Command change marks first female domain lead

Lieutenant General John Frewen officially handed over the position of Chief of Joint Capabilities to Lieutenant General Susan Coyle at a ceremony in Canberra on July 4.

ADF, APS and industry partners attended the ceremony, marking the achievements of Lieutenant General Frewen and celebrating the appointment of Lieutenant General Coyle.

The Chief of Joint Capabilities role is responsible for providing space, cyber and logistic effects to the ADF, while leading two of the five domains – space and cyber.

With the appointment of Lieutenant General Coyle to Chief of Joint Capabilities, Defence will now have its first female domain lead.

Lieutenant General Coyle thanked her predecessor for his strong leadership and service.

“I am privileged to follow in the footsteps of Lieutenant General John Frewen, who has led a remarkable transformation within JCG with humility, determination and intellect. He leaves a lasting impact on this organisation,” Lieutenant General Coyle said.

“JJ and I first crossed paths working as military assistants to the Chief and Deputy Chief of Army. I was impressed and grateful for his support then, as I am today.”

‘Our success hinges on harnessing our people’s full potential.’

Lieutenant General Coyle has most recently worked as the Commander Forces Command in Army. She has previously served as Commander Joint Task Force 633 and as the inaugural Commander Task Group Afghanistan.

Lieutenant General Coyle is excited to be returning to Joint Capabilities Group, where she previously worked as Head of Information Warfare, whose responsibilities are now delivered across Cyber Command and Joint Capabilities Division.

“I feel a huge sense of pride to accept command of Joint Capabilities,” Lieutenant General Coyle said.

“As a young 17-year-old private reservist at 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers in Tamworth back in 1987, I would not have thought this was an option. Anything is possible, and I am proud to be leading two of the five domains.

“Our success hinges on harnessing our people’s full potential, which for me is developing our cyber, space and logistics capabilities. Our people, our leaders at every level, and our culture are our advantage.

“I am truly honoured to lead and steward Joint Capabilities Group into the next chapter of its shared and proud history of service.”

Lieutenant General Frewen reflected on the significant period of change for the Group, which has drastically changed its core functions.

“When I first started in this position, Joint Capabilities Group was a collective of enablers providing logistic, health, education and support services to Defence while overseeing our guided weapons and explosive ordnance enterprise,” Lieutenant General Frewen said.

“Our mission is now more focused and targeted. Space, cyber and logistics are integral to the ADF’s role in the protection and projection of national power.”

“Operational success relies on these capabilities contributing across the five warfighting domains. No longer can one succeed without the other.”

‘I am pleased to be handing over the group to Lieutenant General Coyle, knowing there is no one better suited to drive the group to even greater heights.’

Despite coming from a pedigree of Army personnel, Lieutenant General Frewen appreciates the unique benefits that over a decade of experience in a joint environment, including leading Joint Capabilities Group, has offered him.

“Joint Capabilities Group is unlike any other group or service. Its uniqueness is seen in its structure through to its workforce, and this gives us strength,” Lieutenant General Frewen said.

“I am fortunate to work with an exceptional group of people from across Defence and industry. We are the epitome of One Defence and a fully integrated force.”

“I am pleased to be handing over the group to Lieutenant General Coyle, knowing there is no one better suited to drive the group to even greater heights.”

Lieutenant General Frewen joined the Army in 1983 via the Royal Military College – Duntroon. Throughout his career, he has gained experience in a wide range of Army and ADF operations, including service in Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Afghanistan and the broader Middle East. Highlights have included roles as Head Military Strategic Commitments and National Commander of all Australian Defence personnel in the Middle East. He was also appointed the Coordinator General of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Task-Force.

Following the formal speeches, Lieutenant General Frewen was presented with his Chief of Joint Capabilities flag, signifying the end of his tenure.

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