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Q&A released with Colonel Andrew Clark, US Air Force ahead of the Airborne ISR Conference in two weeks


With only two weeks to go until SMi’s 5th Annual Airborne ISR conference, taking place on 23rd-24th October 2019 in London, the event will provide the ideal platform to explore an array of new 5th generation unmanned and manned platforms, well-established NATO programmes, the emergence of cutting-edge technology and the future of airborne ISR.

For those interested in attending the conference, places are filling fast. Register at

Ahead of conference, SMi Group caught up with Colonel Andrew Clark, Commander 9th Reconnaissance Wing, United States Air Force to find more about his role, current projects, future perspectives and the upcoming event. View a snapshot of the speaker interview below.

Q: As an extremely capable platform for over 60 years, how has the U-2 maintained its relevance as an ISR asset?
A: "Evolution. The U-2 continues to survive when faced with on-going threat of sunset. For the past 60 years, successive generations of the U-2 have, in accordance with Darwinian theory, embodied, ‘evolutionary descent with modification.’ Each new aircraft configuration is qualitatively different and more capable than the next. Today, the U-2 continues to inform next-generation technology…."

Q: What are you most looking forward to about SMi’s Airborne ISR conference?
A: "Listening. Over the past 18 months, we have transformed the U-2 program as we know it. We have demonstrated what many considered impossible. However, we must keep our eyes and ears open to new thought. A noted teacher, Brenda Ueland, wrote, "Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.” I look forward to new ideas, and creative inspiration, from the global thought leaders of ISR…."

For the full speaker interview, please go to the download section on the website at

Key presentation titles and the respective speakers include:

  • Managing NATO’s C2 Capabilities with the E3 AWACS Fleet to Monitor Air and Land Threats. Presented by Major General Jörg Lebert, Commander Airborne Early Warning & Control Force, NATO
  • Delivering an Integrated System for NATO Ground Surveillance to Produce Common Intelligence. Presented by Brigadier General Volker Samanns, General Manager NATO Airborne Ground Surveillance Management Agency, NATO
  • The U-2 Today and Tomorrow: The Future of High-Altitude Reconnaissance. Presented by Colonel Andrew Clark, Commander 9th Reconnaissance Wing, United States Air Force
  • Upgrading Legacy Platforms to Provide Enhanced ISR Capabilities for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Presented by Colonel Brendan Cook, Commander 14 Wing, Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Discussing German ISR Capabilities in the 51st Tactical Air Wing. Presented by Colonel Kristof Conrath, Commander 51 Tactical Air Wing, German Air Force
  • Leveraging System Capabilities to Produce Actionable Intelligence in Operations. Presented by Colonel Jason Lamb, Director Intelligence Analysis and Innovation, United States Air Force
  • Optimising Air Fleets for 5th Generation Maritime Patrol. Presented by Group Captain David Titheridge, Air Force Advisor Australian High Commission, Royal Australian Air Force
  • Operating with the Distributed Common Ground System to Provide Multi-Branch Intelligence. Presented by Colonel Tracy Ward, Commander 693rd Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, United States Air Force
  • And many more.

Attend the event in two weeks’ time to hear insight from those nations at the forefront of delivering airborne intelligence.

Airborne ISR Conference
23rd – 24th October 2019
Copthorne Tara Hotel, London, UK

Gold Sponsor: Leonardo
Sponsors: Airbus, Horizon Technologies, Intelsat General Corporation

For sponsorship and exhibitor enquiries, contact Sadia Malick on +44 (0) 207 827 6130 or

For delegate enquiries, contact James Hitchen on +44 (0) 207 827 6054 or

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About SMi Group: Established since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world’s most forward-thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at