Chief of Joint Capabilities, Air Marshall Warren McDonald, AM, CSC


Air Marshal Warren McDonald was born in Hay, NSW and joined the Royal Australian Air Force at the age of 15 as an apprentice motor transport fitter. In 1989, he was commissioned and underwent pilot training, flying his first operational tour on the P-3C Orion at No 11 Squadron. In 1993, he was posted to Canada to fly the CP-140 Aurora at 415 Squadron.

In 1996, he returned to fly the P-3C Orion with No 10 Squadron and was then posted to No 92 Wing's Maritime Test and Evaluation Unit to introduce the AP-3C Orion. In 2001, he was promoted to Squadron Leader and posted to No 10 Squadron as a flight commander. In 2002, he was posted to Butterworth Malaysia, as the commander of 92WG’s Detachment Alpha. In 2005, he returned to Australia to attend Australian Command and Staff Course. This was followed by promotion to Wing Commander and a posting as Deputy Director of Project Air 7000 Phase 1.

In 2007, Air Marshal McDonald was appointed Commanding Officer of No 11 Squadron, for which he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross. This was followed in 2009 by appointment as Officer Commanding No 92 Wing and promotion to Group Captain. He commanded No 92 Wing until October 2011, when he deployed to the Middle East as the Australian Air Component Commander for Joint Task Force 633 in support of Operation SLIPPER. With over 5000 hours on the P-3, he has served four operational tours in the Middle East, each one in a different command position.

Upon his return from the Middle East in May 2012, Air Vice-Marshal McDonald was promoted to Air Commodore and appointed Director General Capability Planning - Air Force, before appointment as Commander Air Mobility Group. In June 2015, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for exceptional performance as Officer Commanding No 92 Wing, Director General Capability Planning - Air Force and Commander Air Mobility Group.

On promotion to Air Vice-Marshal in July 2015, he commenced as Deputy Chief of Air Force. Air Marshal McDonald is currently serving as the Chief of Joint Capabilities. He was promoted to Air Marshal on 14 December 2018, continuing in the role of Chief of Joint Capabilities.

He is married to his very understanding wife, Sarah.

Chief Scientist for Energetic Materials, Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, Dr. Alfred G. Stern 


Dr. Alfred G. Stern is the Chief Scientist for Energetic Materials at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Technology Division (IHEODTD). He was appointed the Navy’s Senior Technologist (ST) for Energetic Materials in May 2000.

Dr. Stern serves as an energetic materials (including propellants and explosives) technical program advisor/member for a number of Navy and DoD Research, Development, and Test and Evaluation (RDT&E), and Science and Technology (S&T) Programs. He is principal
investigator for an Office of Naval Research (ONR) Code 351 energetic materials project dealing with the synthesis and characterization of new energetic ingredients.

Dr. Stern served as IHEODTD Chief Technology Officer (2009-2015), where he managed the Naval Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 219) and the In-House Laboratory Innovative Research (ILIR)/In-House Applied Research (IAR) Programs. In that capacity, he also led the Warfare Center (WFC) Naval Research Enterprise (NRE) and NSWC IHEODTD Postdoctoral, NSWC IHD Science, and Mathematics, and Research and Technology SMART and ONR Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)/Minority Institutions (MI) Summer Faculty Programs. Prior to his role as CTO, he managed IHEODTD ILIR/IAR programs from 04/2005 – 12/2015.

He served as Acting Research and Technology Department Head (02/2000-12/1999), Chemistry and Detonics Division Director (2000-1998), and Synthesis and Scale-up Branch Manager (1998-1994). Dr. Stern joined NSWC Dahlgren Division (DD) (White Oak Detachment (WODET) as a Research Chemist in 1991. Prior to joining NSWC, he was a chemist at Thiokol Corp. (1989-1991) and at Hercules, Inc. (1980), and a Postdoctoral Fellow (1988 -1989) at The Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

Dr. Stern holds chemistry degrees (Ph.D. and M.A.) from JHU; the University of Maryland (M.S., College Park, MD); and Stockton State College (B.S., Pomona, NJ). He is a Defense Acquisition Workforce Authorization Act (DAWIA) Level III Certified Science and Technology (S&T) Manager, a member of the Department of Navy Acquisition Professional Community, several professional societies, has received multiple awards, and is the author and inventor on a number of publications, presentations, and patents dealing with energetic materials S&T.

