Air Marshal Philip Sturley CB, MBE, BSc, FRAeS, RAF (Retd), UK 

Air Marshal Philip Sturley read Aeronautics and Astronautics at Southampton University and then attended the RAF College Cranwell, where he was awarded the Sword of Honour. As a pilot, Air Marshal Sturley has achieved over 6000 hours flying on over 100 aircraft types; the majority of fast jet flying was on the Phantom, Jaguar and Tornado in the tactical reconnaissance and attack roles, later flying VC10, Hercules, Tristar, Twin Squirrel, BAE 146, BAE 125 and Islander aircraft.


Air Marshal Sturley has filled a wide range of staff posts including joint, combined and NATO appointments. In 1993, he was the first NATO LO to the UN in the Former Yugoslavia, to organise air support for UNPROFOR, before taking up the post of Secretary to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels. On return to the UK in 1998, he became Senior Air Staff Officer Strike Command and Air Officer Commanding No 38 Group. During this time he was Director of Operations for RAF air operations in the Kosovo campaign. He was appointed Assistant Chief of the Air Staff in London in September 2000 and, on promotion to air marshal, was Chief of Staff HQ AIRNORTH at Ramstein in Germany until March 2005, with responsibility for establishing ISAF air operations in Afghanistan. 


Air Marshal Philip Sturley retired from the active list in October 2005, but continues to serve as a reserve officer. He is Lead Mentor to the Higher Command and Staff Course at the UK Defence Academy, and he has spent 8 years as Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Defence Committee in London. He also regularly chairs international military conferences, and acts as adviser to Tangent Link Ltd. 

H.E. Maj. Gen. Staff Pilot Stephen A. Toumajan Commander – Joint Avation Command (JAC) and General Manager – National Search and Rescue Center (NSRC), UAE 

H.E. Major General Staff Pilot Stephen Toumajan is the Commander and Senior Aviation Advisor for the Joint Aviation Command (JAC).  Specifically responsible for the combat readiness and execution of all aviation missions and training for UAE forces and numerous Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) aviation programs.


In addition, His Excellency (H.E.) is the General Manager of the UAE National Search and Rescue Center (NSRC).  The NSRC is responsible for all civilan Search and Rescue (SAR) operations within the UAE’s Air and Maritime SAR Region.


H.E. M.G. Toumajan has 30 years of aviation experience with Presidential and executive level management and world-wide operational experiences as a Special Operations Aviation Officer and combat pilot.  Prior to commanding the Joint Aviation Command, M.G. Toumajan served as the Commander of Group18 Special Operations supplying Special Operations Aviation support for all UAE SOF activities.


Prior to joining UAE forces, M.G. Toumajan served the Aviation Task Force Commander in Iraq.  Other career highlights include US Army as Operations Officer for Aviation, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) Fort Bragg, NC.  Several Instructor positions, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, KS, Aviation subject matter expert and instructor at Command and General Staff college.  M.G. Toumajan also served as Company Commander, Special Operations Officer, Assistant Brigade Training Officer, Budget and Supply Logistics Officer, Platoon Leader in units such as 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne and the 160th Special Operations.  Awarded and schooling include the Bronze Star, Ranger Tab, Master Aviator Wings, Senior Jumpmaster, Air Assault, SERE Training, Attending Infantry OBC and Aviation Advanced Courses.


H.E. M.G. Toumajan is currently President of AUSA UAE Chapter.  He has been a member of several Board of Directors including Knowledge Point International and Horizon Flight Academy International and Board of Directors for Horizon Flight Academy and AMMROC Maintenance Company.


H.E. M.G. Toumajan holds an Executive-MBA from Benedictine College 2000, KS and a BS Management/Marketing degree from UNC – Wilmington, NC 1985-1987.  Graduate of Marion Military Institute and Hargrave Military Academy.  Currently Enrolled Doctorate – Business Administration ABMS – University of Switzerland.

