Air Commodore Albert De Smit (NDL AF)
Air Commodore (Bert) “Vidal” de Smit is currently Director Operations at the Royal Netherlands Air Force Headquarters.
Bert de Smit started his military career in 1990 at the Officers School at Woensdrecht Air Base.
In 1992 he received his American Wings at Sheppard AFB, TX after completing the Euro- NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program graduating top of his class.
In 1993 he received his Dutch Wings after completing F-16 Initial Qualification Training in Tucson, AZ also graduating top of his class. As an F-16 pilot he started his flying career at 322 Fighter Squadron located at Leeuwarden Air Base.
During the period 1995 to 1998 he was deployed multiple times to participate in missions over the Balkans, both in Peace Keeping as Peace Enforcing missions.
In 1998 the Royal Netherlands Air Force started its transition to the modernized Mid-Life Update F-16, in which he played an important role. He actively led the effort in drafting Tactics, Techniques and Procedures maximizing the use of this new capability. Subsequently, he played a crucial role in the first use of this capability during Mission Deliberate Force over Kosovo and Serbia.
After successfully completing the Dutch Weapon Instructor Course at Leeuwarden Air Base in 2001, he was assigned as Assistant Director Operations at 322 Fighter Squadron in the rank of major. As a weapons officer he was responsible for the squadron pilots Combat Readiness.
In the period 2002 – 2007 he was assigned to the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) located in Washington DC in the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He held various positions during that period, in which he worked F-35 requirements and supported the Netherlands acquisition decision for procurement of the F-35.
In 2008 he graduated from the Senior Staff Officers Course at the Netherlands Defence College, gaining an Executive Master Degree in Security and Defence. He was assigned as Commander 312 Fighter Squadron at Volkel Air Base during the period 2008 – 2010. During that period he successfully led the squadron through a NATO Operational Evaluation, deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2009 and led a significant re-structure of the 1st Fighter Wing at Volkel Air Base.
In 2010 he was assigned at the Royal Netherlands Headquarters to lead the preparation and planning for the participation in the F-35 Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) phase.
Continuing this assignment, he moved to Edwards AFB in 2012 to further shape the Netherlands contribution and involvement in planning and executing this crucial phase working with US, UK and AUS counterparts.
In 2020 he started his position as Branch Chief Air Force Plans and Requirements at the Netherlands Ministry of Defence in The Hague.
Bert de Smit has flown over 2600 hours in the F-16 and over 500 hours in the F-35, he is married to Chantal and together with their Son (Jack) and Daughter (Luna) they live in The Hague.
Col. Hervé Lahille (FRA AF)
Born on 4 August 1970 in Avignon (France), Colonel Hervé Lahille joined the Air Force Academy in 1990.
He graduated in 1993 and joined the Fighter Pilot Training School in Tours. After earning his fighter pilot wings, he was appointed to the “Cigognes” Squadron at Dijon AB, as Mirage 2000 pilot from 1994 to 1999.
He contributed to Operation Southern Watch in 1996, flying 25 missions over the Iraqi theatre. In 1999, he was posted to Orange AB as Flight Commander of Squadron “Île-de-France”, serving as Mirage 2000 instructor.
From 2001 to 2004, he was assigned to the French Air Force Headquarters Operational Centre in Paris, before moving to Naples, where he took post at the Airsouth NATO headquarters, with the TAC-EVAL division.
In 2005, he attended the Italian Staff College (ISSMI) in Rome and graduated with a Master’s degree in Strategic international studies (Universities of Rome and Milan).
On returning to Orange AB in 2006, he was appointed Deputy Commander then Commander of Squadron “Île-de-France” (2008), flying again as Mirage 2000 instructor. Over this period, he went on detachment in Afghanistan to serve as French liaison officer of the CJOC for Operation ISAF; he took also part in many international exchanges, especially with Egypt, Brazil and China.
Back in Paris in 2009 at the Air Defence and Air Operations Command Headquarters, Colonel Lahille took post as Branch Chief for Extended Air Defence and Cooperation, charged with the national Air Policing and Air Defence system’s implementation and the development of French Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) rising capability. He was promoted to Colonel on 1st September 2011.
From August 2011 to February 2012, he attended the 119th Senior Course of the NATO Defence College, in Rome.
