Chief Capability Development Group

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Chief Capability Development Group (CCDG) of Department of Defence, Australian Defence Organisation
AVM Mel Hupfeld

since 20 August 2015 (2015-08-20) (acting)
Term length (nominally) Three years (renewable)
Inaugural holder LTGEN David Hurley

The Chief of Capability Development Group (CCDG) is 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 is currently occupied in an acting capacity since August 2015 by AVM Mel Hupfeld AO, DSC, a two-star officer of the Australian Defence Force. Prior to 2015, the position was occupied by a three-star officer.

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

Capability Development Group[edit]

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

As sponsor, CDG is 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 focuses 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), comprise the Owner Support Executives. They report to the "diarchy": the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) and the Secretary, Department of Defence.

Department heads[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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

Rank Name Post-
Time in
Lieutenant General Hurley, DavidDavid Hurley AO, DSC Army December 2003 September 2007 3 years, 274 days
Vice Admiral Tripovich, MattMatt Tripovich AO, CSC, RAN RAN September 2007 October 2010 3 years, 30 days
Air Marshal Harvey , JohnJohn Harvey AM RAAF October 2010 November 2011 1 year, 31 days
Vice Admiral Jones , PeterPeter Jones AO, DSC, RAN RAN November 2011 31 October 2014 2 years, 365 days
Lieutenant General Caligari , JohnJohn Caligari AO, DSC Army 31 October 2014 20 August 2015 293 days
Air Vice Marshal Hupfeld , MelMel Hupfeld AO, DSC RAAF 20 August 2015 incumbent 1 years, 67 days [1]


Mel Hupfeld John Caligari Peter Jones (admiral) John Harvey (RAAF officer) Matt Tripovich David Hurley

References and notes[edit]


  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