With the NCT CBRNe event series coming to Abu Dhabi, NCT CBRNe Middle East 2014 was the first regional CBRN defense conference and exhibition in the Gulf Region. Taking place from December 9-11 at the Hilton Abu Dhabi/UAE, NCT CBRNe Middle East 2014 welcomed delegations and exhibitors from more than 20 countries all over the world. For the first time, regional governments and first responders from the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Bahrain and Kuwait among others sent their representatives to Abu Dhabi in order to share first-hand information and best practices in the context of such a specific CBRN defense related event.

Day 1 – Challenges in CBRN defense and Regional Threats

After the first networking day including an icebreaker reception with a magnificent view on the Abu Dhabi Skyline from the Hilton Hotel’s Lake Garden, the scene was set for the two-day conference and exhibition. On behalf of the Abu Dhabi Police and txcamtraxfranceshe United Arab Emirates Ministry of Interior, Maj. Gen. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi (Director General of Central Operations, Abu Dhabi Police) opened the conference and welcomed the international attendees and regional government delegations with his keynote address. He highlighted the importance of encouraging regional cooperation in a field that is of the highest importance in the Middle East.

A wide range of speakers and especially the chairman Colonel Henry Neumann, Commander of the German Armed Forces Joint CBRN Defense Command, gave an exceptional introduction on challenges in CBRN defense and respective regional threats on the first days. Regional first responders were thereby able to learn a lot on challenges they will face while building up their respective capabilities, and how they shall organize concerted response in case of an incident.

Of outstanding importance were not only the presentations of Mag. Gen. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi and Colonel Henry Neumann, openingneumannbut also respective lessons learned and efforts made by Brig. Gen. Aref Alzaben (General Director and Military Commandant, King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center, Jordan) and Colonel Hussein Al-Hameidi (Director of Disaster Department, Civil Defense Directorate, Jordan) that have already countered respective threats in their country and had a lot of experience and valuable expertise to share. Additionally, leading industry stakeholders in the field of CBRN defense and response such as Thales, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles, Heyltex, Argon, Cristanini, Bruker Daltonics, Kärcher Futuretech and Microfluidic ChipShop not only showed their available solutions in the exhibition, but also shared their ideas on how to improve CBRN defense worldwide – encouraging government stakeholders to enhance communication in the field of B2C cooperation in order to better respond to specific needs and requirements.

The first conference day was rounded up by threat assessments of international experts such as Prof. Aqab Malik (National Defense University, Pakistan) and Col. (Ret.) Dr. Fahed Alshelaimi (Member of GCC and Chairman of the Gulf Peace and Security Forum, Kuwait) on challenges such as current and potentially future regional nuclear weapon states as well as policies of Al Qaeda and ISIS regarding the acquisition of WMD material.

Day 2 – CBRN Defense from Detection to Response

With the first day highlighting the importance of CBRN threat assessments as the basis for efficient capability building in CBRN prevention and response, the second day of the conference went into detail when it came to topics such as approaches of civil defense, medical response measures, challenges in CBRN decontamination, as well as the current Ebola outbreak. The attendees could hereby perfectly build on the lessons learned from the first day in order to enhance their expertise in these specific fields.

The conference came up with leading regional and international experts in these fields such as Col. (Ret.) Ayhan Batur (Former Commander, Turkish Armed Forces CBRN School), Dr. Alexander Grabowski (German Armed Forces Research Institute for Protective Technologies and NBC Protection), Dr. Khalid Abu-Haimed (Deputy Director, Emergency Health Department, Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Georges Saad (St. George Hospital University Medical Center, Lebanon), Aayda Al Shehhi (Radiation Safety Department, FANR, UAE) and Brig. Gen. Dr. Aamer Ikram (Armed Forces Institute for Pathology, Pakistan).

With presentations on relevant topics such as Biological Hazards in Mass Gathering-Hajj Prospective, Decontamination Solutions in Hot Climate Zones, Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and CBRN Monitoring in Turkey, and Capacity Building in Radiation Protection in the UAE, NCT CBRNe Middle East not only introduced the delegates to the leading regional experts, but contributed to the sharing of highly relevant knowledge to a widespread spectrum of CBRN first responders.

xexpoTowards a Regional CBRN Community

By achieving the aim of sharing knowledge and expertise while introducing regional delegations to their respective counterparts in the Gulf Region, their lessons learned as well as available solutions in the field of CBRN defense, NCT CBRNe Middle East 2014 was an overall success. But most of all, it was a step forward in order to foster a regional CBRN community in the Gulf Region and bringing them into contact to international experts and industry stakeholders. The chairman Colonel Henry Neumann found the perfectly suitable conclusion, highlighting that the event was a successful starting point for regional cooperation and encouraging IB Consultancy to continue its internationally acknowledged work in this highly relevant region.

In this regard, we invite you to take part in this endeavor and join the NCT CBRNe Middle East 2015 event in Amman, Jordan next year from October 5-7.