By Mrs. Jaime Thompson (AMC)June 10, 2009
The Defense Ammunition Center (DAC) hosted the 17th annual Global Demilitarization Symposium and Exhibition at the Bahia Hotel, San Diego, Calif. on May 11-14. Over 400 military, civilians and contractors attended the event, with representatives from 16 international countries. Various U.S. Department of Defense organizations and government contractors participated as exhibitors, with over 30 display booths present.
The agenda for the symposium focused on ongoing demil/disposal, resource recovery, recycling and reuse operations and programs, sale of recovered demil materials, demil R&D efforts, transitioning technologies; and environmental, safety and policy issues that affect the demil business.
Mr. Anthony Melita, Deputy Director of Portfolio Systems Acquisition, Land Warfare and Munitions Office within the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics) served as the keynote speaker for the symposium.
Melita brought thirty-one years of experience in munitions development and acquisition to his keynote address focusing on areas of design for demil and acquisition of munitions.
"We are in the demil business, but we need to be part of the development and production of ammunition as well", stated Melita. "Excellence in reaching our strategic and technological goals will help support demilitarization funding."
Brig. Gen. Larry Wyche, commanding general, Joint Munitions Command, presented the distinctive John L. Byrd, Jr. Excellence in Munitions Demilitarization Award to Mrs. Dorothy Olson, Joint Munitions Command, formerly from the Technology Directorate of the Defense Ammunition Center (DAC).
During his closing address, Wyche, charged the audience to look at challenges as opportunities, to seek more partnerships between government, industry and academia, and to sustain the momentum of the demil program.
The finale for the symposium was a tour of General Atomics on May 15. Over 150 participants toured the Nuclear Fusion Center, Magnetic Levitation Train, Bio-Algael Ponds and Lab, Battlefield Plastic Waste to Energy System and Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
The tour was very technical in nature, but provided participants the opportunity to see research and development efforts directly applicable to demilitarization as well as other national security and energy initiatives.
"Overall the symposium was a success and provided the total demilitarization enterprise with a forum to dialog about ongoing efforts and challenges, said Tyrone Nordquist, associate director of the Technology Directorate, DAC.