Executive Director, DoD Explosives Safety Board, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Sustainment, Environment) Thierry L. Chiapello


Mr. Thierry Chiapello has served 30 years in the Department of Defense including 25 years Federal Civil Service and 5 years active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps.  He has held leadership positions in logistics, military munitions management, environmental management, and explosives safety.  

Executive Director, DoD Explosives Safety Board (DDESB) 2005-Present   
Mr. Chiapello was hired in October 2005 to transform the DDESB.  He led the development of a comprehensive strategy to integrate explosives safety and munitions risk management throughout the DoD.  Mr. Chiapello’s responsibilities include: leading the DDESB professional staff, maintaining and overseeing the DoD Explosives Safety Program, integrating explosives safety tenets and requirements throughout the DoD enterprise with a special focus on acquisition, logistics, real property, and the environment.  Key focus areas include, providing Combatant Commanders and the Military Services the tools to identify and reduce munitions risks in operations, supporting key leaders’ informed risk decisions when munitions risks remain, and representing the U.S. domestically and internationally on explosives safety and munitions risk topics.

During his tenure at the DDESB, Mr. Chiapello led the development of the risk management policy for the US and NATO that provides Commanders critical information to assess and reduce munitions-related risks to the mission and the process for Commanders to make informed risk decisions.  Mr. Chiapello is leading the effort to identify and reduce munitions risks within the Republic of Korea and NATO as well as working with numerous nations to quantify and eliminate munitions risks whenever possible.

Mr. Chiapello is the U.S. Head of Delegation to the NATO Conference of National Armaments Directors, Ammunition Safety Group and Chairs the Explosives Safety and Munitions Risk Management Panel within the NATO Logistics Committee.

Head, Logistics Division Marine Corps Systems Command (PM for Ammunition) 1998-2005.  Mr. Chiapello’s responsibilities included serving as USMC’s voting Board Member to the DDESB, managing the Marine Corps’ explosives safety program and planning military munitions sustainment for Marines during training, operations, and contingencies.  From 2004-2005 he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Head, Environmental Compliance and Training, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC. 1994-1998. Mr. Chiapello managed the installation’s compliance with Federal and State environmental regulations.  Mr. Chiapello developed and award winning 40-hr training course for Marines and routinely trained personnel from Marine Corps installations around the world.  During his time at MCB Camp Lejeune he trained over 1,000 Marines and civil servants on processes and requirements that resulted in balancing the mission with the environment.

Logistics and Environmental Compliance Officer, USMC 1989-1994.  Capt. (S). Chiapello provided logistics support to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.  His responsibilities included preparing Marine Corps expeditionary units’ for deployments while complying with environmental regulations. During his military career, he deployed twice with the 26th  Marine Expeditionary Unit in support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm.


  •  Federal Executive Institute (Leadership for a Democratic Society). 2008
  •  Masters of Science - Industrial College of the Armed Forces - Distinguished. (National Resource Strategy) 2005
  •  Masters of Science - Columbia Southern University.  (Environmental Management) 1999
  •  Bachelor of Arts - The George Washington University (International Economics and Relations). 1989


Director General Explosive Ordnance, Air Commodore Wade Evans, OBE


Wade Evans joined the Royal Australian Air Force in January 1984 as an engineer cadet. In 1987 he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics) and was commissioned as an Armaments Officer and posted to Explosives Engineering at 1 Central Ammunition Depot, NSW.

After gaining engineering, logistics and training experience, including a posting to the United Kingdom Royal Military College of Science (Shrivenham) where he completed a Masters of Science (Explosive Ordnance Engineering), Air Commodore Evans was promoted to Wing Commander in 2002. As the Chief Engineer of the Joint Ammunition Logistics Organisation he led a significant program of engineering reform.  This was followed by a posting to Headquarters Air Command as the Deputy Director Capability Management where he subsequently receiving an ACAUST Commendation for his efforts supporting the Air Command C2 Weapon System.

