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This webinar forms part one of a two webinars which explore the innovation priorities and imperatives within each of the capability domains.
As the Hub and Defence begin to move out of the capability streams and into broader domains, it is important for industry to gain an understanding of the priorities within each so they can be well positioned to propose ideas and solutions.
The webinar will include presentations from senior Defence representatives from the maritime, land and air domains who will discuss strategic challenges and opportunities, as well as innovation needs and priorities within their domain.
The audience will have the opportunity to engage with a panel of presenters through a Q&A session.
Part two will focus on the information, space and cyber domains and will be held on Friday 27 November.
Major General Simon Stuart, AO, DSC
Head Land Capability
Major General Simon Stuart is an Australian Army officer with over thirty years’ experience across a range of leadership, operations, training and program management appointments in Australia and overseas.
He commenced his current role as Head Land Capability in Army Headquarters in January of 2020 after a three year deployment in command of the Multinational Force & Observers from 2017 to 2019.
Major General Stuart’s regimental experience was in the 2nd/4th and 2nd Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment, culminating in command of the 8th/9th Battalion from 2008-2010. He has commanded on operations on five occasions at the company, Joint Task Force, brigade and force levels in East Timor, Afghanistan and Egypt/Israel respectively. His early career included significant training experience, while his staff appointments have largely been in capability development. He has worked in joint, whole of government, international and multi-national environments for most of the past 20 years.
Major General Stuart is the patron for the Army Drone Racing Team.
Major General Stuart is a graduate of the Royal Military College – Duntroon (1990), the United Kingdom’s Joint Services Command and Staff College (2003) and the United States Army War College (2015). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New England and Masters’ degrees in Project Management (UNSW), Arts - Defence Studies (Kings College, London) and Strategy (US Army War College).
Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN
Chief of Navy
Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1984, trained as a seaman officer and then subsequently completed Principal Warfare Officers course and specialised in Air Direction and Above Water Warfare.
Throughout his career, he had experience in a wide range of Navy and ADF operations through various sea and shore posting and operational roles. Highlights have included deployments to the Middle East, Southern Ocean and being the Commissioning Commanding Officer of the ANZAC class frigate HMAS Parramatta.
He has fulfilled leadership positions at all levels of the Australian Defence Force, with senior positions including the Director of Military Strategic Commitments, Director General of Operations at HQJOC, Command of Maritime Border Command and Deputy Chief of Navy.
In June 2018, he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of his distinguished service in significant senior ADF command roles.
Vice Admiral Noonan assumed command of the Royal Australian Navy on 7 July 2018 and will be the 32nd professional head of the Australian Navy, and the 9th officer to hold the title of Chief of Navy Australia. In this role, he is entrusted by Government to be its principal naval advisor, and to raise, train and sustain Australia’s naval forces to execute maritime missions in a dynamic region.
Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, AO, DSC
Chief of Air Force
Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld was born in Sydney in 1962. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as an RAAF Academy Cadet in January 1980, winning the Flying Prize for his year and graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1983.
Air Marshal Hupfeld's early career was spent in a variety of flying positions on Mirage and F/A-18 aircraft, primarily with No 3 Squadron (3SQN) and No 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU), before qualifying as a Fighter Combat Instructor in 1989. Following a period of service as B Flight Commander, 3SQN, Air Marshal Hupfeld was appointed as the Executive Officer of 2OCU in 1995.
In 1997 Air Marshal Hupfeld was selected to attend the Royal Air Force Advanced Staff Course, graduating with a Master of Arts in Defence Studies from King's College in London, before taking up post as a Deputy Director in the Aerospace Development Branch.
In 2001 Air Marshal Hupfeld took command of No 75 Squadron (75SQN) and led the Squadron in operations in Middle East on Operations BASTILLE and FALCONER. In 2003 Air Marshal Hupfeld was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross in recognition of his performance as Commanding Officer 75SQN on Operation FALCONER, and his Squadron was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation.
On promotion to Group Captain in January 2004 he was appointed Director Aerospace Combat Development in the Australian Defence Headquarters, before accepting appointment as Officer Commanding No 81 Wing in January 2006. Promoted to Air Commodore on November 2007, he became the Director of the Combined Air Operations Centre in the Middle East Area of Operations, before returning to Australia as the Director-General Air / Director General Air Command Operations in March 2008. In December 2009, he took command of Air Combat Group where he oversaw all of the RAAF's fast-jet combat aircraft to deliver Australia's capability to control the air and conduct precision strike.
Air Marshal Hupfeld was promoted and appointed as the Air Commander Australia on 3 February 2012. In this position he provided specialist air advice on raise, train and sustain issues to the joint environment.
