2007 - Summary of Conference
Venue: Shangri La Hotel, Singapore
The Homeland and
Maritime Security Asia 2007 (HMSA 2007) International Conference,
the fifth in its series organized by Defence Technology Conferences,
was held on 21 March 2007 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore,
in conjunction with Defence Technology Asia (DTA) 2007.
This year, the focus of HMSA International Conference was on
developments in the threat from maritime terrorism and the technology
to counter such threats.
in the threat from maritime terrorism were presented by eminent
researchers in this field. Dr Rohan Gunaratna, Head International
Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, S. Rajaratnam
School of International Studies and Mr Michael Richardson, Visiting
Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies,
presented papers which provided details about maritime terrorism,
including leadership, organization, tactics and technology used.
Dr Rohan Gunaratna's
paper focused on al-Qaeda and Tamil Tigers, while Mr Michael
Richardson's paper focused on the growing threat from Hezbollah.
Both indicated the links between these major terrorist organizations
and regional terrorist organizations like the Abu Sayaff Group
and Jemaah Islamiyah.
Dr Sam Bateman, Senior
Fellow and Advisor to the Maritime Security Programme, S. Rajaratnam
School of International Studies, presented a paper on 'Shipping
Patterns in the Malacca and Singapore Straits: Implications
for Risk Assessments', which analysed the threat from maritime
terrorism and piracy to the various categories of vessels that
ply these waters.
The latest developments
in defence technology that would enable military and security
organizations to counter the maritime terrorist threat were
presented by various representatives from research organizations
and defence industries.
Dr Francois Regis
Martin-Lauzer, Director NATO Undersea Research Centre, NATO,
and Dr Frank L. Herr, Head Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department,
Office of Naval Research, United States Navy, presented papers
which explained how their organizations are using technology
to counter the asymmetrical threat from maritime terrorism in
littoral waters, and harbours and ports, respectively.
Dr Vijay Sakhuja,
Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian
Studies, presented a paper on 'Transformation in Maritime Air
Surveillance and Reconnaissance' which indicated a shift from
manned platforms to UAVs and Aerostats, as a more cost-effective
solution for wide area patrols and coastal surveillance.
were represented by: ECA, France; Eurocopter, France; Galileo
Avionica, Italy; and Eurotorp, Italy. Each of these leading
defence companies presented papers on the systems and equipment
that would enable various threats to be detected, localized
and countered in a maritime environment.
While all these papers
addressed the analysis and technology to counter the conventional
threats, MAJ Teong How Hwa, Deputy Director, Operations Department,
Singapore Civil Defence Force, presented a paper, titled 'Consequence
Management Response to a CBR Incident', which explained the
organization, equipment and procedures required to manage the
aftermath of a Chemical, Biological and Radiological incident.
Overall, HMSA 2007
provided participants with an insight into the latest analysis
of the regional maritime terrorist threat, and the latest research
and the technological systems and concepts, from around the
globe that can be used to counter such a threat.
able to discuss and exchange ideas in informal and relaxed settings
at coffee breaks and lunch, organized at the DTA 2007 Exhibition.
This enabled participants to also view the various equipment
and systems on display.
A very successful
reception, for guests and participants from DTA 2007 and HMSA
2007, was organized on the evening of 21st March 2007. This
social event, held in the lush tropical setting of the Waterfall
Terrace at the Shangri-La Hotel, facilitated interaction and
networking between guests and participants.