The 2016 UDT Conference overall theme was: ‘Balancing Capability through Balanced Investment’.
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Keynote: Øystein Bø, State Secretary for Ministry of Defence, Norway
Rear Admiral Lars Saunes, Chief of Royal Norwegian Navy
Rear Admiral Lars Saunes was born in Aalesund, Norway 1st October 1959 and was appointed as Rear Admiral and Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy from 31st March 2014.
He came from the position as Commander Norwegian Coast Guard.
Lars Saunes joined the Royal Norwegian Navy in 1980 and graduated from the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy in 1984. He is a submariner passing a carrier milestone when qualifying as a commanding officer graduating from the RNoN Commanding Officers Qualifying Course in 1989.
Radm Saunes went through the Norwegian Naval Staff College in 1990 and the Norwegian Defence Command and Staff College in 2000. He is a graduate from the US Naval Command College and has also completed the Norwegian National Defence College Information Courses.
Rear Admiral Saunes started his naval career as a professional submariner in 1984 and has commanded both Kobben and Ula class submarines. In 1992 he was responsible for conducting the first Commanding Officers Qualifying Course for the then new Ula class submarines. He has operational experience from NATO and National HQs and has staff experience at the national strategic level serving as section head of the naval section at the Norwegian High Command/Joint Staff. He has also been the naval representative at the Norwegian Defence Research Institute.
During later years, Radm Saunes has held the positions as Chief of Staff both at the Norwegian Fleet and at the Norwegian Educational Command. Before promoted flag rank, he served as Chief of Naval Operations at Norwegian National Joint HQ from 2007 until 2012 and as Commander Norwegian Coast Guard until 2014.
Lars Saunes is married to Mrs Ingrid Saunes; they have two children and live in Oslo. Their main interest is the family cottage enjoying country and sea side living, combined with a keen interest in biking and photography.
Captain Christopher Robinson, Director Naval Requirements, Royal Canadian Navy (invited)
Captain Robinson grew up in Hudson Québec. He began his military career in the Canadian Army reserves as a Combat Engineer, serving initially as a Troop Commander and later as the operational Squadron Commander with the 3rd Field Engineer Regiment in Montréal. Following university graduation he joined the Royal Canadian Navy and followed the traditional naval warfare officer training programme aboard patrol craft, minesweepers, and destroyers before volunteering for the silent service.
Captain Robinson served aboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Submarines Onondaga, Ojibwa, Victoria, Corner Brook, Windsor, and Her Majesty’s Submarine Unseen. He was privileged to command Corner Brook between June 2007 and July 2009. During this command tour, in addition to normal fleet duties, Corner Brook deployed to the Canadian North for Operation Nanook and the Caribbean Sea to conduct a counter-drug patrol as part of Operation Caribbe. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to Canadian sovereignty, Corner Brook was awarded the Canadian Armed Forces Unit Commendation in May 2008.
Captain Robinson was later honoured to be appointed as the inaugural Commander Submarine Sea Training in late 2011 and served in that role until July 2014. Highlights of that tour include being the Weapon Certification Officer for the first of class weapon certification & high readiness work-ups along with being the Onboard Independent Safety Observer for a Mk 48 war shot firing against the ex-USNS Concord.
Captain Robinson’s shore assignments have included attending the Joint Command and Staff Programme at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, service in the Naval Staff HQ as the Submarine Requirements Section Head in the Directorate of Naval Requirements, and attending the Naval Command College at the United States Naval War College. He assumed his current duties as the Director of Naval Requirements in July 2015.
Captain Robinson is a graduate of the Royal Norwegian Navy’s Submarine Command Course, the United States Navy’s Submarine Command Course, and the Royal Australian Navy’s Submarine Executive Officer Course. He holds a Master of Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University, and a Certificate in Fire Service Leadership from Dalhousie University.
Philipp Schön, Head of Sales thyssenkrupp Marine Systems Hamburg, Deutschland
Philipp Schön is Head of Sales of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, the world market leader in non-nuclear submarine construction. He came to thyssenkrupp by way of its acquisition of the HDW-Group, where he was responsible for submarine sales through various positions in Germany and abroad.
Philipp Schön is a Naval Architect by education as well as an economist. Before joining the submarine team of Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft he did short periods for internationally renowned shipyards and shipowners.
RAdm Dario Giacomin, Chief of Submarine Forces, Italian Navy
Born in Trieste in 1961, after attending the Naval Academy, he qualified submariner in 1984 and then held various positions, on board, progressively up to Commanding Officer of the Submarines MOCENIGO and DANDOLO (Toti Class) and LONGOBARDO (Sauro Class).
He then commanded the frigate GRECALE, the Second Corvette Squadron - also acting as an instructor at the School of Naval Command in Augusta, Sicily and the Aircraft Carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi.
During his career he was assigned to the Submarine Dept. of the Italian Navy General Staff, to the Submarine Program Office of the Naval Procurement Directorate, to the Joint Defence Staff as the Deputy Chief of Strategic Planning Office.
He attended the Senior Course at the NATO Defence College and the Combined Joint Staff Institute Course in Rome. More recently, he has been Defence and Naval Attaché to the UK, Ireland and Iceland.
In October 2014 he has been appointed Chief of the Submarine Service of the Italian Navy, including responsibilities of Staff, Operational Command and Procurement. In addition, during the year 2015, he acted also as Fleet Command Chief of Staff.
Rear Admiral Dario Giacomin was honoured as Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. His decorations include a Ribbon and Silver Medals for long Navigation, for long Command and for long Service, a ribbon and medal for the Operation Active Endeavour, and, of course, the submariners’ badge of honour.
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