Can we secure our common future?

Report from Saab’s annual Civil Security Seminar in Brussels, this year about “Unified preparedness through training and simulation”.

”I am impressed by the technology and competence that Saab is demonstrating here at the seminar”. These were among the first words by Walter Schwarzenbrunner, Director for Resources, Partnerships and Operational Support within the Directorate General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), European Commission, when speaking at Saab’s annual Civil Security Seminar in Brussels, hosted by Saab’s President and CEO Håkan Buskhe.

During this year’s event the seminar was aimed at providing deeper knowledge on the area of training and simulation.

During this year’s event the seminar was aimed at providing deeper knowledge on the area of training and simulation.

This year’s annual Civil Security Seminar was the seventh in a row and the attendance has steadily grown over the years. The main theme concerns the question “Can we secure our common future?”, where one way to reach unified preparedness is through training and simulation. The audience included approximately 130 persons represented a wide range of stakeholders including EU institutions, embassies, permanent representations, industry and governmental organizations.

“By providing a platform for debate on civil security related topics we are emphasizing Saab’s brand name and competence, in Brussels and the EU,” said Henrik Vassallo, Head of Saab’s EU Affairs & NATO office in Brussels.

The seminar’s first guest speaker of the evening, Managing Director of the Crisis Response and Operational Coordination, European External Action Service, Dr Agostino Miozzo spoke about the complexity of a coherent EU response in terms of structures, mandate overlap, lack of visibility and unclear chain of command.

Dr Miozzo captivated the attention of the audience by using the Libya case and its operational aspects as an example. Then Mr Schwarzenbrunner focused on the EU civil protection mechanism, emphasizing the importance of humanitarian aid and civil protection. And furthermore, The EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove d’Ousselghem, provided the participants with an accurate and precise presentation about the principal aspects of planning in order to avoid failure and guarantee civil security. Mr de Kerchove also mentioned the need for cooperation between the NGO sector and the defence bodies with the purpose to achieve substantial results. The final perspective from the panel was presented by Thomas Nash, advisor to NGO Norwegian People’s Aid, who referred to the significance of civil-military co-ordination in dangerous regions and also when dealing with landmines and other explosives.

The panel presentation concluded with a speech given by the host of the event Saab’s President and CEO Mr Håkan Buskhe. After both European and local perspectives on the difficulties to secure our common future, he highlighted the importance of being trained for unforeseeable situations. Without drawing different scenarios we will never be able to cope with terror and crisis situations and give a unified response.

The panel presentations were moderated by Brooks Tigner, chief policy analyst for Security Europe, covering EU defence and civil security policy in Brussels for now 20 years. He stimulated a fruitful discussion among the guests following the presentations.

The debate was followed by a walking dinner and a technology demonstration.

The debate was followed by a walking dinner and a technology demonstration.

The debate was followed by a walking dinner and a technology demonstration in order to present Saab’s generic software toolbox ITE (The Integrated Training Environment). In addition to this the demining sweeper was demonstrated, giving the audience the possibility to handle it and watch a video demonstrating the usage.