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Category Archives: Security

Offshore Patrol Vessels: Sector Report 2013-14

Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) are the fastest growing segment of the Naval Vessels Market. At least 19 countries are known to have a total of 112 OPVs on order and plans for another 190 at a value of over $45 Billion. The total number of OPVs on order has increased by 11% in the last 2 years, while the number planned has also increased – by 27%.

Defence IQ has compiled a Sector Report, outlining which nations currently possess these multirole vessels, which have requirements to be filled and what the likely purchases will be. The full document is available for download here:

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3 EOD workshops that focus on home grown attacks

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During the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, IED attacks on coalition troops climbed to the top of the threat ladder, owing to their prolific presence, their ability to be made easily and cheaply, and their fundamentally effective results.

Along with the drawdown, there is now a realisation that the theatre in which the IED remains a serious threat is anywhere and everywhere. In the months and years to come, homeland security measures will be faced with an increasing need to detect and defeat a device that requires little sophistication to take lives.

The question is whether the lessons and training methods refined in the deserts of the Middle East can be transposed to urban environments and the civilian response teams that often oversee them.

This year’s 7th annual Counter IED conference will be going further to assess the IED in the context of homeland security. Ahead of the conference, a day of interactive workshops will meet some of these issues head on, allowing professionals involved in this domain to both converge and converse openly on the topic.

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The first two-hour workshop will explore training and retraining – looking at the broad scope disciplines, processes and capabilities that need to remain fresh as emerging asymmetric threats arrive at our doorstep. Mr Zach Kramer, C-IED SME, JMRC US Army Europe, will lead the discussion.

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Following this, Mr Robert Shaw – who has trained ISAF forces and other authorities worldwide – will helm a must-attend session on predicting the future of EOD, assessing how the technologies and countermeasures will likely evolve and advising those involved in the discussion on how to use that information.

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Finally, delegates will be treated to a visual walkthrough guide to attacking the network, arguably the key to closing down terrorist actions on a large-scale but also a more convoluted task than diffusing a physical bomb. Professor Caroline Kennedy-Pipe will help delegates address the challenge of crossing national boundaries, linking terrorist cells to organised criminals and ultimately undermining the “tangled web” of modern violent extremism.

Don’t want to miss out? Visit www.CounterIEDevent.com.

Alternatively, email enquire@defenceiq.com or phone +44 (0) 207 368 9737.

Defence Industry Seeking IT Solutions to Match Big Data Needs

Modern defence systems are required to gather, disseminate and store more information than ever before. The challenge of meeting the technology demand in a cost-effective manner is one that is shared by all governments and military organisations.

To solve this problem, military information leaders will assemble in Brussels, to get to grips with the latest strategies and equipment, which will enable global armed forces to assess the rapid increase in digital data.

The Defence IT 2013 conference, taking place in June, will build on the success of Defence IQ’s information technology portfolio, which includes the renowned annual Cyber Defence & Network Security (CDANS) conference. The full Defence IT conference agenda is available to view at http://www.defence-it.com.

Defence IT 2013 will include key presentations from several EU and UK MoD programme leaders. With the budget for improving IT infrastructure in the European Commission reaching into the billions, Defence IT will provide the platform where government agencies seek to engage with leading solution providers.

Topics under discussion include, enterprise application platforms, Big Data, Cloud Computing, online learning, codification and standardisation. Additionally, the workshop day on 20th June 2013 will focus on the tools and applications required to visualise data and how to develop information systems for situational awareness.

Belgian Minister of Defence, Pieter De Crem, hailed Defence IQ’s CDANS conference as “an exceptional platform to discuss new ideas and initiatives; to identify benchmarks, as well as to coordinate existing capabilities”. A post-show report highlighting key findings of the conference, alongside insight on CNI-targeting malware and regional digital security strategies is available to the Defence IT community at http://www.defence-it.com.

Further information on Defence IT, including the agenda, speaker lists and topics to be discussed are available online at http://www.defence-it.com, where you will also be able to register for the conference.

