Roles Evolve in European Defense
NATO, the European Union and individual nations all influence the changing security picture.
Multiple transnational organizations are moving to ensure security in an increasingly dynamic environment in Europe. The conventional military threat to peace and security has been supplanted by the cyberthreat, and multinational actions will be required to incorporate its security measures.
Many of these points were discussed amid high-technology presentations featuring insights from the European Defence Agency (EDA) at TechNet Europe Paris 2014. AFCEA Europe’s second largest flagship event, TechNet Europe took place in Paris on October 9-10 at the Hotel du Collectionneur. As always, the major events of AFCEA Europe are held in a European capital city, are taken under the patronage of the Ministry of Defense and feature the latest topics in command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR).
TechNet Europe always is held in cooperation with an EU body, and this year’s partner was the EDA. Claude-France Arnould, chief executive of the EDA, gave the opening keynote speech. Given the current political climate, Arnould touched on important points such as the agency’s role in the context of the common European security and defense policy and options for cooperation with NATO bodies regarding technical solutions of common interest. Her speech was followed by the keynote of Lt. Gen. Wolfgang Wosolsobe, AUS, the director general of the EU Military Staff. He elaborated on the role of EU military perspectives in the framework of defense and security.
As co-organizer of the event, the EDA offered perspectives on each of the topics of the three main conference sessions: “Modern Cyber Defense Requires Built-in Security”; “Mission Oriented Analysis, Simulation and Training”; and “RPAS—Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Mission Payloads.” Bruce Schneier, a renowned U.S. cryptographer, computer security and privacy specialist, gave one of the keynote speeches at the event. The main panel session, “The Role of Military Power in International Relations,” featured perspectives from Lt. Gen. Markus J. Bentler, DEA, German military representative to NATO and the EU Military Committee; Dr. Rob de Wijk, director at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies; Gen. Stéphane Abrial, FRAF (Ret.), deputy CEO at SAFRAN Aerospace Defense Security France; and Dr. Holger H. Mey, head of advanced concepts at Airbus Defence and Space Germany. This panel session covered a topic not often addressed and discussed between speakers of such varying viewpoints. The closing remarks of the conference were offered by Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.), AFCEA International’s new president and CEO.
In addition to the conference program, TechNet Europe featured an exhibition with 25 sponsors and exhibitors from all over Europe and the United States. The industry partners showcased their latest military technology, participated in the conference sessions with new themes in their various areas of specialty and met high-level attendees. Decision makers from academia, military, government and industry had the chance to have one-on-one discussions throughout the conference and especially during the numerous breaks and lunches—and during a networking reception in the exhibit area.
TechNet Europe 2014 welcomed some 200 attendees from 17 countries. Academia represented 9 percent, military and government attendees 29 percent and industry 62 percent. TechNet Europe formerly was held every spring, but from 2014 onwards it will take place in the fall. TechNet International now will take place in the spring of each year. The next major events of AFCEA Europe will be the conference on The European Cloud in Brussels in January 2015, followed by the NATO C4ISR Industry Conference and TechNet International (NITEC), co-organized by AFCEA Europe and the NCI Agency, to take place in Madrid May 5-7. The last major event of 2015 will be TechNet Europe, co-organized with the Bundeswehr Geoinformation Service and the AFCEA Bonn Chapter to take place in Berlin October 20-22.