On 3 – 5 September 2014 The Defence Academy hosted the annual COMEC AGM and Conference. Over the 3 days members of the military, academics and individuals from industry came together to debate and share ideas on 'Technology, Information and the Human dimension in Defence'.
The main conference day began with a presentation by Dr Rhian Morgan, formerly an Officer Cadet (Ocdt) with the Southampton University Officer Training Corps. Each year the COMEC prize is awarded to an individual who has accomplished an outstanding achievement amongst the high calibre of University Support Unit and Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme students. Dr Morgan is no longer a member of the UOTC but her former CO and a number of staff members were there to see her collect her prize. This was presented by the COMEC President, General Sir Mike Jackson.
Following the prize giving the Conference began and was opened by Rear Admiral Morse, Commandant JSCSC who introduced the first key note speaker A M Sir Stephen Hillier who took the topic ‘Technology and Defence Capability’. A forum followed the Air Marshal’s presentation which provided delegates time to delve deeper into the topic. During the day a number of forums and panels were held ranging from CBRN technology to human assisted cyber warfare. The second key note was delivered by Air Vice Marshall Young who took the topic ‘Human Capability’.
A pre dinner speech was delivered by Maj Gen Mungo Melvin entitled ‘Whither Defence?’ which focused on contemporary issues surrounding the crisis in Ukraine and the rise of Islamic State. Delegates then went on to a formal dinner in the Collingwood room of the JSCSC with entertainment provided by the RAF Band. The following day delegates were able to tour the DCC area led by staff from the Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) Wing. The tour allowed delegates to learn about some of the many vehicles held at the Defence Academy within the Defence Capability Centre (DCC). All of which rounded off a thought provoking and enjoyable 3 days.