Qatar Emiri Air Force and AFCENT host Air and Air Defense Intelligence Symposium

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  • By 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central)

Qatar Emiri Air Force and Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) hosted the inaugural Air and Air Defense Intelligence Symposium (AADIS) in Doha, Qatar, Feb. 19-22, 2023.

The symposium provided an opportunity for intelligence professionals from 11 countries and institutions of academia to discuss their perspective on emerging threats facing the region.

The 3-day event covered a wide range of topics related to air and air defense intelligence, cyber threats, and opportunities for intelligence training.

One of the most significant topics discussed was an emerging threat shared by all attendees--the unmanned aerial system (UAS).

As these devices become increasingly abundant and affordable, they pose a significant threat to civil aviation, critical infrastructure, military operations and installations worldwide.

“Non-state groups and violent extremist organizations continue to diversify their own fleets of UAS to conduct real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions over military installations and training areas, drop munitions, and deliver explosive payloads by impacting a target directly,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Igor Khrustalev, AFCENT UAS threats analyst.  “The proliferation of these systems makes it more difficult to keep friendly forces safe. Finding, tracking, and intercepting them requires combining information from different sources, and doing so quickly.”

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, events like AADIS are critical to ensure stability in the region and our commitment to our partners.

The symposium also equipped attending nations with the latest intelligence and tools to mitigate current and future threats.

“By working together and sharing information, partner nations were able to strengthen our collective ability to protect citizens and interests in the region," said Col. Nishawn Smagh, AFCENT intelligence director and event chair. "Most importantly, AADIS provided valuable insights into how AFCENT can partner with regional Air Forces for a more secure region.”