Notes to editor:

Defence IT will be taking place in Brussels, Belgium between 18-20 June 2013. If you would like a press pass for the conference, please contact Samantha Tanner at enquire@defenceiq.com or call +44 (0) 207 368 9300.

Information Security Threats – Round Up From The 5th Hemispheric Security and Intelligence Forum

By Alex Stephenson, Defence IQ’s man in Brazil

What breaks a company is lack of money, not lack of management or leadership. The same applies to criminal gangs. Imprisoning individuals is almost completely ineffective compared to denying a criminal organisation the proceeds of their activity. Concerning narcotics, one method is to interdict air, sea and land cargoes of substances – an alternative is to prevent the flow of the financial incentive in the other direction. No one sells a product if they cannot receive payment. A complete approach to narcotics includes both these elements.

But, there is a crime more profitable than narcotics. The sale of unknown vulnerabilities in computer software to criminal organisations who can exploit these weaknesses either to cause damage or steal intellectual property. So significant is this threat that it was contextualised as the threat of the modern era, paralleled by the nuclear threat of the cold war. A cyber threat to remain potent needs to remain unknown and then deliver chaos. An explicit parallel to the Hiroshima bomb; a capability unknown until it was deployed was drawn.

Linking both cyber security threats and counter narcotic threats I understood there to be three key takeaways:

  • These are evolving risks, much like a game of chess they require continual attention, calculation and execution.
  • Simplistically there are two approaches that can be used in tandem; tackling the problem and tackling the incentive – money makes the world go round
  • Finally, the importance of sharing information, helping partners and collaborating.

This last point is perhaps the most important. Too often perhaps there is a concern about sharing information about a problem. Perhaps this is because there is a national sensitivity around admitting there is a problem. However, if it is happening on your patch it is probably happening on your neighbour’s and by working together the intelligence picture becomes more complete and hopefully solutions begin to appear.

It is a great privilege for me to be able to attend this conference by kind invitation of USSOUTHCOM and the Brazilian Ministry of Defence. Later during this weeklong conference I will be delivering two presentations, one to the Caribbean Regional Intelligence Conference and one to the Central American Regional Intelligence Conference. The subject of this presentation will be the Caribbean Basin Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security Summit 2013.

Strategic Briefing: The ‘Pivot’ to Paradise

By Yousuf Malik, Defence IQ

This summer we saw a succession of maritime disputes involving China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines over a few scattered uninhabited rocks in the South and East China Sea. On the surface these little rocks have little to offer, but whoever controls sovereignty over these rocks also controls a 200 mile radius exclusive economic zone. The reason for all this hostility, experts say, is vast reserves of oil in those waters.

cabsec picture 1More than 10,000 miles east of the South China Sea or 18 hours non-stop by plane lies the Caribbean Basin. Think Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and what comes to mind is idyllic white sandy beaches, cocktails and time spent doing as little as possible. What almost no one knows is that this sleepy part of the world is about to receive a lot of attention from the United States, Canada, the European Union and an increasingly powerful Brazil, not to mention, China which has been quietly buying influence in the region. Analysts say it’s because of oil. This doesn’t sound as far-fetched as we know there is oil in the Gulf of Mexico (remember the BP oil spill?) and vast reserves just off the coast of Venezuela. Oil has replaced tourism as the largest contributor of GDP in nearby Trinidad & Tobago. Brazil, further down south, has huge oil reserves rivalling the Middle East about which Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, remarked that this just proves that “God is Brazilian”.

If you’re in the business of surveillance, whether it’s fixed wing, rotary or coastal sensors, AIS based maritimecabsec picture 2 information systems, secure data and communication networks that can pull and push information from US, NATO and Latin American sources. Or interdiction through fast patrol craft, small OPVs, etc. – or maritime security in general – there is there is a bonanza coming up in the 24 nations that comprise the Caribbean Basin. As there is no regional consensus on how to approach common surveillance and security problems, there are also opportunities for companies that can provide related advice, counsel and training. The ‘pivot’ to paradise has just begun.

