HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --More than 6,000 people are expected to take part in the 11th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference and Exhibition, scheduled for Aug. 12-14 at the Von Braun Center here. SMDC/ARSTRAT will be one of the main exhibitors and will have several speakers and presenters discuss space and missile defense issues.

The theme for the conference and exhibition is "Space and Missile Defense ... the Next 50 Years."

The SMD Conference is a forum of presentations and displays on various aspects of military space and missile defense. This year's SMD Conference will have a greater international emphasis than in previous years, including information on ballistic missile defense in Europe and Japan. The conference will also emphasize Joint military operations, with each service well represented and their contributions spotlighted.

Confirmed speakers include Dr. Thomas H. Killion, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Research and Technology/Chief Scientist; Mr. John Rood, under secretary of state for Army Control and International Security (acting); Lt. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command; Lt. Gen. Henry A. (Trey) Obering III, director, Missile Defense Agency; Vice Adm. Carl V. Mauney, deputy commander, U.S. Strategic Command; Maj. Gen. Jaap S. Willemse, vice chairman, NATO Air Defense Committee; Brig. Gen. Genaro J. (Gino) Dellarocco, Program Executive Officer, Missiles and Space; Rear Adm. Alan B. Hicks, program director, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, Missile Defense Agency; Brig. Gen. Gary Connor, program director, GBMD, JPO, Missile Defense Agency; and Brig. Gen. Jay G. Santee, 14th Air Force vice commander.

The exhibition areas in the South and East/West Halls of the VBC are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, Aug. 13, will feature an Education Day for students from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A morning session will include students visiting a variety of exhibits in the VBC and receiving demonstrations tailored to their age group and interests. They will see space and missile defense technologies, a Space Camp presentation, unmanned ground and aerial vehicles, and hands-on video game technology.

The afternoon will be comprised of a mock FIRST Robotics competition between four local high school teams. Viewing of the robotics competition is free to the general public. The competition begins at 1 p.m. in the VBC Arena.

The conference Web site is at: