Aviation Protection Systems, Inc. (APS), which holds exclusive rights to bring the unique, dark flare-equipped Flight Guard anti-terrorist aircraft defense system to the United States, announced the appointment of longtime aviation and security industry professional Robert A. Heber to the position of Vice-President for Operations.
Heber will oversee daily operations in the U.S. market for Miami-based APS, which has obtained exclusive rights from Israel Military Industries (IMI) and ELTA Systems Ltd. (ELTA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), to market Flight Guard anti-terrorist missile defense technology in the United States.
A 30-year veteran in the fields of aviation and security, Heber has extensive experience in aviation operations management, as well as intelligence and security operations in both the private sector and government. Prior to joining APS, Heber spent seven years providing aviation and security consulting services to various individuals and organizations as an Aviation & Security Management Consultant with Gryphon International, Inc.
Previously, he was Senior Customer Support Representative from 1987-97 for Miami-based Pratt & Whitney, providing engineering technical support to numerous aircraft overhaul and repair facilities, as well as travelling widely in the Caribbean and Central and South America in support of Pratt & Whitney customers.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Bob Heber to the Aviation Protection Systems team," said Omer Regev, President of APS. "His unique combination of aviations operations, customer support and marketing experience, and his familiarity with sensitive security and intelligence issues, will prove invaluable to APS as we roll out the Flight Guard system among aviation clients in the U.S. market."
Flight Guard technology protects military and commercial aircraft from the danger posed by shoulder-fired missiles, known as Man-Portable Air Defense Systems or MANPADS, an increasingly common tool of terrorists worldwide. It is already in use by more than a dozen customers on over 15 different types of aircraft, including military, commercial and private airplanes.
A combat helicopter pilot and flight instructor, Aircraft Commander, and military airfield operations officer with combat experience in Vietnam, Heber attained the final rank of U.S. Army Major in Military Intelligence. From 1974-1979, he served as an Intelligence Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency within the Directorate of Operations / Special Operations Group (DDO/SOG). While employed with the CIA, he was also designated as the Liaison Officer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
From 1972-74, Heber served as a Regional Marketing Manager for the Cessna Aircraft Company, and from 1979-83 as General Manager of Offshore Helicopters & Sabine Marine for Sabine Offshore Service. In 1983, he joined United Technologies Corporation's Sikorsky Aircraft as Mid-Western Regional Marketing Manager and from 1985-87 served as an Internal Security Investigator for the company, before being named Senior Customer Support Representative in 1987 for United Technologies' Pratt & Whitney division. He retired from United Technologies in 1997.
Twice awarded Pratt & Whitney's prestigious Eagle Award to individuals who exhibit exceptional levels of professional creativity and skill, Heber was also commended in writing by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for his role as a member of the NTSB power-plant team in the investigation of the May 1996 crash of ValuJet DC-9 in the Florida Everglades.