There are other reasons for this. The Panama Canal is about to undergo an unprecedented expansion that will double its capacity allowing for a huge increase in sea trade that passes through the Americas spelling a massive increase in trans-shipments. In the backdrop of increased sea trade, and heightened pressure on the powerful criminal networks of the drug trade, they could lash out in revenge and could be disruptive and so must be controlled.  This is why senior military experts, heads of navies and coast guards, ambassadors from the United States and the European Union are meeting in Curaçao from the 12th to 14th of March 2013 at Defence IQ’s CABSEC 2013 summit.

The event is focused on the coastal surveillance and Counter-Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking (CNIT) requirements of the Caribbean Basin and features a Focus Day on counter-narcotics. There is also a visit to the nerve centre at Parera Naval Base where information from the a vast surveillance network is monitored and disseminated, and a world-class 2-day conference that will enable you to get to know the decision-makers and influencers in the region while getting current with the geography and relationships in preparation for upcoming requirements.

If you’re interested in attending, you can download the agenda here

If being a sponsor or exhibitor is more up your street, you can send us an email at sponsor@iqpc.co.uk.

An armoured vehicles news update…

Contributed by Kim Vigilia, Defence IQ

In recent news, the British Army has announced an order for 51 additional Foxhound Vehicles and Lockheed Martin has provided an update on the Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle upgrade for improved lethality systems. Given these headlines, it’s clear that priorities for many western military nations are not only to provide necessary mine and blast protection for soldiers in Afghanistan, but also to ‘future-proof’ these vehicles up until 2040.

However, defeating the IED threat and securing future survivability are just two of the main issues facing land defence leaders. There are also challenges within situational awareness and communication enhancements, weapon station integration and the balancing act of creating the ‘perfect’ environment for simulating armour and mechanised training. Add to that the basic foundation and maintenance of supply chains and other processes to remain efficient and effective… the list goes on.

Taking these issues into account, the International Armoured Vehicles show (IAVs) has a programme which is designed to reflect these challenges and offers a platform on which senior leaders in land defence can discuss, debate and swap ideas on the potential solutions and where they foresee the future of armoured vehicles. Lieutenant General Jonathan Page, Commander FDT and Major General Andrew Sharpe, DG DCDC from the UK Ministry of Defence will lead sessions at IAVs where Foxhound and Warrior are sure to be key talking points.

Defeating the IED threat, once and for all?

According to the press release published by General Dynamics in regards to the Foxhound Vehicle order, “The value of the award is approximately $73.6 million, or £46 million.”  In light of the drawback from Afghanistan, that’s still quite a significant investment for a light weight vehicle which specifically features countering IED capabilities, confirming the fact that C-IEDs is still one of the most critical challenges for militaries to overcome.

IAVs has a dedicated pre-conference day to focus on Countering IEDs to complement the main conference plenary sessions at IAVs, which features a panel discussion with Commander Abdulrazaq Olapeju Kazeem, Commander of the Nigerian Army’s Headquarters Bomb Disposal Squadron as well as Major General Ruben Dario Alzate Mora, the Head of Land – Materiel & Commander of the 1st Army for the Colombian Army and Robert Shaw, Head of C-IED Training for NATO ISAF.  The panel will be posed questions from the audience focusing on whether the future of C-IED efforts will be non-expeditionary.

With the Nigerian Army looking to acquire Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) All-Terrain vehicles to advance its strategy in defeating home-grown terrorism, the resulting conversation from the panel discussion should prove interesting to military peers and potential industry partners.

“IED incidents in Nigeria have been quite serious and challenging, however, because of proactive and pre-emptive measures put in place by the Nigerian Government and Security Forces, the threat is receding,” Kazeem told Defence IQ, citing the reduction in frequency of both attacks and casualties. “The Nigerian Army Bomb Disposal is tackling the rising IED incidents by employing global best practices in locating, rendering safe and disposal of IEDs.”

What does the future battle space look like and how can we ‘future-proof’ armoured vehicles?

Deemed as the British Army’s “key priority,” the £1 billion Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) is one of the largest and most significant projects being pushed through the MoD as it seeks to upgrade and refit the Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle with improved lethality systems and an electronic architecture that will future-proof it until 2040.