In 2013, he was assigned at the French Air Force Inspectorate, first as deputy head of the “Employment Division”, then (2014) as vice-president of the Air Safety Permanent Panel.
On the following year, he attended the Italian Defence University (IASD) in Rome, graduating with a Master 2 (University of Rome) on Global Strategy and Security.
From 2016 to 2018, he was appointed to the Joint Concept and Doctrine Centre in Paris, involved in doctrine development in many domains. He focussed on Personnel Recovery, acting as NATO custodian of the AJP-3.7 and charged with the development of the national joint doctrine; he also worked on Remotely Piloted Air Systems, Cruise Missiles employment, Ground-Based Air Defence and Counter-UAS.
Between 2018 and 2021, he served as Chief of Staff of the European Air Group (EAG), based in High Wycombe (UK). Responsible for the management of the Permanent Staff, he supervised the development of the 25-strong portfolio of projects entrusted by the seven Nations.
In spring 2021, he has been nominated by the French Air Force to assume command of the European Personnel Recovery Centre (EPRC), a multinational entity originated from the EAG in 2013.
Colonel Hervé Lahille has accrued more than 2800 flying hours. He has been awarded the Legion of Honor, the National Order of Merit (officer), and the Air Medal rewarding Aeronautical services.
He is married with Christelle, a medical officer, and father of two girls, aged 11 and 9.
Maj.Gen. Geert De Decker (BEL AF)
Major-general DE DECKER completed his military education at the Belgian Royal Military Academy with the 140th Polytechnic promotion in 1990.
After his training as F16 pilot he was appointed to the 31 Tiger Squadron in KLEINE-BROGEL were he passed through all the levels of command while specializing in Electronic warfare, Targeting & Weaponeering and Nuclear operations. With the squadron he participated in several operational tours in the Balkan and later over Afghanistan.
In 2001 he was selected to go the United States Test Pilot School where he was formed as Experimental Test Pilot. He stayed another 2 years in the USAF F16 Test Squadron to help develop and test the F16Mid Life Update.
Back in Belgium he served in the Material Command and was military advisor to the Belgian Ambassador to NATO. After a year as project leader of the Air cooperation project between BELGIUM, the NETHERLANDS and LUXEMBURG, he became director of Flight Safety until his appointment as 24th Commander of 10W Tac on the 3rd of July 2015. During this period, the unit certified as “Mission capable – Full CBRN” with NATO and organized the Belgian Air Force Days 2018.
Rejoining back the headquarters in the fall of 2018, he worked on promoting Defence in preparation of the “New Federal Legislation” by organizing session around Belgium with captains of industry. In the summer of 2019, he became the Chief of Staff of the Air component and contributed to the restructure of the Air capabilities. During his assignments, he continued to serve in all the expeditionary operations of the Belgian Air Force.
In 2022, he was appointed as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Operations and Training before being appointed as Major general on the 26rd of March 2023.
Maj.Gen. Vincent Descheemaeker (BEL AF)
Born in Kortrijk on the 6th of June 1965, he starts his military career in 1980 at the Royal School for Cadets. After obtaining his master degree in the Royal Military Academy (1983-1987) and conducting his military education, he succeeds in the specific commando and airborne training.
From 1989 on, he takes up subsequent postings in an airborne company of the 3rd Airborne Battalion (3 Para). From 1991 till 1994 he’s mainly involved as an instructor of NCO’s and officers in the Commando Training Centre (Marche-les-Dames).
From 1994 to 1996 he’s the commanding officer of an airborne company in 3 Para. After a monitoring mission in Bosnia in the framework of the European Union and after completing the staff college, he’s posted as assistant operations officer of the Para Commando Brigade. (1999 till 2001). He contributes to the launching of AFOR within the AMF Headquarters in Tirana (Albania) as assistant to the Chief of Staff. Afterwards he’s designated to be the Ops officer of 3 Para from 2001 till 2003.
Next 3 years, his experience is brought at the joint operational level at the BEL Defence Staff in Brussels in the domain of planning of non-combatant evacuation operations.
Between 2006 and 2009 he’s posted as G3-plans within the multinational staff of the French-German Brigade in Müllheim (Germany). Within this context, he participates in the NATO operation KFOR in Kosovo as chief of the cell G3 “Contingency Operations” in the French-led Multi National Task Force North.
