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By Julian Nettlefold

27 Jun 08. Once again DVD proved its worth in the Defence Event calendar – disproving the doom merchants who had forecast that it had outgrown and diversified from its original intention as a shop window for the SUV IPT. This year’s DVD was handled centrally by Haydn Fowler and his team at DE&S Corporate Communications in a seamless and professional style, continuing the quality of previous years, supported by Martin Neale and his staff at Millbrook, the MoDs IPTs and PR Company Market Engineering.

Proving the worth of DVD, Chief of Defence Materiel and the head of MoD DE&S General Sir Kevin O’Donoghue said at the show, “This event is an excellent example of how we work closely with industry and the Armed Forces to deliver and support the equipment the front line needs. The variety of vehicles available to UK forces on operations gives commanders the ability to choose the best suited vehicle for the terrain, the threat and the agility required for an operations.”

“DVD is now a much more extensive event than when it was first established five years ago. Its growth reflects not only its success and high regard, but equally, the increased co-ordination between the IPTs at DE&S and how we are all working together much more closely when delivering support to operations.”
Sir Kevin continued.

It was no mean feat to grow the event from one the Specialist and Utility Vehicles (SUV) IPT, joined again by General Support Services IPT and the newly formed Battlefield Infrastructure & Engineer Group. Taking part for the first time were Deployable Support & Test Equipment IPT, Defence Clothing IPT and Medical and General Supplies IPT, along with Defence Food Services IPT and the Defence Fuels Group.

A vast range of products was demonstrated and discussed, from vehicles and systems to construction plant and camouflage and, for the first time, some of the UK Armed Forces’ vital support services, including clothing, food services, medical and general supplies and fuel. This provided a comprehensive overview of the equipment and support given to the UK’s armed forces.

Despite its growth, DVD remains a highly focused event. “Part of the success of DVD is its ability to bring together relevant audiences for meaningful discussions and with the additional IPTs joining us this year, it was important that we did not lose this critical element,” comments Nigel Gilhead, SUV IPT Team Leader. “Due to the flexibility and scale of Millbrook’s extensive 700 acre facility, we will be setting up dedicated areas for each of the IPTs. This will ensure that visitors can continue to conduct discussions and see equipment in an efficient manner.”

BATTLESPACE is delighted to continue its association with DVD and the MoD in promoting the event prior to and during the show. The inclusion of live filming in association with Flir and Vislink gave DVD a new dimension this year. We hope to expand this capability next year in association with the MoD Media Ops and Millbrook giving the ability for the Press to show the true versatility and uniqueness of DVD. Unlike may other events, DVD is more than an Exhibition, with the DEC briefing on the Tuesday and live Off-Road provision, DVD educates the user and the manufacturer and vital sub-contractors as to the versatility, capability and most importantly, reliability of the products on show – no other show in the world gives such a breadth of knowledge under one roof. Exhibitors are now using DVD to test their vehicles in front of an audience, a vital part of advertising capability; any breakdown during the Show spreads like wildfire! Some Exhibitors use DVD as a springboard to continue testing vehicles at Millbrook after the Show to make improvements and refinements and additions suggested by customers and sub-contractors during DVD.

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