So what does this armoured vehicle of the future look like? Brigadier General Andrew G. Hughes, Director of Combat Capability at the UK Ministry of Defence, will open IAVs with a keynote speech, “Showcasing the Work of Combat Capability in the Content of the Army 2020 Strategy: Future Armour and Protected Mobility Requirements” – so we might find out then!

If you’d like to find out more about the International Armoured Vehicles 2013 event please click here.

What does it take to become a maritime security expert?

Guest post for Defence IQ by Fred Burns

Maritime security is a fascinating, and sometimes dangerous field that requires specific training and licensing. It will require you to become trained in preventing sabotage or subversion, and in identifying terrorist threats that might threaten the security of the individuals or shipments you are protecting. As a Maritime Security Officer, you’ll deal in insuring security in port, onboard, and for personnel and facilities.

BECOMING A MARITIME SECURITY OFFICER

Quite a lot of maritime security companies will only recruit ex British Royal Marines or Royal Navy that possess past ship service and specific anti piracy experience. But in the event that you become trained via a professional organisation the training for becoming an MSO is varied and fascinating. You will learn personal survival techniques. This will be both for survival in hostile natural environments and in connection with hostile personnel as well.

You’ll also learn basic firefighting. This will be crucial onboard ships and in dock. You will not only be responsible for assuring the safety of the ship, but of the crew as well. Therefore, you’ll be trained in personal safety.

Social responsibilities are crucial for the MSO, as you will be exposed to the public in many instances and will need to know how to conduct yourself as a security officer, but to recognize threats as well.

You will become proficient in handling different weapons. This includes hand held weapons such as various pistols and knives, but in heavier machinery such as the AK47.

A MSO will need to be able to administer first aid in a hostile atmosphere, and to assess the need for oxygen and defib.

You will be certified in radio communications and in radar, as well, and will receive certification in risk management.

MEDICAL SERVICES

Members of your group will turn to you is crisis that include medical emergencies. Therefore, your ability to administer front line first aid will be crucial. The main purpose of first aid is to prevent death or further injury. As the MSO, you will evaluate situations requiring medical first aid, administering CPR, stopping bleeding, and hooking up oxygen for those who need it. You will learn how to help a person who is being asphyxiated, or who is going into shock. You’ll also learn how to relieve pain. In most of the situations in which you’ll find yourself, there will probably be a medic onboard. However, it is crucial that you are trained to assure the health and survival of those to whom you have committed to protect.

Another level of medical certification is the Hostile/Hazardous Environment Medic. This is a more advanced certification that will train you in the handling or moving of an injured person, along with basic life support. You will learn how to use suction, extricating trapped persons, and field treatment in such trauma as burns, heart attack, and fracture. You’ll learn cannulation, cricothyrotomy, and chest decompression.

WEAPONS

You will first be trained to use the Browning long-trac rifle and Glock. Aiming techniques such as breath and trigger control will be taught as well as firing from different positions such as standing, prone, shooting from cover, and kneeling. Your experience in small arms will aid you in your job as an MSO.

WRITER BIO

Fred Burns has been working in the defense industry for many years. He currently works for a company that supply access to training courses and jobs in security in the UK.

Managing the maritime security risks in the Caribbean basin

By Alex Stephenson, Defence IQ

If risk can loosely be defined as a combination of factors including threat, vulnerability and impact then it is time to take strategic notice of the Caribbean region.

An increasingly vicious war on drugs taking place on mainland Central America is gradually pushing criminal activity offshore. Demand for drugs – in particular cocaine – in Europe and North America results in illicit trafficking through the Caribbean region. The fear is that increasing gang violence may spill over from the land into the maritime domain.

The small island nations have limited resources and interest in acting beyond their immediate territorial waters. The solution lies in cooperation among nations and in particular the larger regional players; USA, France, Netherlands and, increasingly, Canada. However, legal obstacles to operating in territorial waters of other nations remain, as do gaps in radar coverage and information sharing. Policing such a large geographic area must be intelligence led and this requires an integrated approach.

