February 26-28, 2013. The AFCEA Homeland Security Conference tells us it’s about “Working together and keeping the nation safe”. The show offers an opportunity to engage with key Government and Industry leaders on critical Homeland Security matters. These included Cybersecurity Critical Infrastructure Protection, Biometrics/Identity Management, Information and Intelligence Sharing, Emergency Management, Mobile Communications, plus Training, Modeling and Simulation. All too often, we heard, cyber and physical protection are considered separately, when really they go hand-in-hand. The conference opened with a half-day of conversation about hackers, terrorists and natural disasters, and addressed concerns involving both physical infrastructure and the cyber environment for all kinds of attacks, be they physical, virtual or even natural in origin. So now we have to worry about hurricanes hacking into our computer networks…?
February 20-22, 2013. AUSA is the Association of the United States Army, and it works to support all aspects of national security while advancing the interests of America’s Army and the men and women who serve. AUSA welcomes anyone who subscribes to the philosophy of a strong national defense with special concern for the Army. Community businesses and defense industry companies are also welcome to join. The association supports America’s Army – Active, National Guard, Reserve, Civilians, Retirees, Government Civilians, Wounded Warriors, Veterans, and their family members. It also provides numerous Professional Development Opportunities at a variety of events both local and national. AUSA has 125 chapters located worldwide, made up entirely of volunteers, and these provide recreational and educational opportunities to soldiers. Most importantly, they support deployed soldiers and the families they leave behind while on active duty or training. Ten-hut!
January 29-31, 2013. Apparently more than 150,000 Military and Civilian Government Personnel live and/or work within 35 miles of the West 2013 show location. Co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, West 2013 is the largest event on the West Coast for communications, electronics, intelligence, information systems, imaging, military weapon systems, aviation, shipbuilding, and more. Delegates get an opportunity to engage the military and industry leaders who are designating warfighting strategies and operational platforms. The PlugFest meeting space was a dynamic area on the exhibit floor that highlighted the Rapid Integration Innovation Process (RI2P), and demonstrated to government decision-makers the best practices when sourcing open standard solutions. Industry, academia, and government all had an opportunity to showcase their collaborative efforts, and exchange views. Views? So where’s the viewfinder on this thing…?
January 8-11, 2013. The disaster business is growing, not least thanks to global warming and climate change. Here’s the assessment at the show of Tom Ridge, erstwhile Secretary of Homeland Security, and the man who gave us all those color-coded risk-level alerts: “Recent natural disasters, man-made crises and geopolitical unrest have demonstrated that our world has never been more interdependent. Catastrophes now have second and third order impacts that transcend levels of government and jurisdictional boundaries, as well as industry sectors and supply chains. It is critical that international preparedness, emergency management and resilience leaders—from both the public and private sectors—have a forum to develop relationships and share ideas. IDCE provides such a global forum.” IDCE? It stands for International Disaster Conference and Expo. If they didn’t have a forum, it would be a disaster…
Sept. 25-27, 2012. “The products and services are as varied as the Marine Corps mission itself”, said one buttoned-up-looking attendee. The expo is intended to give the Marine Corps a chance to see the latest technology that supplier companies feel will meet the service’s needs, and to give individual Marines a glimpse of the equipment they might use in the near future. Since the Marine Corps contracted the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle seven years ago, the event has become increasingly vehicle-centric. For example, the three variants of Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) recently chosen by the Army and Marine Corps for engineering and manufacturing development were on show. The goal of the JLTV is to be somewhere between a humvee and an MRAP, we heard. Okay, all together now: “I don’t know but I’ve been told…”
Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, 2012. To give it the full name, this was The International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exhibition. Wait, wouldn’t that make it IACPCLEETE? And not just IACP? Maybe police chiefs just like their acronyms short and snappy. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano commented that American law enforcement was still at a crossroads in how we approach our nation’s security, facing new and increasingly complex threats. She further observed that in the past four years great strides have been made to break down barriers between law enforcement entities and create new systems for information sharing, because those threats “required us to fundamentally recast how the Federal government works with our state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners.” Short and snappy enough for you…?
Aug. 6-9, 2012. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVSI) is the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. AUVSI’s nearly 7,000 members worldwide came from government organizations, industry and academia. With more than 8,000 attendees and 500+ exhibitors from more than 40 countries, AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America is recognized as the leading event for the unmanned systems marketplace. the premier forum for reviewing, assessing and discussing the current state of the unmanned systems market. The event brought together the key leaders and decision-makers in the industry. Officials from government and user organizations around the world attend and participate in the symposium program. A move to make this a robots-only event was roundly defeated…
Editor’s Note: Check out some pictures we snapped while at AUVSI including our speaker’s corner.