As policy leaders wrapped up the Manama Dialog, an international security summit in Bahrain, maritime and naval leaders commenced their meetings Dec. 9-10 in Abu Dhabi at the IQPC Offshore Patrol Vessel Conference to discuss practical implementation of those policies and improve abilities of nations and partners to meet growing challenges to maritime security, safety, and sovereignty.
The conference at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is being attended by naval, coast guard, security, and other maritime and military professionals. The event is being chaired by Rear Admiral (R) Ahmed Al Sabab Al Teneiji, Former Chief of Naval Forces for the UAE Navy.
Taking place in a busy port city in the Arabian Gulf, the conference will be examining security challenges and priorities throughout the Middle East, Africa, and the world.
Three full days of speakers and presentations are planned, with one day focused on maritime surveillance. Distinguished speakers include Cmdre Keith Blount RN, maritime commander, UK maritime component commander; Rear Adm. Ather Mukhtar SI(M), director general, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency; Vice Adm. Osama El-Gendy, Chief of Naval Forces, Egyptian Navy; Staff Cmdre Ala’a Abdulla Seyadee, commander, Bahrain Coast Guard; Maj. Gen. Ahmad Yusuf Al Mulla, former commander of the Kuwaiti Navy and current special advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Kuwait; and Marine Brig. Gen. Ghanem Mubarak Al- Hajri, Deputy Flotilla commander, Qatar Emiri Naval Forces.
Also speaking will be Col. Martin Cauchi-Inglott, Armed Forces of Malta, Assistant Chief of Staff for External Relations for the European Union Military Staff; Capt. Robert T. Hendrickson, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia; Piet Van Rooij, Manager Design and Proposal, Damen Shipyards; Fernando Tirado, Bunker and Lubricant Trader, International Bunkering; Daniel Fede, technical project leader, CNS – Solutions & Support GmbH (Frequentis Group); Cmdre Zain Zulfiqar, commander, Patrol Squadron 10, Pakistan Navy; Capt. Efthimios Mikros, director, Plans and Policy Directorate, General Staff, Hellenic Navy. Other presenters include Italian Navy Cmdre. (R) Michele Cosentino, a naval expert who writes for Rivista Italiana Difesa magazine, and Capt. Edward Lundquist, USN Ret., Principal Science Writer, MCR Federal, who is serving as moderator for the event.
“This is the continuation of a series of very successful OPV conferences here in the Middle East,” said Michael Champion, conference producer for Defence IQ, a division of IQPC. “Our hosts in Abu Dhabi are very interested on hearing the latest trends, developments, and thoughts about maritime security in this region, as are all of our delegates. What happens in the maritime domain here affects the entire world.”
“We have representatives from every GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] nation, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE,” Champion said.