

In addition, Portuguese Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Francisco Vidal Abreu, PON, and Portugal’s Secretary of State for National Defense and Sea Affairs, Dr. Manuel Lobo Antunes, attended the event.

Cdre. Robert Howell, RN (Ret.), AFCEA Europe’s general manager, closed the conference by informing attendees that the next TechNet Europe would be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, October 19-20, 2006. He added that plans are already underway for TechNet Europe 2007, which will take place aboard a cruise ship between Stockholm and Helsinki.


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