At the same time economic growth in Latin America is making the region an increasingly important transhipment hub for goods flowing back and forth to the US and European markets. Disruption of these important sea lanes will have an ever increasing impact on the region and world trade as the volumes of cargo increase in line with economic growth.

The risk has been noted and work continues to shore up security capacity in the region. Obstacles and challenges remain; ratification of the Regional Maritime Agreement by various nations remains elusive meaning that coastguards and navies in pursuit of suspect vessels are unable to cross maritime borders into other nation’s territorial waters. Lack of capacity often means there is not another vessel available to continue the chase on the other side.

Regional cooperation and collective security institutions are almost certainly the answer to the maritime security question in the Caribbean. This would allow the region to maintain individual nation’s sovereignty through collaborative actions rather than having to rely on the United States to police the region. It is certainly in the interests of the US, Europe and others to fund institutional capacity building in the region as up-stream narcotic interdiction is by far the most cost-effective and efficacious way of keeping drugs of their streets.

With the Joint EU-Caribbean strategy 2013-2020 for the region currently being drawn up and many other nations including Australia, Canada, Brazil and China showing an interest in the region this is a key time for regional security cooperation and capacity building.

This post was written ahead of Defence IQ’s Cabsec 2013 conference, taking place in Curaçao from 13 – 14 March 2013. To find out more, view the conference agenda.

What do you think about maritime security efforts in the Caribbean region? Is enough being done? Let us know what you think in the comments section or email us at haveyoursay@defenceiq.com.

Prince Harry arrives in Afghanistan, show some respect

by Andrew Elwell, Editor, Defence IQ

Captain Wales has arrived in Afghanistan for a four month tour of duty as an Apache helicopter pilot five years on from his first stint at Camp Bastion.

It’s been 47 minutes since media outlets were allowed to report on the story after being given permission to do so by the MOD following an agreement to keep it under wraps until the Prince had safely landed in Afghanistan. All of them (that I’ve read, so far) have made reference to his antics in Las Vegas and Twitter has come alive with “chopper” jokes.

This is poor form, surely?

It’s difficult to ignore the furore that Harry created a few weeks ago in Nevada, and it would be naïve to think it wouldn’t get a mention following today’s news, but taking a more responsible tone should be the order of the day.

Regardless of background, Harry is a Captain in the British Army.

He is a highly trained soldier with skills invaluable to the mission in Helmand Province. It’s not cheap to train an Apache pilot – last year he said, “You become a very expensive asset, the training’s very expensive and they wouldn’t have me doing what I’m doing (otherwise).”

Over the last decade the British Armed Forces have come to be seen as a highly prized institution by the public, achieving a level of admiration not seen since 1945. Harry is a part of that institution and he should be afforded the same respect we would endow to any other soldier serving in Afghanistan.

So please, no jokes. Nor sniggering.

Good luck Captain Wales.

We’re keen to hear your thoughts – do you agree or disagree with this post? Email comments or article submissions to: haveyoursay@defenceiq.com or comment below.

Questions answered about the Dutch F-35 debacle

After former Dutch defence chief Dick Berlijn, and defence expert, Peter Wijninga, wrote an article espousing the argument FOR the Dutch government to acquire the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Defence IQ’s Yousuf Malik casts a critical eye over the article and asks: are there better alternatives to the F-35?

The pair were recently interviewed [in Dutch] by the popular news website NU for a well-meaning article meant to counter The Hague’s dismay with the growing cost of the stealthy aircraft.

But the argument has holes like Swiss cheese…..or perhaps gaping spaces like slow-moving windmill blades is more a more appropriate description.

The F-35 is more expensive and isn’t as fast or manoeuvrable as has been claimed – it’s hugely delayed and questions have been raised about it’s stealth capabilities. These are the arguments we look at – please read the article in full here.

We’re keen to hear your thoughts – do you agree or disagree with this article? Would you like to write a follow-up article in response? Email comments or article submissions to: haveyoursay@defenceiq.com

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