Defence’s Russell offices were shaken when two RAAF F-35A Lightnings flew low and fast over Canberra to mark the change of command of Chief of Joint Capabilities on November 24. 

Joint Capabilities Group (JCG) provides enabling capabilities, such as logistics support, health, training and legal services.

Outgoing Chief of Joint Capabilities Air Marshal Warren McDonald handed over to Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead.

“Jonathan is an exceptional person and leader with considerable operations, command and capability development experience,” Air Marshal McDonald said.

“You do not get any better than Jonathan.” 

Air Marshal McDonald was the first to take command of JCG in 2017.

Over his time, he has seen a growth in Defence technology, stemming from his organisation.

 “I have seen Defence capabilities evolve, increasing the reliance and advantages of modern-day computing and its associated technologies,” he said.

“Moving forward, JCG will be advancing some of Defences key projects such as a sovereign satellite system and defensive cyber.”

Air Marshal McDonald credited his team and previous experience for successes throughout the command.

“It is the roles and opportunities that you have been provided that help you in these positions,” he said.

Parting gifts ranged from gardening gloves, a box of Twisties, and a handsaw cut to reflect Air Marshal McDonald’s connection to Hay, NSW, Defence and his flying career.

Senior Indigenous liaison officer Wing Commander Jonathan Lilley also gifted Air Marshal McDonald the boomerang used in the Welcome to Country conducted as part of the change-of-command ceremony.

JCG was an outcome of the 2015 First Principles Review, which recommended consolidating military enabling services to support an integrated approach for the ADF.