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Luke Townsend


Captain (Ret.) Luke William Townsend MBE MA is an intelligence specialist. He was a full-time soldier in two armies and has a Masters in Intelligence and Security Studies, from Brunel in London (2014), receiving the Dean’s Prize for research of highest impact. First, he served in the Royal Australian Army Ordinance Corps and then Australian Intelligence Corps (2001-2005). Next, he served in the British Army’s Queens Royal Lancers and then Specialist Group Military Intelligence (2009-2019). He deployed to East Timor and other operations in South East Asia with the Australian Army. With the British Army he deployed to Afghanistan twice – once as a battlefield casualty replacement for the infantry in 2009 and then as the Intelligence Coordinator for the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in 2012-13. He was awarded a NATO Meritorious Service Medal for his effectiveness against the enemy, on this last tour. He received his commission at Sandhurst in October 2017 and was awarded the Sword of Honour. Captain Townsend has spent seven years studying and combating poaching in Sub-Saharan Africa, has co-authored a paper on Counter-Poaching and his final post was as the Counter-Poaching and Bush Warfare Specialist, International Security Directorate, MOD Main Building. He was awarded an MBE for his services to conservation, MOD and the Royal Family in 2020. Since 2005, he has built small remote vehicles with his own funds and in his spare time, in the belief that they could spare soldiers’ lives - the latest iteration of this is GUS1. He has recently worked remotely as the Intelligence Chief for the African Parks Network (18 parks in Africa) and has developed GUS1 with assistance from Federation University as an inexpensive way to reduce the risk and training burden on park personnel and improve early warning and situational awareness. Captain Townsend brings to the team first-hand experience of what is required for technology to succeed in combat, in the most hostile and remote environments.