Fernando has served in the RAAF since 1983 in the Avionics, Technical Airworthiness and Electronic Warfare fields, holding a Bachelor of Computer Systems Engineering Honours degree and Master of Science in Electronic Warfare and is a graduate of the Indonesian Air Force Command and Staff Course.
His JEWOSU service includes F111 EWSP, Ground ESM (earning an Air Commander Australia commendation for engineering excellence, creating a satellite networked Radar detecting Air Defence vehicle), EW Instructor, OIC EW Systems, Senior Design Engineer, and a key role in creating the Australian Counter-Improvised Explosive Device CIED operational support capability.
He served in Afghanistan during most of 2011 as ISAF Joint Command's Chief of CIED Electronic Counter Measure Operations, directing and advising on employment of CIED ground and air technologies as Capability Manager for 50 coalition nations while assisting in frontline Explosive Ordnance investigation. Given his strong technical background, he took upon himself the electronic and mechanical redesign of a problematic EOD robot system in the field, resulting in a modification program for 600 units issued to Coalition partners. His technical insight was also applied to spectrum challenges ranging from communications to UAV guidance systems.
On his return, he led a team performing aircraft modification and data telemetry for flight test at Aerospace Systems Engineering Squadron and followed this with the post of ADF Airworthiness Standards Representative and Senior Design Engineer for Aeronautical Life Support Equipment.
As a serving military member, he seeks to ensure current operational input to Old Crows business, maintaining relevance with latest industry trends and the war fighter's needs. As President, he showed a determination for greater engagement geographically and professionally, involving greater activity nationally and regionally and with the related fields of EW, IO, and Cyber. He enjoys significant involvement in AOC and other industry-related events as organiser, educator and contributing speaker.
Now posted to Melbourne, he has been President of the Australian AOC Chapter, long-standing President of Adelaide's Spanish Radio, Vice President of the South Australian Division of Engineers Australia, Commanding Officer of 613 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets and a regular engager with the public in many representational roles including career sessions and ceremonial events.
As a fluent Spanish and Indonesian speaker (Category 4 linguist), he often provides concurrent translation for international visits. Fernando spends his remaining time mentoring young people in mathematics, science, leadership and the EW and Engineering professions. As Director of the STEMSEL Foundation, he engages with a range of organisations at all levels of education from primary to tertiary to provide underprivileged children with technology opportunities as part of national reconciliation and microbusiness development, with a strong focus on growing Australia's international reputation for education and innovation.
Fernando has presented at the 2006 Land Warfare Conference in Brisbane, EW Asia 2011 Conference in Singapore, the 2012 STANZ Conference in Sydney, the 2012 AOC Convention and Engineering Leadership Conference, both in Adelaide, Land Warfare Conference in Melbourne, EW Asia 2012 in Kuala Lumpur and to Engineers Australia in 2013. At the International RADAR2013 conference held in Adelaide he presented Unlocking the Mysteries of Radar, a free-to-the-public lecture on radar technologies. His conference presentation on surveillance technologies at EW Asia 2014 in Kuala Lumpur in March occurred just as the infamous Malaysian Airlines flight went missing! Since, then, he condensed and presented his radar lecture as part of the AOC's Virtual Webinar series, which can be viewed at AOC Virtual Webinar - Unlocking the Mysteries of Radar.
He enjoyed immensely his role as Chair and presenter at Adelaide's highly successful AOC Australasia Convention in August 2014.
Fernando completed his 2014 activities as invited ADF guest presenter at EW GCC on 18/19 November 2014 in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and at the Awards Night and AGM where he passed his presidency to WGCDR Joe Bennett for the 2015/16 term. In 2015 he studied Indonesian full time ahead of a 15-month posting to Indonesian Air Force Command and Staff Course.
Posted to Headquarters Air Force Training Group in Melbourne with his wife Elena and leaving their adult son Carlos in Adelaide, Fernando ends his role as Immediate Past President by re-entering as Secretary, in order to contribute corporate knowledge and develop new members, and aspires to return to a Command, Project or Engagement role at the next rank and continuing the growth of Australia's EW, IO and Cyber capabilities.