In August 2009 he takes the command of the 1st Airborne Battalion in Diest. With 1 Para, he participates in the NATO ISAF operation in Afghanistan as commander of the multinational “Force Protection Group” at Kaboul International Airport.
In November 2010 the command of 3 Para is entrusted to him. He participates into the ISAF operation as commanding officer of the Belgian “Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team” responsible for an Afghan infantry battalion in Kunduz.
From 2012 till 2015, he’s part of the Military Representation of Belgium at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels and serves as the action officer dealing with resources. After completing the senior course at the NATO Defence College in Rome in the second half of 2015, he joins the BEL Defence Staff in Brussels, Department of Strategic Affairs and is posted as chief of the Capability Development section.
In November 2016, he takes command of the Light Brigade, which encompasses the BEL SOF and airborne capability. Within the transformation process and the construction of the Special Operations Capability he’s the first commander of the “Special Operations Regiment” with its headquarters installed in Heverlee as of 03rd July 2018.
Since the 04th September 2019 he’s the Director of the BEL Special Operations Command. Commissioned as Brigadier General on the 17th September 2020, he’s additionally appointed as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Operations and Training; he’s subsequently promoted to Major General on the 26th March 2021.
With his wife Nele and their four children, they enjoy family life in the neighborhood of Brussels.
Maj.Gen. Francisco González-Espresati Amián (ESP AF)
Maj.Gen. Francisco González-Espresati Amián
SPANISH AIR COMBAT COMMAND DEPUTY COMMANDER
SPANISH AIR COMBAT COMMAND CHIEFF OF STAFF
General Francisco González-Espresati Amián was born in Córdoba the 10th of September 1959.
In 1980 he joined Spanish Air Force Academy, graduating with the rank of Lieutenant in July 1984. This year he was assigned at the Fighter School to take the 71 Fighter Course in the F-5.
In June 1985 he graduated as a Fighter Pilot as top of his class, what granted him to become F-5 instructor.
Among others he has flown F-5, Mirage III, and F-18´s with more than 3000 flying hours, 2000 of them in the F-18. As F-18 pilot he has performed roles of instructor, display pilot and test pilot, having responsibilities as Chief Operations, Squadron Commander and Group Commander at the 15th Fighter Wing.
In 2001 he graduated at the Joint Staff School being assigned to the Spanish Air Force HQ.
In 2005 he was assigned to the Joint Command Lisbon (JCL) as J3 Air Fighter Ops where he contributed to the planning of operations such as Katrina Hurricane, and Pakistan Earthquake Relief as JOPG air planner. During his tour at JCL he participated in several NATO exercises (Allied Action, Allied Warrior, Steadfast Jaw) acting as Joint Coordination Board Working Group Air Ops SME.
In 2008 he was assigned to CAOC 8 as Plans Defensive Ops Officer and in 2010 became Chief Training Division.
From 2012 to 2014 he commanded 15th Fighter Wing flying the EF-18.
From 2014 to 2016 he was AOC Deputy Commander and in charge of the Spanish JFAC Core at the Spanish Air Combat Command.
Promoted to Brigadier General in 2016 was posted as Commander Torrejón Air Base.
In March 2017 he took Command of the Spanish Air Operation Center and named as Director of Operations at Spanish Air Combat Command Headquarters.
In July 2018 was promoted to Major General and named Deputy and Chief of Staff at Spanish Air Combat Command.
He has participated in numerous international and national exercises, in some of them playing as Mission Commander of large COMAO´s:
– Green Flag
– Tactical Leadership Programme
– North Sea ACMI range
– Adventure Exchange
He also has participated in NATO and UN operations:
– Deny Fly UNPROFOR (Bosnia Herzegovina) as Forward Air Controller.
– SFOR HQ in Sarajevo as Air Liaison Officer.
– Deny Flight, Joint Endeavour, Joint Guard, y Joint Forge/Joint Guardian(SFOR / IFOR and KFOR) as a pilot with 89 war missions flown with theEF-18.
– ATO Coordinator at NATO JFAC for Operation Unified Protector Libya.