In September 2014 he was appointed Head Capability Systems Division in the Capability Development Group. In 2015 Air Marshal Hupfeld received an appointment as Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force in senior command and staff appointments. In August 2015 he was appointed to the role of Acting Chief Capability Development Group. On the disbandment of Capability Development Group, Air Marshal Hupfeld took up the newly created position of Head Force Design in Vice Chief of Defence Force Group on 1 April 2016.
On promotion, Air Marshal Hupfeld was appointed as Chief Joint Operations in May 2018 and subsequently Chief of Air Force in July 2019.
Air Marshal Hupfeld is married to Louise, and his interests include mountain biking, running, fishing, light aircraft, and sailing.
GPCAPT Lyle Holt
Director - PLAN Jericho
An F-111 Strike and Flight Test Navigator, Lyle possesses broad joint warfare and interagency support experience.
Lyle was appointed the inaugural Commanding Officer No 5 Flight in 2010 to raise the ADF’s first Medium Altitude, Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial System unit. He was promoted to Group Captain in May 2017 and appointed Officer Commanding No 41 Wing to deliver Persistent Air and Space Defence capabilities.
Lyle’s operational experience includes planning/managing Australia’s C-130 operations in Iraq/Afghanistan (2006); assisting coordinate NATO’s military support to Afghanistan’s 2009 presidential elections; Australian air planner to US CENTCOM for Operation Inherent Resolve (2014); working in interagency teams to execute domestic operations; and Executive Officer to the Director General Operations, Headquarters Joint Operations Command (2015).
Staff appointments of note include serving as the Staff Officer to the Vice Chief of the Defence Force as well as Executive Officer to the Director General Operations, Headquarters Joint Operations Command.
Lyle is currently Director Plan Jericho, a disruptive innovation initiative whose purpose is to give the Royal Australian Air Force an edge to protect Australia from sophisticated and rapidly morphing threats. Appointed to Command the United Nations Command (Rear) in Tokyo from January 2021, Lyle will support the UNC’s role to help maintain peace on the Korean peninsula.
CAPT-RAN Nick Trongale
Director Robotics, Autonomous Systems & Artificial Intelligence
Captain Trongale is the inaugural Director of Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence in Warfare Innovation Navy, Navy Headquarters, Canberra. He entered the Royal Australian Navy in 2017 under the Mid-Career Entry Scheme. Captain Trongale was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from University, he went to Pensacola, Florida where he was trained by USMC drill instructors. He was commissioned an ensign in the US Navy in 1979, rising to the rank of captain in 17 years. He is in his fifth decade serving in a navy.
Captain Trongale is a 1983 Navy Fighter Weapons School “TOPGUN” graduate and 1988 E-2 “Hawkeye of the Year”. As a former Naval Flight Officer, he accumulated over 3,000 flight hours in the E-2 Hawkeye; over 500 carrier landings; and flight time in the F-14, A-4, EA-3B, S-3, SH-3, T-2, E-3; the F-5F flying adversary missions for TOPGUN; and combat time in the EA-6B. He embarked in USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63) three times, USS NIMITZ (CVN 68), USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) twice, USS BOXER (LHD 4), and USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6). As commanding officer, his squadron was assigned to the carrier air wing responsible for integrating women in combat aviation roles in the USN. After squadron command at sea and following his selection for deep draft ship command, Captain Trongale attended the USN’s Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS) and the SWOS Commanding Officer Course in Newport, Rhode Island.
Subsequent to his career in the USN, Captain Trongale served as the President of the College of Oceaneering at the Port of Los Angeles where he was responsible for training commercial divers. Moving from academia to industry, he went on to become a program manager at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the Predator and Altair UAV programs; and from there was handpicked as NASA’s Integrated Flight Team Lead for its ACCESS 5 UAV program at the Dryden Flight Research Center.
Captain Trongale’s advanced education includes a Doctorate in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego, and master’s degrees from Stanford University and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Political Science and National Security Affairs. He was a Federal Executive Research Fellow at the RAND Corporation; an Admiral Arthur S. Moreau Scholar; he attended Executive Training at Harvard University and the Defense and Industry Studies Course (DISC). While at RAND, he participated in studies on China, C4I and Unmanned Systems. He is a trained negotiator. His awards include the U.S. Legion of Merit and 13 unit commendations.
Captain Trongale’s hobbies include the martial arts, boxing, recreational hard hat diving, riding motorcycles and playing bass guitar. He and his wife Elizabeth are active volunteers with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in Canberra.