Air Force leader talks future of air, missile defense at ISAD 2020 |
by Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier
U.S. Air Forces Central Public Affairs
4/21/2011 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- The Air Force's senior leader in U.S. Central Command met with other military leaders from around the globe during the International Symposium on Air Defense 2020 from April 17 to 19 at the Air Defense Forces Institute in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Lt. Gen. Mike Hostage, the Combined Forces Air Component commander in Southwest Asia for USCENTCOM, was one of 50 air and missile defense experts who spoke to numerous international military leaders at ISAD 2020, the first official Saudi Arabian defense symposium in history.
"The key to effectively integrating the air and missile defense capabilities of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United States for the shared security of the (Arabian) Gulf region is predicated on the gulf partners developing an internal joint-mindedness at the national level as a stepping stone to achieving multi-lateral interoperability," said.
To foster multi-lateral interoperability amongst the Gulf partners, the general proposed developing a joint war fighting center of excellence, similar to the U.S. Joint Forces Command Joint Warfighting Center in Suffolk, Va., where American military forces train, develop joint doctrine, analyze training requirements and work toward the overall improvement of the joint force.
"It is my intention our Gulf partners be directly incorporated into future (exercises) as they desire," General Hostage said. "Although cooperating at this level in exercises and the real world defense of the Gulf region will require significant effort from all participants, the payoff is superb."
The event was designed to strengthen an international, multi-lateral understanding of, and collaboration on, air and missile defense. It was also geared toward inspiring discussions on contemporary air defense and related requirements, and future international goals from now to the year 2020 and beyond.
"Our objective is to become a deterrent force to establish peace," said Prince Khalied bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Arabian assistant minister of defense and aviation. "The global and regional developments and change in the balance of power around us demand us to acquire all forms of power and develop our fighting capabilities . . . in order to make our armed forces well prepared to carry out its mission in a highly professional manner."
In total, more than 150 Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces officers and hundreds of other international military leaders attended the symposium. Attendees included military leaders from Bahrain, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Holland, India, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
For more information on ISAD 2020, visit www.isad2020.org.sa/english.