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Defence and Security Strategy

The U.S. and its allies are serious about battling corrosion on aging aircraft, ships, submarines, and ground vehicles. This vision received further boost last week when officials from the DoD Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office and the German, French, and U.K. ministries of defense gathered to compare best practices in combating material degradation on weapon systems and facilities at a four-day workshop (April 23-26), at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany.

"This is the first time that policy and technical experts have convened to share corrosion prevention policies, practices, and scientific expertise since the NATO School was founded in 1954," said Daniel J. Dunmire, director of the DoD Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office. "Because Germany, France, and the United Kingdom are vigorously pursuing their own technological solutions to prevent corrosion. It only makes sense that we cooperate to discuss our greatest challenges and the best means of tackling them. We began securing international exchange agreements with our NATO allies in 2007."

On Tuesday, speakers representing the German, French, and U.K. ministries of defense discussed the importance of corrosion prevention and control to their agencies. Corrosion Office Chief Engineer Dick Kinzie briefed attendees about DoD's ongoing cost of corrosion study of weapon systems and infrastructure, addressing how European defense ministries might tailor U.S. methodologies to suit their own needs. Matt Koch, Corrosion Prevention and Control Program Manager, outlined U.S. Marine Corps initiatives to reduce corrosion costs for ground and amphibious vehicles. Dunmire and Corrosion Office staff members also discussed how they provide direction to DoD and federal government agencies through policy guidance, inter-service collaboration, research and technology oversight, and the promulgation of maintenance practices that prevent corrosion.

Participating organizations that reviewed their institutional support of DoD's multifaceted educational objectives included NACE International, The Corrosion Society, The Society for Protective Coatings, National Center for Education and Research on Corrosion and Materials Performance at The University of Akron, and Aalen University.

"DoD's commitment to partnering with allied nations complements NACE International's dedication to its large international membership," said Bob Chalker, executive director of NACE International and a NATO seminar speaker. "More than 15,000 NACE members live outside the United States, and we strongly support initiatives, including education, conferences, and publications, that will benefit those members who work in military organizations."