General Barker to speak at EWSA 2019 conference


Retired Major General Des Barker will be one of the keynote speakers at the Electronic Warfare South Africa (EWSA) 2019 conference, taking place at the CSIR International Convention Centre from 4 to 6 November.

The conference is hosted by the Aardvark Roost Chapter of the Association of Old Crows (AOC) electronic warfare interest group.

Barker has been announced as the first key note presenter for the 2019 conference and will bring his many years of experience to his talk. He served as a combat and experimental test pilot for over forty years and moved to the CSIR in 2008 where he headed up the Aeronautics Research Unit until 2016. He served as the Chief Test Pilot from 1990 at the South African Air Force’s Test Flight and Development Centre, Base Commander AFB Overberg from 1995, Air Attaché United Kingdom from 2000, Base Commander AFB Makhado from 2004, and in 2008, retired as Chief of Air Staff Operations. After forty years of service, he had accumulated 7200+ flying hours (more than 6,000 hours on fast-jets) on 58 different types and an A1 Qualified Flight Instructor rating.

Over the years a number of prestigious awards have been bestowed upon him, honouring both his flight test work as well as his continued involvement in the world of air shows. In September 2018, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society, one of the world’s highest distinctions for aerospace achievement.

In addition to the full day conferences at EWSA 2019 on 5 and 6 November, there will be two workshops on 4 November. The first is on Electro-optical System Simulation: Practical Perspectives and Applications, and will be presented by Nelis Willers. It will focus on modelling and simulation of aircraft and missiles with regard to air defence.

The second workshop is themed Cybersecurity in the Banking Industry and will be presented by Susan Potgieter and Henry van Jaarsveld. “As with any information system, the banking industry remains a lucrative and attractive target for cybercriminals,” EWSA said. “The South African Banking Risk Information Centre keeps industry and public aware of the latest banking scam and fraudulent activities that threatens economical security. They specialise in identity theft, social engineering, e-mail hacking, vishing, smishing, internet banking, cell phone banking, card fraud, contactless bank cards, ATM fraud, cheque fraud, debit order scams, deposit and refund scams, get-rich-quick-scams, technical support scams, money laundering and many more. With all the threats it is important to remain vigilant and protected against such onslaughts. The utilisation of a Computer Security Incident Response Team is crucial in identifying, analysing and responding to such threats.”

EW South Africa 2019 follows the successful International Conference and Exhibition held in 2017. This Conference was attended by over 220 industry stakeholders and featured an exhibition component with 13 exhibitors. The exhibition running alongside the conference allows visitors to meet with industry solutions providers and to see demonstrations of the latest innovations and technologies shaping the future of electromagnetic operations.