Capability Group

Simon Conway, HALO Trust

Simon Conway

Director of Capability

Simon worked for HALO from 1998 to 2004 in Cambodia, Kosovo, Abkhazia, Eritrea and Sri Lanka. From 2004 to 2008 he was the Director of Landmine Action and a Co-Chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition, which successfully campaigned for an international ban on cluster bombs. He re-joined HALO in 2013, first as trustee and then as a full time employee. He is the author of five novels and winner of the 2010 Ian Fleming award. Masters degree in English Literature.

Tom Meredith, HALO Trust

Tom Meredith

Deputy Director of Capability

Tom has worked for HALO since 2008 in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Georgia. As Regional Director, he currently covers HALO’s programmes in the West Bank and Ukraine.

Nick Torbet, HALO Trust

Nick Torbet

Head of Programme Development

Nick is responsible for setting up and developing new programmes and technical projects as part of HALO’s Capability Group, currently with a particular focus on the Middle East and Iraq. He was previously HALO's Programme Manager in Laos and Operations Manager in Ukraine. Before HALO he served as a British Army Officer for over ten years, specializing in Explosive Ordnance Disposal. He enjoys long walks on the beach and patting dogs.

John Montgomery HALO Trust

John Montgomery

Global Chief Technical Advisor (EOD)

John (Monty) joined HALO after working for 4 years with DCA as an EOD Operations Manager in humanitarian mine action in Libya and Syria, prior to this as British Army Royal Engineer for 24 years. He has an extensive background in EOD and Search both operationally and in the training and development side. He is responsible for ensuring that international standards are met and providing EOD technical support and advice in operations and training across HALO’s extensive global ERW clearance programmes.

Abby Watson

Daniel Redelinghuys

Global Chief Technical Advisor (PSSM)

Daniel joined HALO in January 2018, a qualified ATO with 39 years military, commercial, and humanitarian operational experience in more than 30 conflict and post conflict affected countries. He specialises in global project management with a wealth of experience in disarmament, demilitarization, small arms control, EOD, IEDD and Integrated Mine Action activities.

Umar Akhukhadzhaev, HALO Trust

Umar Akhukhadzhaev

Global Chief Technical Advisor (Mechanical)

Umar has worked for HALO since 1997, first in Chechnya and is now based in the UK but visits each programme on a regular basis to instruct HALO mechanical mine clearance operatives.

Michael Nevard, HALO Trust

Michael Nevard

Global Head of Research and Development

Michael has worked for HALO since 2007. After training in Angola he was initially posted to Afghanistan and then back to Angola. He is responsible for evaluating new detection equipment and clearance techniques across HALO’s programmes worldwide.

Susanna Smale, HALO Trust

Susanna Smale

Global Head of Training

Susanna joined HALO in 2014. After training in Zimbabwe, Nagorno Karabakh and Afghanistan she became a Location Manager in Cambodia and then was the Programme Manager of HALO Laos for two years. Susanna now works globally within the Capability Department on training and R&D projects. Susanna has a BA in Geography and a post-graduate degree in Law.

Rob Syfret, HALO Trust

Rob Syfret

Operations Manager Middle East

Rob joined HALO in 2015 and trained in Cambodia, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Cote d’Ivoire before joining the Syria programme. In 2016 he became Operations Manager HALO Sri Lanka, running demining operations and assisting the expansion of the programme. He returned to the Syria programme to design and implement a remotely managed clearance project before completing HALO’s IED Disposal course, and then working in Iraq, Yemen and Libya. Before HALO he served in the military and studied history at Glasgow University.

Chris Cooper, HALO Trust

Chris Cooper

Global Technical Advisor (EOD)

Chris joined HALO after serving as a British Army Royal Engineer for 13 years. He is responsible for ensuring that international standards are met and exceeded regarding the handling of munitions and conducting demolitions. He regularly visits HALO programs to teach and assess staff, focussing primarily on Explosive Ordnance Disposal. He also provides technical support, where needed, for the disposal and storage of ammunition.

Jim Egan

Global Technical Advisor (EOD)

Jim joined the Syria programme in February 2018. Before HALO, Jim was a Marine Project Manager in the commercial UXO sector. His home and family are in the Republic of Ireland where he also managed a marine navigation consultancy for eight years. Previous work experience prior to moving to Ireland included time in the Middle East as an EOD officer and advisor. Jim started his career in the Royal Air Force (RAF), training to work as a Weapons Technician on Vulcan bombers, Lightnings, Victor Tankers, and Tornados. He qualified as a Bomb Disposal Officer in 1987 and left the RAF after 23 years as an EOD Instructor, having served in the UK, Germany, Kosovo, Middle East and The Falkland Islands.

Abby Watson

Abby Watson

Global Technical Advisor (EOD)

Abby is a former United States Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician with over 14 years of collective experience working with explosives, foreign military, counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED), and intelligence operations. She has spent her career working with conventional forces and special operations in Afghanistan and South America. She holds numerous degrees related to her field of expertise, including a B.A. in Emergency and Disaster Management.

Pete Smith

Pete Smith

Global Technical Advisor (IED)

Pete joined HALO in 2018 following 33 years’ service with the British Army. A career EOD, C-IED, logistician and ammunition technical officer, he commanded the Army’s 3,000 strong EOD, Search, Military Working Dog and ammunition technical capability delivering task forces and specialist support to operations around the globe including the London 2012 Olympics. He has been involved in operations across the Middle East, Bosnia, Haiti and Northern Ireland.

Rhys Mansel, Burma, Myamar, HALO Trust

Rhys Mansel

Deputy Head of Research & Development

Rhys first joined HALO in 2012. After training in Cambodia and Laos, he has served in a variety of roles on HALO’s programmes in Angola, Kosovo and Myanmar. He currently works within the Capability Group, dividing his time between the UK and programmes overseas. His primary focus is conducting and supporting research and development that improves the safety, quality and efficiency of HALO’s operations. Rhys is qualified in explosive ordnance disposal to IMAS Level 3 and has a BSc in geography from the University of St Andrews.

Maxime Robitaille, Halo Trust

Max Robitaille

Operations Manager & Technical Advisor (EOD)

Max joined HALO in 2015 after six years working in Canada as an unexploded ordnance technician in old World War II training ranges and shipwrecks. He specializes in EOD, PSSM, DDR and weapons safety training, having obtained IMAS EOD Level Three Qualification in Kosovo in 2013. He previously worked for HALO in Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of Congo programmes, and completed HALO’s mine clearance training in Cambodia. Max joined the HALO Laos programme in November 2016 as an Operations Officer and currently serves as Operations Manager, overseeing the programme’s operations, managing and planning deployments and conducting EOD training.

James Scott, HALO Trust

James Scott

Global Construction Advisor

After working as a Chartered Building Surveyor in Somerset and London, James joined HALO in March 2012, where he became the first Construction Manager in the organisation. Since taking the role of Global Construction Advisor in January 2015, he has become responsible for providing technical support to other HALO programmes with a construction requirement for weapons and ammunition, as well as general support to the local team. James has worked in a number of HALO programmes and projects over the last seven years, specifically in Africa, Central America and Afghanistan. James is qualified in explosive ordnance disposal to IMAS Level 3 and has degrees in History and Building Surveying.

Curtiss Wilson, HALO Trust

Curtiss Wilson

Capability Officer

Curtiss Wilson joined The HALO Trust in June, 2015 as our UK-based Procurement and Logistics Assistant. He moved into a new role within the Capability department in 2018. Curtiss hails from Dumfries in south-west Scotland, just a few miles from our global headquarters in Carronbridge.