Lt. Commander Richard Burke, U.S. Coastguard (ret), Advisor to the Training Directorate, National Search and Rescue Center, UAE

Currently serving as the Search and Rescue Advisor to the Training Directorate of the National Search and Rescue Center of the UAE. Richard has Master’s degrees in Organizational Management and Emergency Management.  He previously served as a Search and Rescue Consultant to the Critical National Infrastructure Authority of the UAE and as a Search and Rescue Consultant to the Knowledge Group in Abu Dhabi. 
Richard Burke is a retired Lieutenant Commander from the United States Coast Guard, serving 33 years. He has broad based operational search and rescue experience to include command of three (03) U.S. Coast Guard Cutters and command of five (05) U.S. Coast Guard Stations to include the two (02) largest Stations in the United States. While serving as Commanding Officer of U.S. Coast Guard Station New York Richard oversaw the prosecution of 1500+ search and rescue missions, the enforcement of laws and treaties, and the protection of 240+ critical and iconic sites. Additionally, he personally commanded Coast Guard Forces during the successful rescue of 153 souls aboard U.S. Airways flight 1549 which landed on the Hudson River in January 2009.

Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President Safety and Security,  Inmarsat Maritime, UK 

Peter Broadhurst is Senior Vice President of Safety and Security at Inmarsat Maritime, responsible for the development of the company’s safety and security services. Peter will define the strategy, development and evolution of Inmarsat’s satellite communication services for maritime safety, navigation, safety of life at sea and data security. 


Peter started his career at Inmarsat in 2014 as Vice President of Service Delivery for the Maritime business unit, where he was responsible for leading the development of products and services from conception and implementation, through to launch and life cycle management. Peter was instrumental in the launch of Inmarsat’s high-speed broadband service Fleet Xpress launched in March 2016. 


With over 25 years’ experience in the maritime industry, Peter began his career at sea as a Radio Officer, before running his own business and working for a maritime distributor. Peter then spent 15 years with Sea Tel Inc., / Cobham SATCOM as Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he was responsible for overseeing and managing global sales, support, marketing, training and product management.


Peter has a HND Electronics, Marine Radio General Certificate, Radar and Marine Navigation Aids accreditation from Wray Castle Merchant Navy School, and holds an Open University, BSc (Hons) First Class degree on Radio Frequency Systems.


Greg Davis, Founder & CEO and Colleen Jones, Sales & Marketing, Overwatch Imaging, USA 

Greg founded Overwatch Imaging in 2016 to enable aircraft and unmanned aerial systems to more easily and automatically find small objects of interest.  Prior to that, he worked as the director of product management and business development for Cloud Cap Technology, a UTC Aerospace Systems (now Collins Aerospace) company, and as a program manager at Insitu, a UAS company acquired by Boeing.  At Insitu, he led the development of the RQ-21A Blackjack (also known as Integrator) unmanned aircraft for the US Navy and managed several ScanEagle technology advancement projects and overseas deployment contracts.


Prior to Insitu, he worked on space-based classified remote sensing systems for Lockheed Martin, and on aircraft and spacecraft simulation for NASA.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Gorge Technology Alliance, a regional industry consortium representing one of the leading airborne information technology hubs in the world.  Greg earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics, both from Stanford University, and he is an instrument-rated private pilot.

Colleen Jones, Sales & Marketing, Overwatch Imaging, USA

Colleen Mannelly Jones is in sales and marketing for Overwatch Imaging.  She has had an extensive career in sales, sales management and nonprofit fundraising in higher education and K-12 market.

Douglas MacDonald, recently Head of Aviation Operations, Maritime & Coastguard Agency, UK 

Dougie was educated at Strathclyde (BSc) and Salve Regina (MA) universities. During three decades of Naval Service he specialised in mine clearance diving and anti-submarine warfare, enjoying two sea commands.  Ashore, he held a variety of appointments ranging from Fellow at the US Navy's Strategic Research Department, looking at networked information systems, to Deputy Director of the Royal Navy's Maritime Warfare Centre, looking at all aspects of warfare development. 


On joining HM Coastguard in 2008 as Deputy Chief, he became responsible for; counter pollution operations, maritime environmental legislation, search and rescue (SAR) standards for rescue co-ordination and the Coastguard Rescue Service, the Receiver of Wreck, resilience planning and the management of Maritime Fire Incident Response.   In 2012, when the new UK SAR helicopter programme was transferred to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, he refocused his attention to head aviation operations. 

