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Homeland & Maritime Security Asia 2005
International Conference.

Event Summary

The Homeland and Maritime Security Asia 2005 (HMSA 2005) International Conference, the fourth in its series, was held on 12 October 2005, at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.

The Conference, organized by Defence Technology Conference, is unique in that its scope encompassed defence technology strategy and policy, maritime organization and concepts, and defence technology for the enhancement of homeland and maritime security in the Asian region.

The defence technology strategies and policies of Singapore and the United States were covered by keynote addesses by Mr Tan Peng Yam, Deputy Chief Executive (Technology), Defence Science Technology Agency, Singapore, and RADM Jay Cohen, Chief Research, Office of naval Research, United States Navy, respectively. Both provided valuable insights into the priorities, processes and organization of R&D in their respective organization to ensure that the warfighter will have the best possible technology to fight and defeat asymmetrical threats presented by terrorism.
Putting the threat of terrorism in a broader policy and geo-strategic perspective was Dr S Narayan, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies. In his keynote address, “Economic Impact of Terrorism on South East Asia”, he highlighted the importance of the Malacca and Singapore Straits to the global economy, including South Asia. He therefore concluded that initiatives and co-operation in maritime security in Southeast Asia had to take note of the interests of all stakeholders, and from the perspective of “a larger world view of regional security.”
Representing the warfighters, was CDRE Campbell Darby DSC, AM, RAN, Commander Northern Command and Deputy Commander, Joint Offshore Protection Command, Royal Australian Navy, and COL Dexter Chia, Deputy Commander Coastal Command, Republic of Singapore Navy. CDRE Darby, who gave a keynote address, and COL Chia briefed the conference on their respective organizations in terms of their structure and operational concepts. Both organizations have a similar mission of maritime security, but their operational areas present each with unique challenges. Australia has the largest ice-pack free coastline in the world and an Exclusive Economic Zone of 3.6 million square nautical miles, while the Singapore Straits, with a length of about 60 nautical miles, has about a 1,000 vessels transiting on a daily basis. Thus, both have had to develop unique organizations and operational concepts to ensure maritime security, while at the same time both had the same operational requirements of detecting, identifying, and responding to potential threats at sea.
The latest range of defence technology that would enable the warfighter to operate more efficiently and effectively was presented by various representatives from defence industries. Brig General (NS) Wesley D”aranjo, Managing Director, Beth-El (Asia-Pacific) Pte Ltd, in a keynote address, provided an insight into the NBC threat assessment and protection. Other presentations from defence industries ranged from air ship, various surface vessels, monitoring and tracking systems, radar system and unmanned vehicles.
 
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