Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group

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Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group
ProductsMilitary Equipment Acquisition and Sustainment
OwnerE.J Anderson
Number of employees
ParentAustralian Department of Defence

The Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) is an organisation within the Australian Department of Defence, responsible for acquisition and supply chain management of military equipment and materiel including aircraft, ships, vehicles, electronic systems, uniforms and rations for the Australian Defence Force. CASG employs more than 7000 military, civilian and contracted staff in more than 70 locations around Australia and internationally.

CASG was established in June 2015 after the Defence Materiel Organisation was disbanded after recommendations from the First Principles Review.[1]


Logo of the former Defence Materiel Organisation (2000–2015)

The Defence Materiel Organisation was formed in 2000 when the then Defence Acquisition Organisation merged with Support Command Australia, bringing together the Department of Defence's capital acquisition and logistics organisations into a single entity. The DMO was given responsibility for purchasing, through-life support and disposal of military equipment assets, other than facilities and administrative assets.

In July 2005, DMO became a Prescribed Agency under Australian Financial Management and Accountability legislation, meaning that although it remains a part of the Department of Defence, it was separately accountable to the Minister of Defence for its budget and performance.

DMO's stated vision was to become the leading program management and engineering services organisation in Australia. Its goal was to deliver projects and sustainment on time, on budget and to the required capability, safety and quality.[2]

The DMO budget in 2012–13 was A$9 billion, shared between purchasing new equipment and sustainment and through-life support (maintenance, upgrades, fuels, explosive ordnance and spares). [3][2]

Mortimer review[edit]

In May 2008, the Australian Government commissioned a review of Defence procurement, which included in its terms of reference a report on the progress of implementing reforms from the last such review – the 2003 Kinnaird Review.

The review was conducted by David Mortimer, who presented his findings in September 2008. Mortimer identified five principal areas of concern. There was/were:

  • inadequate project management resources in the Capability Development Group,
  • inefficiencies in the processes leading to government approvals for new projects,
  • personnel and skill shortages in the DMO,
  • delays due to industry capacity and capability, and
  • difficulties in the introduction of equipment into full service.

In all, Mortimer made 46 recommendations, with 42 accepted in full by the Government and three accepted in part. One recommendation was not accepted – that the DMO should be separated from the Department of Defence and become an executive agency. This recommendation, which was also made in the 2003 Kinnaird Review, was not implemented by the Howard government. As an executive agency, the DMO would receive its own acquisition funding stream as a government appropriation, and would be headed by a chief executive with "significant private sector and commercial experience". Mortimer also recommended that a general manager Commercial[4] position be created to implement a business-like focus throughout the organisation.[5]

Post-Mortimer reforms[edit]

Ministerial statements in 2010 and 2011 suggested that the Government believed new procurement reforms were needed. On 26 November 2010, the Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, in adding project AIR 5418 Joint Air to Surface Stand-off Missile (JASSM) to the 'Projects of Concern' list, stated that the listing was because of "our poor management, our failure to keep government properly and fully informed about the project and its difficulties." Minister Smith also said that he had asked Defence to review the effectiveness of its management of major projects.[6] On 6 May 2011 Minister Smith announced further Defence procurement reforms aimed at improving project management, minimising risk at project start and identifying problems early[7] and on 29 June 2011, Minister Smith announced reforms to the management of 'Projects of Concern' including the development of formal remediation plans for designated projects.[8]

First Principles Review[edit]

On 1 April 2015, the Minister for Defence released the First Principles Review. The review recommended that the Defence Materiel Organisation should be disbanded and the transfer of its core responsibilities in relation to capability delivery to a new Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group,[1] which took effect from 1 July 2015.[9]


  • Joint Systems Division
    • Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare Branch
    • Critical Systems Branch
    • Communication Systems Branch
    • Air and Space Surveillance Control Branch
    • Explosive Materiel Branch
  • Maritime Systems Division
    • Major Surface Ships Branch
    • Specialist Ship Branch
    • Maritime Support Branch
  • Submarines Division
  • Future Submarine Program
  • Ships Division
  • Land Systems Division
    • Integrated Soldier Systems Branch
    • Land Manoeuvre Systems Branch
    • Land Vehicle Systems Branch
    • Combined Arms Fighting System
    • Land Engineering Agency
    • Commodity Reform Program
  • Helicopter Systems Division
    • Army Aviation Systems Branch
    • Navy Aviation Systems Branch
  • Aerospace Systems Division
    • Airlift and Tanker Systems Branch
    • Aerospace Combat Systems Branch
    • Aerospace Maritime, Training and Surveillance Branch
  • Joint Strike Fighter Program
  • Commercial Division
  • Program Performance Division
    • Governance and Management Branch
    • Acquisition and Sustainment Policy Branch
    • Program Management Branch
    • Disposals and Sales Branch


Dr Stephen Gumley was the DMO's chief executive officer from February 2004 until his retirement was announced by the Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, on 7 July 2011.[10] Gumley had headed an executive team of around 20 senior managers. According to the DMO website, the executive team has considerable private and public sector experience, as well as extensive military domain knowledge.[11]

In March 2009, the Corporate general manager of the DMO, Jane Wolfe, was dismissed for unsatisfactory performance. The Canberra Times reported that its 'senior public service sources' believe she is the highest-ranking Australian Commonwealth public servant to ever have been dismissed for underperformance.[12] Wolfe was reinstated in April 2010 following a legal challenge against procedural aspects of her dismissal in the Federal Court of Australia.[13][14] The case is said to have "significant implications" for the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service, where legal challenges to performance decisions have been rare.[15]

On 13 February 2012, Warren King (former Deputy CEO) was appointed CEO.[16]

On 31 August 2015, Kim Gillis was appointed Deputy Secretary CASG.

In November 2018, Tony Fraser was appointed Deputy Secretary CASG.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brain, David (April 2015). "First Principles Review: Creating One Defence" (PDF). Department of Defence, Australian Government. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b "About DMO". Defence Materiel Organisation. Archived from the original on 27 March 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  3. ^ "Inside DMO". Defence Materiel Organisation. Archived from the original on 26 May 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  4. ^ "DMO appoints industry supremo to drive reform". Australian Financial Review. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Going to the Next Level – The Report of the Defence Procurement and Sustainment Review". On Target. October 2008. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Address to the Department of Defence Senior Leadership Group" (Press release). Australian Government, Department of Defence. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Strategic Reform Program" (Press release). Australian Government, Department of Defence. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Speech" (Press release). Australian Government, Department of Defence. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Fact Sheet: Smaller Government: Defence Materiel Organisation: Reintegration into the Department of Defence" (MS Word). Department of Defence, Australian Government. May 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  10. ^ CEO of DMO retires Archived 27 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Press release, 7 July 2011
  11. ^ "Leaders in DMO". Defence Materiel Organisation. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  12. ^ Mannheim, Markus (8 April 2009). "Top Woman in Defence Sacked". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 8 April 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  13. ^ Davis, Mark (25 February 2010). "Defence executive challenges sacking". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  14. ^ Towell, Noel (9 April 2010). "Defence exec wins her job back". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 9 April 2010.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Davis, Mark (9 April 2010). "Public servant's sacking reversed". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  16. ^ DMO Leadership Chart Archived 26 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 2013

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Ergas, Henry. 'Some Economic Aspects of the Weapons Systems Acquisition Process' (2003); available from CRA International