Collaboration and co-operation between armed forces, nations and companies were among the key themes at this year’s DSEI.

Heidi Grant, director of the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said both people and technology could play a part in countries and forces working together towards joint goals. She praised DSEI for bringing the industry together. “It’s not only about our industry being here and the technology that they’re displaying,” she said. “It’s about the people to people relationships that this venue allows, and the people that we’re meeting here, hopefully they can share what their operational challenges are, when they need to build their capability capacity. So that’s what this is about and what this venue allows.”

“Collectively we have the very best”

During opening comments at DSEI, one US representative had described diplomacy as being like “a contact sport.” When asked how the industry could advance the conversation, to each other, Grant said: “In the US, we call it Team USA. To me, I can’t be successful government to government without our US industry bringing the latest, greatest technology, so I think sharing with our US industry, what are those operational challenges, so that as a coalition, we can continue to keep it agile.”

“This is something, because of the UK and the US innovative industry out there, that’s what makes our coalition so strong and a deterrent against our adversaries, because they know that collectively we have the very best. Now it’s not only the US and the UK…the other thing we talk about is that our adversaries don’t have a robust coalition and the number of nations I’m working with – over 160 countries around the world – working with them to be their partners build their capability and capacity. That’s something our adversaries don’t have.”

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