By Staff Sgt. Justin HardinJune 5, 2019
USARCENT Deputy Commanding General Visits Defense Exposition
By Staff Sgt. Justin Hardin
U.S. Army Central Public Affairs Officer
ABU DAHBI, United Arab Emirates (Feb. 17, 2019) - Helicopters hover over a compound providing suppressive fire as Soldiers rush the compound. Enemy combatants fight back, wounding Soldiers; a drone appears and drops first-aid equipment to the wounded Soldiers. A Coast Guard cutter waits in the nearby marina for medical evacuation. Mine sweepers clear any unexploded ordnance along the route to the medical evacuation point.
Major Gen. David C. Hill, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Central (USARCENT), watches as the scene unfolds. The enemy is defeated and peace is restored. While the battle was long, multifaceted and chaotic, it was not real. It was only a demonstration put on to kick off the International Defence Exhibition and Conference 2019 (IDEX).
"I think what this communicates to me is how rapidly things evolve today in terms of capabilities both friendly capabilities and those that might be employed against our interest," Hill said.
Inside the exhibit hall, Hill saw more demonstrations of systems that operate on land, sea, air and space. Additional product samples such as meals ready to eat (MRE) and water from a filtration system submerged in muddy-water.
"There are over 117 U.S. companies or business represented here today," said Hill.
When Hill wasn't on the floor watching demonstrations or sampling product he was either in a conference room meeting with his international counterparts or speaking at media engagements at the speakers' corner in the USA security and defense pavilion.
The speakers' corner offered representatives a chance to address the crowd at IDEX. Several speakers echoed USARCENTs message of: capable, collaborative and credible. The first speaker to touch on the message of collaboration was retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, who served as Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army from 1999 to 2003.
"It's not just about pulling triggers. It's about local governance. It's about political stability. It's about reconstruction and stability effort, it's a whole of government approach that we know how to do," said Keane.
While IDEX displayed many weapons, the overall message was not war.
"The defense industry must not only gain from the loss of life, the defense industry must gain from the ammunition of trust." Said Bard Al Olama, who spoke at the exhibition. "We have to work together for creating a new peace industry, where we can focus on ensuring the safety, security, stability of societies all around the world."
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