Among others he has graduated in the following courses:
– Spanish Joint Staff Course
– COMANFOR Seminar France
– NATO C2COE Seminar 2015 “C2 on the Move”
– EW Staff Officer Course in EEUU
– NATO School Targeting and Weaponeering
– International Defence Resources Management (EEUU)
– Spanish Fighter/Attack Pilot course
– Spanish Fighter/Attack Pilot Instructor course
– NATO Senior Officer Information Operations
– NATO Conventional Targeting
– NATO Bi-SC Command and Control
– NATO Operational Planning
– NATO Advanced Electronic Warfare Operations
– NATO Joint Services Introductory Electronic Warfare
– Tactical Leadership Programme
– Foreign Military Sales
– Forward Air Controller
He is married with 3 children.
Brigadier General Philippe Landicheff (FRA AF)
Brigadier General Philippe Landicheff
Air Mobility Brigade Commander Air Forces Command
Air Force Command
Born on the 10th of October 1962 in Angers (Maine et Loire).
Married with 02 children.
He joined the Air force in 1982 and the French Air Force academy in 1986.
Air force Commando Officer
862 flight hours, 861 jumps.
2017: Air Security forces Brigade Commander, Bordeaux.
2015: In charge of Air special forces office, Bordeaux.
2012: Deputy Chief of Staff Operations at the NATO Special Operations Headquarters, NSHQ, MONS, BELGIUM.
2011: Student at the NATO Defense College, Rome, ITALY.
2007: Special Operation Command, Deputy Chief of staff, Villacoublay.
2006: Chief of staff at the Air Force’s Security Forces Command, Dijon.
2005: Deputy Chief of staff Operations at the Air Force’s Security Forces Command, Dijon.
2003: Commanding Officer at the Airborne Air Commando N° 30, Mérignac.
2002: Student at the War staff college, Paris.
1999: Branch Head at the Air Force Operations Center, Paris.
1997: Commanding Officer at the Airborne Air Commando N° 10, Apt.
1995: Staff Officer at the Air Force Academy, Salon De Provence.
1994: Commanding officer at the Nuclear security Office, Luxeuil.
1993: Commanding Officer at the Airborne Air Commando N° 40, Nîmes.
Awards and decorations
Officer of the Legion of Honor
Officer of the National Order of Merit
Cross of Military Valour
Brigadier General Laurent Marboeuf (FRA AF)
Brigadier General Laurent MARBOEUF
Air Mobility Brigade Commander Air Forces Command
Date of birth: 29 March 1965 in Nantes, Loire-Atlantique (44).
He is married with 3 children.
He joined the French Air Force Academy (École de l’air) in September 1986 and got his transport pilot Wings in 1990.
2016 Air Mobility Brigade Commander at the Air Forces Command, Bordeaux-Merignac
2015 Deputy Head of the joint Permanent Secretariat of the aeronautics Maintenance Repair Overhaul at the French Air Force Air Staff, Paris
2012 Deputy Commander at the Management Pole at SIMMAD, Bordeaux- Merignac
2011 Commander of the 186 Air Base “Nouméa”
2010 Deputy Commander of the New Caledonian Armed Forces (FANC) Commanding officer & commander of the Air Component, New Caledonia
2009 Supervision of trainees at French Joint staff War College, Paris
2008 Deputy Commander of the 110 Air Base, Creil
2004 Force Generation and Training Headquarter, Creil
2003 Commander of the 01.062 Transport Squadron “Vercors”, Creil
2001 Deputy Commander of the 01.062 Transport Squadron “Vercors”, Creil
2000 Trainee at the French Joint Staff War College, Paris
1998 Officer at the DGA Operation Directorate
1997 Assistant to the director of operations at the 01.061 Transport Squadron “Touraine”, Creil
1995 Flight Commander at the 01.061 Transport Squadron “Touraine”, Creil
1986 Pilot trainee at the French Air Force Academy, Salon de Provence
Awards and decorations
Knight of the Legion of Honor
Officer in the National Order of Merit
Overseas Medal with “Democratic Republic of the Congo”, “Cambodia” and “Chad”
National Defense Medal, silver echelon
French Commemorative Medal with “Ex-Yugoslavia”, “Haiti”
Nation recognition Medal
Medal for voluntary military service, bronze echelon
Maj. Gen. Pilot Gianni Candotti (ITA AF)
Maj. Gen. Pilot Gianni Candotti was born in Enemonzo (Udine), Italy on 18th July 1961. From 1980 to 1984 he attended the Italian Air Force Academy and earned a bachelor degree in Aeronautical Sciences from Naples University. In 2005 he was granted a Political Science Degree from Trieste University.
