Huntsville’s 2016 SMD Symposium is this week

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The 19th annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium is coming to the Von Braun Center on August 16th through the 18th.  The event is a good reminder of a particular truth.

"We think about going to space, going to Mars, going to the moon, but with satellites, GPS and reconnaissance, imaging, communications... all of that is so important for the military in doing their job in fighting those everyday threats that we see on TV," said Bob English, one of the Symposium organizers.

The theme for this year's event is Space and Missile Defense in a Complex world. For those few days, the Space and Missile Defense industry will show off its high-tech wares.  Many of the benefits for the week won't be known for a while, though.

"You get a chance to look across the floor, so to speak at other technologies, other companies that are working on other things, and a lot of times you'll see something and think... Oh wait a minute, that might help me in what I'm trying to do," said English.

The Symposium is also about getting industry, the military and government leaders on the same page. The government and military need to understand what industry is doing.  There is another side to that. "I think industry would like to leave with a better idea of where the government organizations are going in terms of their programs. What capabilities the government, the Department of Defense is looking for to do their job," said English.

Bob also says that the value added from this symposium makes things better and safer for all of us.

The public can visit the hundreds of displays on the VBC South Hall floor during the Symposium. All that's needed is a photo ID and everyone must register.