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SMi Group Ltd

Global Event Producing Company

The SMi Group is a highly Professional, Independent and Global event producing company that specialises in Business to Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and Training. We create and deliver events within Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical sectors.

Our aim is to provide you with the highest Quality Events in Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical sectors, which are timely, relevant and important to you and your company!

We pride ourselves on being connected to the best and most Knowledgeable Expert speakers in your business sector. We believe in bringing you together with your peers in order to Learn, Engage, Share and Network with the very best. We hold events in over 30 major cities throughout the world including London, Paris, Singapore and have welcomed over 200k participants from 80 countries to our events.

We are Experts in knowing Experts and have been bringing you this Expertise since 1993!

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Military Airlift and Air-to-Air Refuelling - 27/09/2016

NATO prepares major boost to aerial refuelling capability

NATO is preparing a major boost to its ability to refuel aircraft in mid-air, with the signature of an agreement between the Netherlands and Luxembourg to acquire two Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) aircraft. The new tankers will be acquired on behalf of the participating nations and NATO. They can support NATO and European Union operations, as well as multinational and national ones.

Air-to-air refuelling tankers are critical to long-distance deployments in support of other aircraft. NATO’s air campaigns in Kosovo and Libya have identified air-to-air refuelling as a critical shortfall in European military capabilities. Individual Allies, as well as NATO and the EU, have been working to address this shortfall.

(Source: NATO, 8 August 2016, 'NATO prepares major boost to aerial refuelling capability')

Against this backdrop, SMi is proud to announce that the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Airbus Defence and Space and NATO will be providing timely presentations alongside senior military figures, industry experts and leading service providers at the 17th annual Military Airlift and Air-to-Air Refuelling conference, taking place on 29th - 30th November 2016 in Florence, Italy:

  • Update on the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Programme - Colonel Johan van Soest, A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Programme Steering Group Chairman, Royal Netherlands Air Force
  • Airbus Defence and Space Developing Military Capabilities - Didier Vernet, Military Affairs, Airbus Defence and Space
  • Satisfying Strategic Airlift Requirements in NATO - Kenneth Carhart, Consultant, NATO

In addition, there will be a complimentary site visit to the Pisa Air Force Base where attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to visit the facilities and aircraft.

The Military Airlift and Air-to-Air Refuelling agenda will feature:

Military and Government Speakers

  • Laurent Donnet, Programme Manager Airlift and Air-to-Air Refuelling, European Defence Agency
  • Brigadier General Achille Cazzaniga, Commanding Officer of the 46th Air Brigade, Italian Air Force
  • Major General Christian Badia, Commander, European Air Transport Command
  • Colonel Johan van Soest, A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Programme Steering Group Chairman, Royal Netherlands Air Force
  • Colonel Thomas Torkelson, Commander of 100 Aerial Refuelling Wing, US Air Force Europe 
  • Colonel Bjørn Gohn-Hellum, Vice Commander, Heavy Airlift Wing 
  • Colonel Torgeir Aas, Commander of the Gardermoen Air Base, Royal Norwegian Air Force
  • Colonel Daniel Lemon, Division Chief, Logistics Operations, United States Africa Command, US Air Force
  • Colonel Eric Renaut, Chief Resources Support Branch, EU Military Staff  
  • Group Captain Elizabeth Purcell, Chief AMCC, NATO SHAPE 
  • Group Captain Andrew Killey, Assistant Head of DSCOM, UK Ministry of Defence 
  • Group Captain Martin Cunningham, Chief of Staff - Air Mobility Headquarters, Royal Air Force (RAF) 
  • Michele Rega, Fixed Wing Officer, European Defence Agency 
  • Wiek Noldus, Programme Manager, Airlift Management Programme, NATO
  • Kenneth Carhart, Consultant, NATO 

Industry Speakers

  • Didier Vernet, Head of A400M Product Marketing, Airbus Defence and Space
  • Pam Valdez, Director, Derivative Fleet Support and Sustainment, Global Services and Support, Boeing
  • James Eisenhart, Director, Sales and Marketing, C2ISR Mobility Platforms, Boeing
  • Paulo Mirpuri, President, Skytech
  • Colon Miller, Global Director, Government & Defense Programs, Volga-Dnepr
  • Oleksandr Kiva, Marketing and Sales Director, Antonov 

To view the full speaker line-up and conference programme, visit

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