Glenn Wicks, Managing Director of The Wicks Group, served as the chairman for theAfghanistan Air Cargo & Logistics Conference in Dubai, UAE on April 23-24, 2013. Mr. Wicks regularly chairs and speaks at international aviation conferences.
The Afghanistan Air Cargo & Logistics Conference brings together military and humanitarian contractors, air carriers, logistics firms, forwarders, and specialist firms to discuss new ideas and formulate strategies for opportunities in military, humanitarian, and commercial charters.
Mr. Wicks welcomed the delegates in the opening session. He was followed by key note speaker Major General (sel) Lee Levy, Director of USCENTCOM Deployment & Distribution Center (C-DDOC). This address was followed by a discussion dealing with US defense contracts with remarks by Lt. General Kenneth R. Wykle (ret), President of the National Defense Transportation Association; Alex Munro, Director of Sales for National Air Cargo; and Darrin Quern, Managing Director of Coyne Airways. The speakers highlighted the US defense contract bidding process with a special emphasis on commercial opportunities for civil air carriers.
A NATO-ISAF Strategic Flight Coordination Center (ISFCC) panel assessed operational needs and defined concepts and requirements for retrograde traffic. Panel members included Wing Commander Paul Jones, Chief of Operations of ISFCC; LTC Laurent Gentet, Chief of Operations of Movement Coordination Centre Europe; and Daniel Carriett, Director of Cargo Operations for Chapman Freeborn.
Roncevert Almond, Partner at The Wicks Group, spoke about the impacts of US budget sequestration and the newly proposed White House federal budget on the TRANSCOM budget and Afghanistan operations. He also discussed security issues regarding US Department of Defense and NATO flights and the withdrawal of retrograde equipment and personnel from the combat theatre in Afghanistan to other US defense bases.
Other discussion topics included prospects for the airline industry in Afghanistan, opportunities and operational sustainability for the commercial cargo market in Afghanistan, and new markets for commercial charter operations.
The second day of the conference also included a discussion on humanitarian logistics and the relations between air carriers and humanitarian organizations featuring Maggie Heraty, Board Member of the Humanitarian Logistics Association. She spoke about the bidding process and also provided an update on the standards for the delivery of reliable support in regions with poor infrastructure. Delegates also embarked on a study tour to the UNHCR Global Stockpile facilities at the International Humanitarian City.
The Afghanistan Air Cargo & Logistics Conference was organized by Euroavia International and sponsored by Silk Way Airlines. Silk Way has extensive experience with establishing regular service into areas not serviced by scheduled flights. Silk Way is capable of performing regular cargo services and open long haul flights into Afghanistan in cooperation with US TRANSCOM and as a critical support to US and NATO missions in the country.