For the 7th year in a row, TIDES participated in the WEST Conference, a conference held at the San Diego Convention Center, from 11-13 February 2014. There were 15 exhibitors with the TIDES exhibit, showing technologies in sustainable power, UAV technologies, sanitation, personal water transport, solar cooking mobile communication & telecommunication platforms, and visualization/ information tools for disaster response. Though the Western Conference tends to have exhibitors that are security, communications, and technology focused, this event allows for exhibitors to network with DoD, USG, academia, and fellow exhibitors. The event provided insights into the changing Maritime Strategy through panel discussions and speakers. The conference was valuable in terms of contacts made, learning about how implications for CTNSP/TIDES and the DoD in the new Maritime Strategy from DoD and industry leaders, STAR-TIDES contacts made, and understanding the value of TIDES research in the maritime sector.
TIDES AND THE NEW MARITIME STRATEGY
This year’s conference sought to gain a greater understanding of the “New Maritime Strategy” in a post Decade of War era, and a number of themes TIDES and the STAR-TIDES Network are constantly working toward. Specific to TIDES, Ms. Christine Fox (Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense ) who spoke on the need to maintain and develop public-private partnerships with organizations supporting DoD missions, and build partner capacity abroad. Also discussed was that because the Pacific is a hotbed for natural disasters,forward presence matters and the U.S. must stay focused on partnerships to maintain security and stability. ADM Harry B. Harris, Jr., USN (Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet) discussed how technology needs to be resilient, reliable, secure and affordable, most aspects that are sought for with STAR-TIDES type technologies. Finally, if Service chiefs could ask for one thing from industry, they would ask for affordability, partnerships in developing the way ahead, and innovation, especially in the realm of space to maintain the edge in the future. This lines up perfectly with the CTNSP designed “Experimentation, Prototyping, and Innovative Innovation” initiative.
This year’s display was designed to fit in with the “Shaping the Maritime Strategy” theme of West in several ways:
TIDES directly addresses ADM Locklear’s point that HA/DR is a “strategic common denominator” across the Indo-Asia-Pacific. One of TIDES’ key focus areas is sharing knowledge about solutions related to the above missions that are sustainable by local populations in their worlds with their resources. The team has extensive experience working “outside the .mil domain” with other branches of the USG as well as non-traditional mission participants such as NGO, host governments, indigenous populations and private organizations. TIDES participants have “on-the-ground” experience in major natural disasters since 2004.
In terms of steady-state shaping, building partner capacity, and peace operations in support of the maritime strategy, participants in this year’s TIDES showcased low and high tech operational and deployable solutions for power, water, sanitation, information communication technologies, integrated cooking, and lighting. All relate to apabilities that apply to these missions. The approaches reflect not only the more than 3,000 people and organizations in the global STAR-TIDES Network (www.star-tides.net), but also on-the-ground experience that reaches outside the DoD to solve these complex problems.
BENEFITS TO THE EXHIBITORS:
Visitation was higher than last year, and most exhibitors met influential people, discussed needs, and possibly working through future ventures/collaboration. There are a few that were identified from this event. This is the second time this past year that a STAR-TIDES partnership is formed between exhibitors at AFCEA West.
-At AFCEA West 13 last year, Day & Night Solar and Sirona Cares began a partnership in solar power. Over the last year, this partnership has expanded from projects in Haiti to Zambia, and various other African countries. THIS YEAR at WEST 2014, this partnership has begun talks with the Mexican officials interested in expanding this partnership to impoverished communities throughout Mexico.
-Mobility Solutions & Innovations and Chairman and EcoLoo are linking up to try to bring EcoLoo’s waterless, odorless, portable sanitation solution into American markets.
-Solar Cookers International linked up with a university from Mexico to discuss expanding solar cookers to communities throughout Mexico.
-Action Systems had multiple meetings with retired generals, VIPs and potential customers because of their attendance at the TIDES booth.
TIDES would like to extend a sincere thanks to all the exhibitors. We hope that you found the event beneficial and that we get to work with you all again in the future.
- Action Systems
- Day and Night Solar
- Energy Solutions
- Instant Eye
- Lyman Communications
- Mobility Solutions & Innovations
- Planetary Power
- San Diego State University
- Sirona Cares
- Tri-Star Services
The Western Conference and Exposition (WEST 2014) is the largest event on the West Coast for the Sea Services and the contractors that support them. Senior leaders, including the three Sea Service Chiefs, addressed “Shaping the Maritime Strategy: How Do We Make It Work?” The timing of WEST 2014 gives active duty U.S. and allied military, government, industry and academia decision-makers the opportunity to engage on multiple levels to discuss the ways, means and ends of the new strategy. Industry showcased and discussed emerging technologies and equipment that will impact all areas of future Sea Service operations. Now in its 23rd year, WEST 2014 is co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, both non-profit, non-lobbying membership associations. Registration is free for military and government.
Amy Gorman is a Research Analyst (Contractor) for the TIDES project at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy in National Defense University (firstname.lastname@example.org)