ST Conference PreviewMAST Americas 2011
Last year's inaugural MAST Americas brought the established MAST Europe conference and exhibition format (with a few tweaks) to U.S. soil, under the official sponsorship of the U.S. Navy.
MAST Americas 2011 will be held from November 14 to 16 in Washington, D.C., and organizers said they are already seeing an increase in the number of preregistered delegates and visitors. The 2011 event will be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association of Old Crows, a defense advocacy organization. Organizers are anticipating that overall numbers will quadruple at this year's event.
MAST was one of the first major international conference and exhibitions to enable discussions on future maritime capabilities and concepts. Though maritime security is now a common feature of many conferences, organizers said MAST remains an event where it is possible to meet and debate views with senior-level global technology leaders in an 'unusually informal' environment for networking and information exchange.
Keynotes and Plenary Sessions
Once again, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead (or his incoming replacement) is confirmed to address and take questions from the MAST Americas audience. The success of last year's session, organizers said, was partly because of the level of post-presentation questions Roughead fielded.
Another return to the program is the Program Executive Officers' (PEO) day, starting with a plenary session that will provide an opportunity to hear the perspectives of and put questions directly to representatives from PEO Ships, PEO Integrated Warfare Systems, PEO Littoral and Mine Warfare, and PEO Submarines. The keynote and plenary session are free for anyone attending, including those taking part in the Association of Old Crows meeting.
Following the first MAST Americas conference, organizers said they have seen an increase in demand from government agencies, laboratories, navies and industry to secure presentation slots and technical sessions.
Subsequently, technical sessions were increased from three to four parallel streams, offering delegates a choice of specialist sessions on future maritime security and defense capabilities and concepts.
Delegates will hear presentations and can take part in audience-participation sessions, with presentations from companies, government agencies, navies and officials from Belgium, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.
MAST Americas Party
Once again the MAST Americas Party will offer food, drink, entertainment and music. Confusion last year meant that only about 300 people attended the party; many assumed it was only for paying delegates or that there was a fee to attend. MAST organizers said the party is free to all delegates, visitors, exhibitors, VIPs, speakers and the technical conference committee.
Venue and Accommodations
The venue and official hotel of MAST Americas is the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. The lowest rates (including government per diem) are guaranteed for MAST participants and are available for a limited period from the conference website. Information on accommodations, registration and the conference program is available at www.mastamericas.com.
The following list of exhibitors was updated as of press time: