June 05, 2015 - 11:20 ( Brasília )

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Colombia to Host Key Regional Armored Vehicles Conference


Versão em português

Santiago Wills


Colombia is preparing to host the fourth annual Armored Vehicles Latin America conference ( www.armouredvehicleslatinamerica.com/more ), a regional meeting organized by London-based military publication Defense IQ that will feature discussions and panels with active and retired Military personnel from more than six Latin American countries.

The event, which will take place June 30-July 1 in Bogotá, will highlight the different prospects and effective uses of armored vehicles in the region, focusing not only on conventional warfare, but also on their operational capabilities and advantages in times of peace. The procurement and sustainability of armored vehicles in Latin America also will be discussed, as well as training.

A diverse array of speakers

The scheduled speakers include two major generals, three brigadier generals, three colonels and several other senior officers from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, and the United States. Their talks will range from the use of armored vehicles for peacekeeping and disaster relief in Chile and Colombia, to the newest Brazilian Army 6x6 and the advantages of armor in combined task force operations. Colombian and regional Military and government officials will be able to apply for VIP guest passes.

“We have a very diverse range of people talking about operation usage or about the amount of armor that is necessary for an urban environment,” said Sophie Stewart, Conference Director of Armoured Vehicles Latin America 2015. “There are technical discussions about mobility, protection, firepower, night fight capabilities, and there’s also the possibility of having close contact with different nations to talk about experience sharing.”

Since the first International Armoured Vehicles conference took place in 2002, the event has attracted Military personnel, exhibitors, journalists, and academics from throughout the world. Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and America have hosted regional events for several years now. Latin America’s first conference took place in Brazil in 2012, following encouragement from the country’s Marine Corps. The meeting was successfully held there twice more before moving to Bogotá for the 2015 gathering.

Colombia’s annual Military spending nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010, and its expenditure is expected to rise from $7.5 billion in 2015 to $9.4 billion in 2019. A significant part of that money may end up going to non-conflict related activities such as border patrolling and counter-narcotic operations, scenarios where armored vehicles have a proven potential. The country has already spent more than $50 million in recent years on a modernization process, and analysts anticipate the investments in armored vehicles to rise through the end of the decade. A similar tendency is expected in the rest of Latin America, according to Defense IQ’s Global Armoured Vehicles Market Report 2015.

The conference in Bogotá, which will be chaired by Major General (retired) Victor J. Alvarez Vargas, a former Inspector General of the Colombian Armed Forces, is set to draw more than a hundred attendees at any given point, Stewart said.

“It’s much more than being in a room for two days and listening to PowerPoint presentations,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to sit down over two days with your equivalent from some other nation to discuss future collaboration.”