Although the LandWarNet Conference has become an annual event on the Korean peninsula, the 2009 conference had a bit of a twist.

Sponsored by the Signal Corps Regimental Association, more than 300 information technology specialists, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Department of Defense Civilians, contractors and industry partners attended this year\'s conference held at Camp Stanley in Uijongbu, April 14-16.

Not only did the event bring industry partners from around the world, but it included a first for the conference, a presentation of a traditional Korean Folk dance.

"Because we had industry partners from all over, we felt it would be a good idea to let them see some of the culture like traditional Korean dance," said Stan Flack, team lead for training and maintenance for the Information Resource Management Branch of Regional Chief Information Office-Korea.

"We started planning [the conference] about seven months ago," Flack added. "We had approximately 40 industry partners who joined us at the conference. It used to be called a DOIM (Directorate of Information Management) conference, but it was changed to the LandWarNet conference to be more Soldier-oriented."

This year's three-day conference was based on three themes; information assurance, information dissemination and information management.

The keynote speaker was Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, Department of the Army Chief Information Officer/G-6. Several other distinguished visitors attended the conference and served as guest speakers. They included Maj. Gen. John Morgan III, commanding general, 2nd Infantry Division; Brig. Gen. Al Lynn, commanding general, 311th Signal Command (Theater); Deborah Kelley, director, Information Resource Integration Office of the Chief Information Officer/G-6; and Dr. Robert E. Neilson, Consulant to the Chief Knowledge Management Officer.

"We tried to dedicate a day to each of the three themes," said Flack. "Transformation is another key item that was included, especially with the upcoming move to (Camp) Humphreys."

"This year's LandWarNetwork conference, sponsored by the Signal Corps Regimental Association, was an outstanding success," said Col. Welton Chase Jr., 1st Signal Brigade commander. "The conference connected over 300 combat, combat support and combat service support personnel across the peninsula with over 40 industry partners.

"The conference was especially important because it included Warfighters and our ROK (Republic of Korea) allies in an environment that enabled them to receive presentations on the latest communications technologies and policies from the top IT leaders throughout the Department of Defense."

The success of the conference was echoed by several industry partners.

"When we realized that Colonel Chase wanted to invite industry partners to the next LandWarNet, I wanted to make sure my company participated because I know that is a great way to meet the chain of command, the decision makers and decision players in USFK, particularly Eighth Army and 1st Signal Brigade," said Ken Ring, Apptis Technology Solutions.

"This was a very good opportunity," said Eric Petersen, major account manager for Polycom. "I see Korea as the hotspot for video conferencing in the Pacific. I hope to learn a lot during this conference because there is a lot of activity in Pacific. I just want to network and meet more of the customers."

According to Flack, several goals were achieved during the 2009 LandWarNet Conference.

"The goal for us was to have the government people, contractors and industry partners all network because we're a team," Flack said. "It's good for people to get together in environments like this to exchange information, to get to know each other so they're not just a voice on the other end of the phone or a piece of paper in front on them when the e-mail comes in.

"It's also an opportunity to become aware of new technologies that these industry partners bring and how we (the government) can incorporate it into our mission."

With the overwhelming success of this year's LandWarNet Conference, the planning for the 2010 conference has already begun with expectations of even greater success.