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23 Nov 08. NATO hosts briefing on improvised explosive device. The fifth ISAF Improvised Explosive Device (IED) briefing took place from 24 to 25 November at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Participants from NATO and Partner
troop contributing nations to ISAF met to exchange information on the current
IED threat, including best tactics, training procedures and the latest technological counter-measures. The briefing emphasized the need to exploit emerging and existing technologies to improve NATO’s capability to detect IEDs and to prevent and control the detonation of explosives. These counter-IED
technologies were highlighted in an associated exhibition which displayed a
variety of systems including X-ray detection, robotic reconnaissance equipment,
as well as chemical and radiological detection technologies.
As a major forum bringing together NATO and national experts, as well as leaders and trainers of combat forces preparing to deploy to Afghanistan, the IED
briefing is a major contributor to the Alliance’s efforts to mitigate the IED
threat. This has led, among others, to the addition of the Non-Lethal
Capabilities initiative to the Conference of National Armaments Directors’
(CNAD) Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work.

27 Nov 08. Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), organiser of IDEX 2009, has advised today that following consultation with hotel operators Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has put in place an accommodation price ceiling during the lead-up, conduct and wind-down period for next year’s International Defence Exhibition and Conference. ADNEC said the special rates will be applicable for hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi from the 20th February – 2nd March 2009 for IDEX participants. In addition, no ‘minimum stay’ periods will be imposed and no charges are applicable on cancellation of rooms, 72-hours prior to check-in. Commending the co-operative support of hotel operators in Abu Dhabi, Mohamed Al Mashgouni, IDEX 2009 Director said: “The hospitality sector’s proactive support to IDEX is always appreciated. We are always looking for ways to encourage optimum participation at IDEX to deliver more visitors and revenue to Abu Dhabi and the tourism sector. A temporary ceiling on accommodation prices will be warmly welcomed by IDEX participants and will probably encourage more visitors to attend next year’s IDEX.” The upcoming edition of IDEX, poised to be the biggest-ever edition since the show’s inception in 1993, takes place 22-26 February 2009 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. It will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Ruler of Abu Dhabi & Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Over 40,000 visitors are expected to attend the show which is organised by ADNEC in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ.
Comment: Too little too late! Many BATTLESPACE readers had commented on the huge costs of hotels at IDEX and the requirement to book a minimum of seven nights. The Editor will commute from Dubai avoiding any confrontation with Arab drivers as last time! Most exhibitors and visitors have already booked hotels so the hotel companies will retain the huge profits made form these onerous terms. Let’s hope IDEX 2011 is different!

20 Nov 08. As one of its final actions, the 110th U.S. Congress has passed the “United States Army Commemorative Coin Act of 2008,” authorizing the creation of a series of commemorative coins to recognize and celebrate the establishment of the United States Army in 1775, and to honor the service and sacrifice of Americans soldiers of both past and present, in wartime and in peace. Companion bills S. 2579 and H.R. 5714 were first introduced in January and April, respectively, by Senators Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) and James M. Inhofe (R-OK), and Congressmen Ike Skelton

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