In 1984 he earned his Pilot Wings on T-38 aircraft attending the ENJJPT program in Sheppard AFB (USA).
He was assigned at the 46th Air Brigade in Pisa as 50th Sqn pilot. From 1985 to 1988 he took part to several military operations, including the Libyan crises (1986) and the Gulf War supporting the Italian Navy contingent (1987).
In 1988-1992 he was assigned at the 70th Wing in Latina as Instructor Pilot, Section Commander and then 406th Flight Commander.
In 1992 he was assigned at the 14th Wing in Pratica di Mare (Rome) and he qualified on different air assets performing Navigation Aids Calibration, Electronic Warfare, Air to Air Refueling and Strategic Airlift.
In 1993 he was posted at the NAEW Force Component in Geilenkirchen (Germany) as Aircraft Commander, Instructor and Evaluator on the Boeing NE-3A aircraft. He was eventually appointed as 2nd Squadron Deputy for Operations. During his assignment in Germany, he took part to the air operations over the Balkans and he contributed to the establishment of the Balkan CAOC in Vicenza.
In 1997 he was appointed as 8th Air Squadron Commander, 14th Air Wing, Pratica di Mare AFB.
Then he was assigned at the Italian Air War College in Florence, where he performed several duties, such as the Chief of Academics Department and Classes’ Commander up to 2002.
In 2002, he was appointed as 14th Air Wing Deputy Commander and then Wing Commander. During his tenure, many operations and exercises were executed, including a Wing detachment deployment in Asmara (Eritrea), tasked by the UN to recognize and plot the contested border line between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
In 2004 he was assigned to the ItAF Force Command as Division’s Chief.
In 2006 he joined the Joint Defence Staff, as Chief Strategic Direction and Civil Military Cooperation Division.
In 2009-2010 was deployed at the ISAF Headquarters in Kabul where he served as Director Air Plans, Projects, Partnering and Deputy Chief of Staff Stability. He was also appointed as Chief of Elections Task Force, coordinating security issues associated to the 20 August 2009 Afghan Presidential Elections. In cooperation with the Afghan Ministry of Transportation and the Afghan MoD, he contributed to the reconstruction and development of Afghan Civil and Military Aviation.
In 2010 he was posted to the Joint Defence Staff, Plans and Policy Department, as Deputy Departments’ Chief delegated for Military Policy an Armaments Control. During his tenure he was appointed to the NATO Senior Officials Group in charge for the NATO Command Structure Review. He was also appointed to the NATO High Level Group tasked to develop the 2010 Defence and Deterrence Posture Review.
In 2012 he was assigned to the Air Staff, as Chief of Plans and Policy Department.
He was appointed Commander of the Air Operations Command (COA) on 28 September 2016 and he became Director of the European Personnel Recovery Centre (EPRC) on the same date.
During his career, he logged 6300 total flying hours of which 1500 wartime and 2000 instructing in basic/advanced flying courses.
He speaks English and French.
He attended several courses, among which:
– Basic and Advanced Staff Courses at the Italian Air War College;
– 3rd ISSMI Course (Joint Services Staff College);
– 7th Military French Forces Staff College;
– Senior Leaders Seminar at the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies in Washington;
– Key leader training for “flag officers” posted to ISAF mission;
– European Union Senior Mission Leaders course in Belgium.
Among the several medals and decorations received, of note:
– Gold Decoration for crews in combat flights, Electronic Warfare Ops;
– Bronze Decoration for crews in combat flights, AAR Ops;
– NATO Medal for Bosnia Ops
– NATO Medal for Afghanistan Ops;
– French forces “Ordre du Mérite”.
He has been happily married since 1987 with Ms. Gianfranca Salvadori (a Naval Shipyard Business Manager) and they have two children, Victor (26, Naval Engineer) and Michelle (20, professional pianist).
Maj. Gen. Pilot Giovanni Fantuzzi (ITA AF)
Maj. Gen. Giovanni FANTUZZI was born in Torino, Italy on August the 11th, 1958 and joined the Air Force Academy in 1977. He graduated first of his class – “Distinguished Graduate” – with an Aeronautical Engineering Degree “cum laude” and was awarded with the “Honour’ Sword” (s.c. “Sciabola d’Onore”).