David Edwards, Chair, ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group on SAR /International SAR Expert, US Coast Guard, USA 

Dave Edwards has a long history in the United States Coast Guard, including operational maritime search and rescue response; and, four years at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center as an instructor in its Officer Candidate School. He now serves as an expert on both the national and international level for SAR policy, standards, practices and procedures. Since 2006 Mr. Edwards has served as Chairman of the International Joint Working Group on Search and Rescue comprised of 16 SAR experts convened under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). He serves as the U.S. Coast Guard’s primary international expert and focal point for SAR in the full range of global, regional, and national forums.   

Nigel Clifford

Deputy Director Safety & Response Systems, Maritime New Zealand, New Zealand


Nigel Clifford is the Deputy Director – Safety and Response Services, for Maritime New Zealand – the maritime safety authority in New Zealand. He has worked for Maritime NZ since 2008 and his current responsibilities include maritime incident response, marine pollution response, national coordination of Search and Rescue services, marine communications and aids to navigation, Pacific Island maritime safety support and maritime intelligence. He is responsible for the performance of the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand who co-ordinate all the national level SAR responses in New Zealand’s SAR region and for delivery of integrated maritime incident response capability by the agency to the New Zealand Government.


Nigel works extensively in the international maritime incident response arena including at the International Maritime Organisation - where he is vice chair of the Navigation, Communication and Search and Rescue sub-committee and Chair of the Search and Rescue Working Group – and at the emergency distress beacon organisation Cospas-Sarsat. He was part of the Maritime New Zealand senior management team involved in the response to the RENA and was the Exercise Director for the Whakautu series of large-scale, multi-party, maritime incident response exercises held in New Zealand in recent years.


Prior to working for Maritime New Zealand, Nigel was in the United Kingdom Royal Air Force for 25 years as an operational fast jet pilot and flying instructor - on Tornado strike aircraft and Hawk trainers. He also undertook roles in operational requirements, procurement and project management and finished as a squadron commander on a fast jet training squadron. During his time in the air force he flew extensively in the Gulf region and on exchange duties with the Royal New Zealand Air Force flying the Douglas A4 Skyhawk including deployments across South East Asia to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.


Leaving the UK RAF in 2006 Nigel moved with his family to New Zealand and joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force for a staff tour in operational requirements and project management before joining Maritime New Zealand. 

Paul Craven, Deputy Manager (Operations), Maritime New Zealand, New Zealand

Paul Craven has been with the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) a division of Maritime New Zealand for 8 years, first as their Training Manager and for the last four years as the Operations Manager. 


Paul is responsible for the 24/7 Search and Rescue Officers who coordinate all category two search and rescue activity within New Zealand’s 30 million square kilometer search and rescue region. 


He is also the Logistics Manager for Maritime New Zealand’s National Response Team (NRT) which is responsible for managing large scale maritime incidents. In this role Paul spent three months working on the MV Rena oil spill in 2011. 


More recently Paul was seconded to assist AMSA with the Solomon Trader oil spill at Rennell Island in the Solomon’s. Prior to joining RCCNZ Paul was a Master and Training Officer for the Royal New Zealand Coastguard. 


Lieutenant Roy Cromer, Senior Instructor, National Search and Rescue School, U.S. Coast Guard, USA


Lieutenant Roy Cromer is the Senior Instructor at the National Search and Rescue School in Yorktown, Virginia.  He leads the design, development, and delivery of search and rescue training to a wide variety of students from the U.S. Coast Guard and other federal, state, local, and international partner agencies.  


Prior to his assignment in Yorktown, Lieutenant Cromer served as Chief of the Command Center at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  In that role, he led a workforce consisting of Coast Guard active duty, reserve, and civilian employees in executing the mission of the Sector’s 24-hour operations center.  He also acted as Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, overseeing the response to more than 150 search and rescue cases within his area of responsibility.  


His other assignments include member of the Deputy Commandant for Operations Executive Staff at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Assistant Operations Officer on the Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba in Boston, Massachusetts. 


Lieutenant Cromer graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Government.  He attended the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary, where he earned a Master of Business Administration in 2019.  


His military awards include the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal, Commandant Letter of Commendation, and multiple team and unit awards. 

