Chief Capability Development Group

The Chief of Capability Development Group (CCDG) was head of the Capability Development Group (CDG) in the Australian Department of Defence, part of the Australian Defence Organisation. This position was created in December 2003 and disbanded through the amalgamation of the Capability Development Group and the Defence Materiel Organisation into the Defence Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group from 2015.

The appointed officer was responsible to the diarchy of the Chief of the Defence Force and the Secretary of Defence.[1]

Chief Capability Development Group (CCDG) of
Australian Department of Defence
Term length(nominally) Three years (renewable)
Inaugural holderLTGEN David Hurley

Capability Development Group

The role of the Capability Development Group (CDG) was to develop and gain Australian Government approval for future defence capabilities. The CDG has a close relationship with the Defence Materiel Organisation) and oversaw the implementation of Defence Procurement Review recommendations.

As sponsor, CDG was responsible for developing capability proposals consistent with strategic priorities, funding guidance, legislation and policy, for consideration and approval by Government. In particular, the work of the Group focused on:

  • Defence's Major Capability Expenditure (MCE) investment program;[a] and
  • Capability Definition, comprising the Needs Phase and the Requirements Phase of the Capability Development process.

CCDG, along with the Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF), the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and the Chief Defence Scientist (CDS), (all are 3 star level positions), comprised the Owner Support Executives.

Department heads

  • Head Capability System: Vacant
  • First assistant secretary capability investment & resources: Michael Gibson
  • Assistant secretary capability & plans: Ben Coleman
  • Executive director group support: Warren Nelson
  • Director-General Australian defence test & evaluation office: CAPT John Renwick, RAN

Chief Capability Development Group

The following officers have been appointed as Chief of the Capability Development Group:

Rank Name Post-
Time in
Lieutenant General David Hurley AO, DSC Army December 2003 September 2007 3 years, 274 days
Vice Admiral Matt Tripovich AO, CSC, RAN RAN September 2007 October 2010 3 years, 30 days
Air Marshal John Harvey AM RAAF October 2010 November 2011 1 year, 31 days
Vice Admiral Peter Jones AO, DSC, RAN RAN November 2011 31 October 2014 2 years, 364 days
Lieutenant General John Caligari AO, DSC Army 31 October 2014 20 August 2015 293 days
Air Vice Marshal Mel Hupfeld AO, DSC RAAF 20 August 2015 2016 1 years, 1,093 days [1]

References and notes


  1. ^ "Major" means equipment projects of:
    • $20 million or more, or
    • less than $20 million, but with individual items of $1 million or more, or
    • less than $20 million with strategic significance


  1. ^ a b "Defence Senior Leaders". Department of Defence. Australian Government. 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
2010 Queen's Birthday Honours (Australia)

The Queen's Birthday Honours 2010 for Australia were announced on 13 June 2010.

† indicates an award given posthumously.

David Hurley

General David John Hurley, (born 26 August 1953) is a former senior officer in the Australian Army and the 27th Governor-General of Australia, in office since 1 July 2019. He was previously the 38th Governor of New South Wales, serving from 2014 to 2019.

In a 42-year military career, Hurley deployed on Operation Solace in Somalia in 1993, commanded the 1st Brigade (1999–2000), was the inaugural Chief of Capability Development Group (2003–2007) and Chief of Joint Operations (2007–2008), and served as Vice Chief of the Defence Force (2008–2011). His career culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force on 4 July 2011, in succession to Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston. Hurley retired from the army in June 2014, and succeeded Dame Marie Bashir as Governor of New South Wales on 2 October 2014.

John Caligari

Lieutenant General John Graham Caligari, (born 21 August 1960) is a retired senior officer of the Australian Army. He served as Chief Capability Development Group from October 2014 until his retirement in August 2015.

John Harvey (RAAF officer)

Air Marshal John Paul Harvey (born 4 September 1954) was a senior officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) until his retirement at the end of 2011. He held the position of Chief Capability Development Group from October 2010 until December 2011.

List of Australian admirals

This is a list of Australian admirals.

The following is an incomplete list of people who have attained admiral rank within the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

List of Companions of the Order of Australia

The Order of Australia is the only Australian order of chivalry. It was established on 14 February 1975 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, to recognise Australian citizens and other persons for achievement, meritorious service, or for both. At that time, the Companion of the Order of Australia was the highest of three grades of the Order (Companion, Officer, Member).

On 24 May 1976, the grade of Knight or Dame of the Order was established, displacing Companion as the highest grade. On 3 June 1986, the Knight/Dame grade was abolished, and Companion was once again the highest grade.

On 25 March 2014, the Knight/Dame grade was re-established, Companion once again being relegated to the second highest grade of the Order. The Knight/Dame grade was again abolished on 2 November 2015.

Matt Tripovich

Vice Admiral Matthew John Tripovich (born 4 January 1956) is a retired senior officer of the Royal Australian Navy. He served as Chief Capability Development Group from 2007 until his retirement in October 2010.

Mel Hupfeld

Air Marshal Melvin Ernest Glanville Hupfeld, (born 7 March 1962) is a senior officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. He served as Air Commander Australia from 2012 to 2014 and was the acting and final Chief Capability Development Group (2015–16), before being appointed as Head Force Design in the Vice Chief of the Defence Force Group (2016–18). He was promoted air marshal and made Chief of Joint Operations in May 2018, and succeeded Air Marshal Leo Davies as Chief of Air Force in July 2019.

Peter Jones (admiral)

Vice Admiral Peter David Jones, (born 1957) is a retired senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), who served as the Chief Capability Development Group (CCDG) from 2011 until his retirement in October 2014. He was succeeded as CCDG by Lieutenant General John Caligari.

Structure of the Royal Australian Air Force

The Royal Australian Air Force is organised into a number of operational, support and training formations located at bases across Australia.

Circa 1998, composite wings in the 95-97 series range were reported to be formed if necessary for operations overseas. In the event, No. 97 Wing RAAF was established on 24 October 1997 to command the RAAF elements deployed for drought relief purposes to Papua New Guinea during Operation Ples Drai. It was led by Wing Commander Chris Richards, who was also the commander of the Air Component of Joint Task Force 105 which had been established for this operation.

Three-star rank

An officer of three-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-8. The term is also used by some armed forces which are not NATO members. Typically, three-star officers hold the rank of vice admiral, lieutenant general, or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air marshal.

Vice admiral (Australia)

Vice admiral (abbreviated as VADM) is the second-highest active rank of the Royal Australian Navy and was created as a direct equivalent of the British rank of vice admiral. It is a three-star rank. The rank is held by the Chief of Navy and, when the positions are held by navy officers, by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, the Chief of Joint Operations, or the Chief Capability Development Group.

Vice admiral is a higher rank than rear admiral, but lower than admiral. Vice admiral is the equivalent of air marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force and lieutenant general in the Australian Army.

Since the mid-1990s, the insignia of a Royal Australian Navy vice admiral is the Crown of St. Edward above a crossed sabre and baton, above three silver stars, above the word "AUSTRALIA". The stars have eight points as in the equivalent Royal Navy insignia. Prior to 1995, the RAN shoulder board was identical to the UK shoulder board. (The UK shoulder board changed in 2001.)

Australian Defence Organisation
Australian Defence Force
Royal Australian Navy
Australian Army
Royal Australian Air Force
Department of Defence

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