In 1981 he attended the “Undergraduate Pilot Training” at Williams U.S.A.F.B. in Arizona and the “Fighter Lead In” course at Holloman U.S.A.F.B. in New Mexico. He was awarded the “Top Gun Award” and was assigned to the 21st Fighter Squadron in “Cameri” A.B. where he flew F-104S “Starfighter”.
As a Captain he was selected to become a test pilot and in 1987 attended U.S.A.F. TPS at Edwards U.S.A.F.B. in California where he completed his training as a “Distinguished Graduate”.
He spent several years at the Italian Air Force Test Centre in “Pratica di Mare” A.F.B. involved in flying and testing almost every kind of aircraft but mainly Tornado and AMX. In 1993 as Lieutenant Colonel he became Squadron Commander of the 28th Armed Recce Squadron AMX in “Villafranca” A.F.B. for two years. He was then assigned to the Air Staff at the New Development Program Office where, as a full Colonel, he became Head of the Office before being assigned as Commanding Officer to the Air Force Test Centre in 2002, here he was responsible of many programs, one of which the operational certification of the C-130-J. In 2004 he was assigned to the MOD-National Armament Directorate as Chief of the Aeronautical Programs Office where he was also the Italian “JSF Program Manager”. He got promoted to Brigadier General in January 2006 and from 2007 to September 2009 he was posted to the Air Force Logistic Command in Rome as Chief of Staff.
In September 2009 to May 2012 he was assigned at the Air Staff as Chief of the Plans & Policy Division (A3-A5). In these capacities he was heavily involved in the Italian Air Force operation in Afghanistan, ISAF and in Libya, Odyssey Down and Unified Protector.
In August 2012 he was assigned at the Italian Embassy in Washington DC as the Defense and Defense Cooperation Attaché accredited for the USA, Canada and Mexico, until August 2015.
From September 2015, Maj Gen. FANTUZZI is the Commander of the Italian Air Force Operations Command in Poggio Renatico, responsible for planning and execute air operations and managing Air Power in national, NATO, and Coalition environments. He is also the Director of the European Personnel Recovery Center since July 2015.
Major General FANTUZZI has a second Degree in Political Science, attended the Senior International Defence Management Course and flew over 4.400 hours on 55 different aircraft.
He is married with Mrs. Ornella and he has two children, Valentina and Matteo.
Col. Stefan Demps (DEU AF)
Born in 1963 in Zell, Col Demps joined the DEU Armed Forces in 1983. Initially, he started Army Officers’ education at the Army Aviation School at Bückeburg which included his initial helicopter pilot training. In 1984 he joined the DEU Forces’ University at Munich in order to study Aerospace Technology and graduated in 1988.
Thereafter, he earned his Pilot Wings at Bückeburg where he graduated in 1990. After becoming Limited Combat Ready on the BO -105 aircraft, he was posted to the Army Aviation Regiment 25 at Laupheim. Here he served as a Liaison Helicopter Pilot and as an Operations Officer within the Regiment Staff until 1994.
In 1994, Col Demps joined the Staff College at Hamburg for the Staff Officers’ Course. After successfully completing the training phase, he was again sent to Bückeburg in order to gain his IFR rating on Bell UH-1D and an immediate rating on the Sikorisky CH 53 transport helicopter.
With his qualification, he joined the Army Aviation Regiment 35 at Mendig and served there as a Line Pilot, Instructor Pilot and Squadron Operations Officer until the year 2000. Thereafter, Col Demps was posted to the HQ, Army Aviation Brigade 3 and became a Squadron Commander of the support squadron. After 2 years, he moved on to become the G3 OPS Officer of the Brigade. Here his main task was the management of personnel and training for all ongoing operational deployments of the DEU Army helicopter assets.
From 2004 to 2007 he served at the Army Office at Cologne, DEU. His main duty involved the conceptual development of Air Mobility within the DEU Armed Forces. During this period, he participated in the development of the multinational education and training plans for Tigre crews in cooperation with ESP and FRA.