Peter Walker, Global Sales Director, Viking Air Limited, Canada

Peter Walker is the “Global Sales Director“ for Viking Aircraft Ltd - Special Missions department Worldwide whose professional aviation career has spanned more than 25 years.


An active and avid aviator whose passion and experience in general aviation has led Peter through Private Aviation to competing in the World Aerobatic Championships in 1997 and Peter currently holds an FAA ATP, South African ATP and Canadian ATP (active and current) licenses.


Peter’s passion specializing in “Special Missions” solutions within the aviation arena has always been a focal point with a philosophy of “constant learning will remain my mantra” being instrumental and cognitive in the development of SAR/ISR solutions working closely with customers’ requirements and responsible for Vikings Guardian 400 Series Twin Otter demonstrator aircraft customized to SAR requirements.

Marcus Gurtner, CSO, Airborne Technologies GmbH, Austria

Marcus Gurtner is CSO and co-founder of Airborne Technologies. As an EASA certified Design and Production Organisation the company is devoted to the mission of making sensors airborne.


From the very beginning though, his career has been aviation dedicated.


He started as a sales manager for standard and mission aircraft. Over the years he has focused on special sensor applications for fixed and rotary wing platforms. Through continuous cooperation with leading industry players, he has established a firm corporate network of partners and friends. With more than 15 years of experience and counting, he is an expert in the field of airborne surveillance. His present interest involves the perfect interplay of mission equipment and platform in support of civilian and government requirements. 

Yousef al Ali, Head of MCC Section, National Search and Rescue Center, UAE 

Yousef was a Naval Officer in the United Arab Emirates Navy.  He has a Bachelor in Naval Science.  He has served in the United Arab Emirates Rescue Coordination Center since 2006.  He currently is the Section Head in the National Search and Rescue Center for all issues relating to COSPAS-SARSAT obligations, compliance and operations.


Yousef’s operational experience was as a small patrol boat Captain and specialized in search and rescue small boat operations.  Since joining the RCC, Yousef has primarily been involved in the establishment of the UAE Mission Control Center in Abu Dhabi.  Yousef oversaw the certification of the MCC into the overarching COSPAS-SARSAT and Global SAR Plan.


Yousef led an outreach program with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and other entities designed to reduce false alarm rates.

Andrew Tarr, Director / Technical Specialist, IT Rescue Solutions Ltd, New Zealand


Andrew Tarr established the company IT Rescue Solutions to deliver specialised solutions for Search and Rescue and Emergency Management Providers. Andrew has also designed and implemented several custom solutions for international and national clients.


Before establishing IT Rescue Solutions, Andrew was a Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator for the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) and a Training Officer and SAR Tutor responsible for the delivery of regional training with the Royal New Zealand Coastguard.


Before joining Maritime New Zealand (RCCNZ), Andrew spent several years working on special projects and enterprise network architecture for the New Zealand Government.

Gemma Alcock, Founder & CEO, SkyBound Rescuer, UK 

Gemma Alcock is an award-winning innovator and respected thought-leader in the use of drones for emergency response and public safety. Gemma was selected in a prestigious competition as the woman making the most difference in drones for search and rescue (SAR) around the world, receiving the title of the ‘Woman to Watch in UAS 2018’.


Gemma’s background in both SAR and in technology, and love of aerial systems (borne of her passion for skydiving), set the foundation for a fascinating piece of work exploring the utility of drones for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and their search capability. Her thorough research brought ideas to life and her work informed greatly the Future SAR Innovation programme in the RNLI.


After which, she founded SkyBound Rescuer to optimise drone performance for all Emergency Services. Since founding the company, Gemma has worked with many Emergency Services to develop their drone capabilities and with drone-related companies to create better public safety drone solutions. She has been involved in several cutting-edge national-level research projects for the UK and abroad, and has research published in International Fire Fighter, UK Fire Mag, Crisis Response, to name a few – in many countries around the world.


Gemma is also the Director of Air Services for Lowland Rescue – a UK charity that searches for missing vulnerable people on behalf of police forces. Gemma leads the air services team that ensures that all volunteers can work effectively and safely with SAR helicopters and drones.