Mr Andrew Ford is a Senior EW Systems Engineer and Project Manager with BAE Systems Australia. Andrew has 25 year experience in EW from both the operational and industry perspectives and holds a Master’s degree in Military System Integration through the Defence and Systems Institute, University of South Australia.

Andrew joined the RAAF in 1990 and served 6 years with No.11 Squadron, Maritime Patrol Group as an Airborne Electronics Analyst accumulating 1900 flying hours on the P-3C Orion. Subsequently, Andrew was posted to EW Squadron (now Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit) for 2 years as a Senior Platforms Analyst supporting the reprogramming of operational EW systems. While at EW Squadron, Andrew’s section received an Officer Commanding ARDU commendation for operational support to forces deployed to the Middle East.

In 1998, Andrew commenced undergraduate studies in Electrical and Electronic Engineering through The University of Adelaide, graduating with honours in 2001. In 2002 he joined industry with Tenix Defence and over the past 14 years has gained experience in all engineering development phases, to deliver a diverse range of complex, multi-disciplined, R&D and capability acquisition projects in the maritime and air domains.

More recently, Andrew has managed several projects to integrate EW self-protection and Threat Simulation systems into pods for airborne T&E, utilising commercial fixed and rotary wing aircraft. These projects have been in support of both operational EW systems and new EW systems entering service.


Wing Commander Joe Bennett joined the RAAF in July 1989 via the Undergraduate Scheme following several years in the agricultural industry.  WGCDR Bennett graduated from the University of Adelaide with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1991.  His first posting was as an engineering officer at 292 SQN providing mission system software support to the P-3C maritime patrol aircraft.

WGCDR Bennett has filled a number of positions in a range of Defence Materiel Organisation Major Aerospace acquisition projects.  Earlier postings include the AP-3C Refurbishment program based in Greenville Texas (1995 – 1999) and at Maritime Patrol System Program Organisation (MPSPO) Engineering Manager for the AP-3C ESM Obsolescence Update Project (2006 – 2007).  WGCDR Bennett also held several positions within the Wedgetail Resident Program Team in Baltimore and Seattle USA (2007 – mid 2012), including Radar Engineer, Mission System Lead and finally the RPT Engineering Manager.

From 2000 – 2002 WGCDR Bennett was posted to the Directorate General Technical Airworthiness, RAAF Williams, as the ADF Aerospace System Safety Engineering desk officer.  This position included the role of Airworthiness Certification liaison officer for several Major programs, including the AP-3C, the ARH, and Seahawk.

From 2003 – 2005 WGCDR Bennett held several positions at the Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit (JEWOSU), including Senior Design Engineer, Executive Officer and OIC of Electronic Warfare Systems Flight.  A highlight of his career followed when WGCDR Bennett later returned as Commanding Officer JEWOSU (mid 2012 – 2014).

WGCDR Bennett currently is the Director of MPSPO’s P-8A Sustainment Management Unit which is charged with establishing the sustainment capability for the soon to be acquired P-8A weapon system.

WGCDR Bennett lives in Athelstone, SA, with his wife Paula, a Registered Nurse Manager working in the aged care sector.  They have three adult sons Hayden, Daniel and Alex who are now leading independent lives.  His external interests include Film, Living Space Design, Gardening and Bushwalking.


Air Vice-Marshal Nicholson was born and attended school in Northam, WA. He joined the RAAF in 1968 after graduating from the University of Western Australia. He completed his pilot training at RAAF Base Pearce on the first all-through jet course and was posted to RAAF Base Williamtown for operational conversion to the Mirage aircraft. He subsequently served at Butterworth, Malaysia flying the Mirage in the tactical fighter role.

In 1973 Air Vice-Marshal Nicholson attended the Empire Test Pilots' School at RAF Boscombe Down where he won the McKenna Trophy as dux of his course. Following this training he was posted to Aircraft Research and Development Unit at RAAF Base Laverton and later moved with the unit to RAAF Base Edinburgh. He has served as a test pilot, Flight Commander and Squadron Commander with ARDU and has flown over 3,000 hours on 40 different aircraft types. He also holds a Commercial Pilot's Licence and is endorsed on several general aviation aircraft.

From 1988 to 1990 Air Vice-Marshal Nicholson was the inaugural Officer Commanding of RAAF Base Tindal and during this period was also the Sector Air Defence Commander of the Northern Sector. In 1992 he was the first RAAF officer appointed as Commander Northern Command where he was responsible for its reorganisation into the first integrated Joint Force Command of the Australian Defence Force. He was admitted as a Member of the Order of Australia in the 1995 Australia Day Honours for this work.

Air Vice-Marshal Nicholson is a graduate of the RAAF Staff College, the USAF Air War College and the National Defence College of Canada. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Public Administration. He has held staff appointments in the Air and Engineering Staff of Air Force Office, as the Director of the Office of the Chief of the Air Staff and as the Director of Project Requirements for the Jindalee project. After a short period as Chief of Operations at Headquarters Air Command, he was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal and appointed Air Commander Australia on 9 April 1996. As a result of his work as Air Commander, he was admitted as an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 1999 Australia Day Honours.

Air Vice-Marshal Nicholson was appointed Head Strategic Policy and Plans, Australian Defence Headquarters on 9 June 1998. In this position, he was responsible for the formulation of strategic policy, the development of military strategy and operational capability policy. His most recent appointment on 1 July 1999 as Head C4ISREW Capability Staff has seen a shift of focus to high technology policy direction and capability development for the ADF.