From 2007 to 2009 Col Demps served as Commander, Flying Section 251 (CH-53) at Laupheim, MOB. During this period, Col Demps was instrumental in the development of a multi-asset SOF capability involving CH-53 and BO-105 Aircraft.
In 2009 Col Demps was seconded to the Federal Office for Personnel Management at Cologne as a Personnel Manager, responsible for the manning of Army Aviation officers. He served in this position until 2011.
Thereafter, he moved to Bonn in order to serve in the General Staff of the MoD. Here his main duty was to develop Army Aviation Doctrine. This included the implementation of a reallocation of helicopter assets within the DEU Armed Forces. One of these assets was the CH-53 Large Transport Helicopter and since Col Demps was one of the SMEs in this field, the decision was made to utilise his expertise in the accomplishment of this task. Consequently, he changed services and started his Air Force career at the Air Force Forces’ Command at Cologne where he supported the introduction of the CH-53 aircraft into the DEU AF.
Subsequently, in 2013 Col Demps became the Deputy Wing Commander of the DEU AF Helicopter Wing (HSG) 64 at Laupheim and soon after he took over as Wing Commander in 2014. HSG 64 as the largest Wing of the DEU AF has 2 Bases which are over 600 km apart and operate 75 aircraft. During his time as the Commander, Col Demps initiated the build-up of a PR capability consisting of CH 53 aircraft and dedicated infantry forces. Furthermore, he introduced the H-145M helicopter, a new airframe for SOF operations.
In July 2018 Col Demps took over the command of the European Personnel Recovery Centre at Poggio Renatico Air Base, ITA.
Col Demps accrued more than 2000 flight hours mainly on CH-53 Transport Helicopters.
Col Demps is married to Alexandra.
1986 2nd Lieutenant
1988 1st Lieutenant
2002 Lieutenant Colonel
1996 – 2001 IFOR, KFOR, SFOR
2008 Deputy Commander Combat Wing TERMEZ, USB
SFOR Medal (Bronze) 2001
Disaster Relief Medal (Bronze) 2002
Honorary Cross of the Bundeswehr (Silver) 2003
ISAF Medal (Bronze) 2007
Col. Pilot Domenico Fanelli (ITA AF)
Born in 1966 in Bari, Col Fanelli joined the Air Force Academy in 1986 as a cadet of the 4th Generation of “Hawk” classes and graduated in 1990.
In 1990 he earned his Pilot Wings on MB339 at Jet School Lecce AFB and in 1991 he got the Military Helicopter Qualification at Joint Helicopter School Frosinone AFB.
From 1992 to 2004 he served as helicopter AGUSTA HH3F SAR/COMBAT SAR pilot at 85th Squadron in Ciampino AFB where he had been in charge of several duties: Chief of Intelligence Squadron Section, Commander of 142nd Flight, Chief of the Squadron Training Section and Chief of the Squadron Operation Section. In that period he took part at the NATO Operations in Kosovo and Yugoslavia.
From 2002 Col. Fanelli is qualified as Flying Instructor for Operation and Tactics SAR and C/SAR and he has been flying over 2500 flying hours on different types of airplane and helicopter.
From 2004 to 2006 he has been appointed as 84th Combat SAR Squadron Commander Brindisi AFB.
In 2006 he was posted as Chief of 15th Wing Operational Staff in Pratica di Mare (Rome). He participated at the Italian Military Operations in Iraq as Helicopter Squadron Commander and Chief of the Operational Staff of the Italian Joint Air Task Group (JATG) in Tallil AFB (Nassiriya).
From 2007 to 2009 he has been appointed as Chief of the “J3 Air” Section of the Italian Joint Special Operation Head Quarter (COFS-Comando Operativo Interforze per le Operazioni delle Forze Speciali).
In November 2009 he was posted as Chief of the Office “Air Support” at the ITAF 1st Special Operations Air Brigade.
From August 2010 to July 2013 he was the Chief of Staff of the European Air Group (COS EAG) in High Wycombe (UK).
From July 2013 to June 2015 Col Fanelli was leading the Implementation Team for the initiation of the European Personnel Recovery Center (EPRC), co-located with the EAG in High Wycombe and in July 2015 he became the Commander of the European Personnel Recovery Centre in Poggio Renatico. ITA.
Col. Fanelli is married to Annalisa and has two children: Andrea and Giorgia.