By Captain (ret'd) Harry Harsch, MSC Honorary Chair 2016
The Navy League of Canada, in association with Maritime Forces Pacific and The Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, is pleased to once again host the Maritime Security Challenges Conference in Victoria, B.C., running from October 3-6, 2016. This year’s conference is shaping up to be another outstanding success, continuing the Navy League of Canada’s 121-year history of fostering discussion on maritime issues.
The MSC 2016 program has the potential to surpass the 2014 conference, which saw 190 representatives from five continents, representing 22 countries from Australia, to Malaysia, to the United Arab Emirates, including 13 serving flag officers from nine nations. The conference continues to attract an exclusive contingent of senior professionals from all over the world who are involved in all aspects of maritime operations and security, from thought-leaders, to academics, to industry suppliers, to well-known and accomplished subject matter experts.
In acknowledging that the maritime domain is a complex environment, this year will see an all-inclusive approach, consisting of senior leaders from the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard, academics, government representatives, and industry partners, as well as international partners, who will all come together to discuss the pressing issues of today and the challenges of tomorrow.
As well as being the leading maritime security-focused conference in Canada, this conference is truly world class. Beyond the stunning setting in Victoria, the partnership with the RCN’s Maritime Forces Pacific allows for exceptional experiences, including a familiarization event at CFB Esquimalt, and a day sail aboard one of the RCN’s recently modernized frigates, HMCS Calgary. Although fostering discussion is an extremely important part of understanding pressing issues, actually getting out onto the water and speaking with some of the sailors who operate the ships will help to remind those attending the conference that the topics being discussed have real-world implications.
The overall theme of this year’s conference is The Strategic Nexus of Pacific Seapower. Relating to this theme, some of the main panel discussions that will be taking place during the conference include: Challenges in the Regional Maritime Environment, Creating a Comprehensive Maritime Strategy, Challenges in Renewing Maritime Capabilities, Game Changers — Technical Advancements in the Maritime Realm, The Future of Maritime Activity in the Arctic, and Prospects for Maritime Security Cooperation. With the confirmed experts participating in these panels, they promise to be very interesting discussions.
While other conferences in Canada deal with the broader defence sector, this is the only one that focuses squarely on the maritime sector, and as a result, should be the go-to conference for any person or organization interested in all things maritime, whether they be defence, environmental, industrial, or academic. As final preparations are being made for the conference, I invite all those interested to register.
The Maritime Security Challenges Conference runs from October 3‑6 in Victoria, B.C. For further information on the specific program or registration, please visit the conference website at: www.mscconference.com.