In addition to an abiding interest in international affairs, military strategy and airpower, Air Vice-Marshal Nicholson is an enthusiastic but unskilled surfer and skier. He and his wife Marie have two adult children, Jeremy, a graduate of the Canberra School of Art who works as a graphics designer, and Amelia, who is studying at the University of Melbourne.


Jurgen Opfer has spent over 30 years working in the Defence ICT field, working for companies such as; Honeywell Aerospace & Defence Group in the US where he worked on the Space Shuttle project in secure data communications, and in Australia as their avionics Tech Rep. He later worked in engineering roles at Hewlett Packard.

He established his own company in 1986 providing technical consultancy & training for defence & associated agencies. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers and a member of the IEEE, & the IEEE Aerospace Electronic Systems society. He has been a member of the Association of Old Crows, the Electronic Warfare and Information Operations Association since 1986, and was elected to the board of directors in 2006.

Jurgen is a member of the International Cyber Threat Task Force (ICTTF) and a participating member of the Standards Australia Committee IT-012-04 Data Security Techniques. He is an accomplished author and presenter, having written numerous training manuals and course materials for an extensive number of organisations. In 2010 he presented a paper on Cyber Warfare at the Bi-annual International AOC convention in Adelaide. He then presented an updated version at the next conference in 2012. He then presented a similar paper but modified to have more engineering focus at the inaugural Cyber security seminar for the Institute of Engineers Australia.  In 2013 he presented a paper on “The Overlap between Electronic Warfare and Information Warfare” at the Australian Defence magazine Cyber Security Summit in June.

He has a Master’s degree in Transnational Crime Prevention, having read in subjects such as; Cybercrime, Security and Intelligence policy, Counter terrorism, Corruption, International criminal law and Australia’s International Defence & Security Arrangements. He has three technical books in publication through Information Australia and has written extensively for Australian trade publications.

In 2011 Jurgen wrote the Feature Article on Terrorism, in September for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 Edition of Security Solutions Magazine. Later that year the Magazine published its 75th issue and asked him to write an article on Corruption and Arms Trafficking. In 2012 they again asked him to write a feature article, this time on the Security implications of Social Networking. He also wrote the lead article on Cyber warfare for the May 2012 Cyber special edition for Australian Defence Magazine.

Jurgen started working for Fujitsu Australia Ltd in February 2012 initially on a bid for the Defence Intelligence community. He was then selected as the D-WAN Chief Engineer. Jurgen has also helped out at times, in a senior architectural and consultancy role for MDM security on behalf of a number of Fujitsu’s high profile customers including; another federal government department, a bank and Qantas.


Dr Thomas (Tom) Millhouse is a Consultant Engineer with Nova Systems, with over 15 years military and defence industry experience specialising in the fields of Electronic Warfare (EW), Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Signals Intelligence. Tom is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and holds Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Engineering from the University of NSW and a PhD in signal processing from the University of Sydney.

As a former Royal Australian Air Force Engineering Officer he spent time in operation, acquisition and sustainment roles with the ADF’s EW capability through postings at JEWOSUDSD and the DMO. In these roles he was actively involved in operations and support of EW systems for mission critical ISR and self-protection systems on multiple platforms in all ADF domains.  During his time in Defence, Tom provided support to multiple tactical and strategic EW groups throughout the recent Middle East conflict extending from CIED capability in the Land Domain, to Naval ESM systems and airborne self-protection and countermeasures.  He was awarded an Officer Commanding Aerospace Operational Support Group commendation in 2004 for his work in supporting the C-130H deployments into the Middle East.

Since moving into Industry, Tom has supported Industry and Government as a specialist EW Engineer in the acquisition of EW systems for major ADF platforms; Wedgetail, Air Warfare Destroyer, F/A-18G Growler and the Mobile EW Threat Emitter System and was recently contracted by DGNICW to develop the EW operational support architecture for future Navy EW.

Tom has presented papers on topical Electronic Warfare and force protection issues at AOC conferences in Washington 2011, Malaysia 2012 and Adelaide 2012 and has served on previous AOC technical planning committees for the Adelaide 2012 and Malaysia 2012 conferences. Tom also lectures widely for Nova Systems and the Australian Government on EW, Operational Test and Evaluation and Force Protection.


Dr Brad Ferguson is currently the Combat System Chief Architect for the Air Warfare Destroyer Project at Raytheon. In this role he is responsible for the technical design integrity of the Combat System and provides technical leadership to the 100+ strong engineering team responsible for the design, specification, procurement, integration and testing of the Combat System for Australia’s Air Warfare Destroyers. He has a particular emphasis on the AWD EW suite, carried on from his previous role as the EW Project Lead.

Brad Ferguson has over 14 years of experience in EW industry. Prior to his current role at Raytheon, he worked in Tenix’s Electronic Systems Division on several EW projects including the Cuttlefish Radar Electronic Attack system, the SIDEARM photonic link augmentation for EW receivers and the MENACER radar.

Brad Ferguson has BE and PhD degrees from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Adelaide. He is a past recipient of several awards including the AOC Industry Award, the South Australian Tall Poppy award, the Fulbright Scholarship and the Engineers Australia SA Young Professional Engineer of the Year. He has authored and co-authored more than 25 peer-reviewed publications and has been accepted into the US-based Raytheon Engineering Leadership Development Program. His research interests include radar and EW digital signal processing and THz imaging.

Brad seeks to enhance the rejuvenated AOC General Meetings program to support networking and information exchange between members and ensure that the 2014 AOC Symposium maintains the high standards for which it is renowned.


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.

Future Events

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 a return to a Command, Project or Engagement role at the next rank and continuing the growth of Australia's EW, IO and Cyber capabilities.

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