In October 2008, AIRCDRE Evans was posted to the UK Defence Ordnance Safety Group (DOSG) as the Australian Exchange Officer. During his three year posting he held the post as a section head in the Weapon Systems Division managing a section of staff developing safety and suitability for service advice for a wide variety of ordnance munitions and explosives. In recognition of his efforts he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

While posted to the UK, AIRCDRE Evans was also the Australian representative on the Munitions Safety Information Analysis Centre (MSIAC) Steering Committee, the MSIAC Strategic Planning Group and the NATO Ammunition Safety group, A/C 326. In November 2011 the MSIAC Steering Committee elected him as the Chairman of their Steering Committee, a position he held until October 2014.

On 5 December 2011, AIRCDRE Evans was promoted to Group Captain and appointed as the Director Ordnance Safety. In January 2015 he took up the role of Director Explosive Ordnance – Air Force within the Directorate General Technical Airworthiness – Australian Defence Force. During 2015 he produced a number of papers regarding the future of Defence EO Safety Management.

On 8 Dec 2015, AIRCDRE Evans was promoted to Air Commodore, taking up the appointment as Director General Explosive Ordnance within VCDF Group on 21 Dec 15.

AIRCDRE Evans lives in Canberra with his wife Rebecca, his daughter Isabelle and son Patrick.

Director General Explosive Materiel, Brigadier Haydn Kohl


Brigadier Haydn Kohl was born in Hobart, Tasmania on 3 August 1969.  He attended St Virgil’s College in Hobart before graduating from the Royal Military College (Duntroon) to the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in 1989. He is currently employed as Director General Explosive Materiel in the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, having previously been posted to Army Headquarters.

Haydn held the typical range of regimental and staff appointments during his early career. These included postings to watercraft, transport and artillery units as well as to medium and heavy workshops and operational level headquarters.

In 1999 Haydn attended a 12-month technical officer training course. Since then he has undertaken a mix of capability management, staff and representational postings; commencing with a posting as the senior engineer for the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV). This was followed by Australian Command & Staff College and a two-year posting to HQ UK Land Command, where he received a Commander-in-Chief Land commendation recognising his work on maintenance reform and his role as part of the team that deployed and supported 30,000 British troops in Iraq. In 2005 he was posted to the Defence Materiel Organisation as the M113 Program Manager, where he oversaw the delivery of the first significant upgrade to the M113 fleet since the Vietnam War.

In 2008 Haydn was selected as an instructor at the UK Defence Academy. This was an especially rewarding time as it included the opportunity to instruct the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land), a 32-week career course for all British Army and Royal Marine majors. It was also during this posting that his son, Hugo was born.

In 2010 Haydn returned to Australia on promotion to colonel. He subsequently led the Systems Program Office (SPO) acquiring and sustaining small and medium calibre weapons for the ADF. This was followed by three years leading a passionate team of experts in Clothing SPO. He was subsequently posted to Capability Development Group as the Director Joint Force Integration, leading a section dedicated to improving Joint integration and interoperability within the ADF. In mid-2014 Haydn was posted on promotion as Director General Land Vehicle Systems and in October 2016 he was posted to lead Land Manoeuvre Systems Branch, with responsibility for acquiring and sustaining a range of land-based equipment including armoured vehicles, ground based air defence systems and engineer plant equipment. He was privileged to be selected as Head of Corps RAEME in October 2015, a role he filled concurrently with his other responsibilities and which included the honor of leading the Corps contingent on ANZAC Day during its 75th year.

Haydn’s professional development is underpinned by a series of operational deployments. In 1996 he was seconded to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) headquarters in El Arish in the Sinai. In 2003 he deployed to Kabul as the S4(EME) for the Royal Anglian Battlegroup and in 2004 he deployed to Basrah in Iraq. In August 2018 he returned from 12 months on Headquarters Resolute Support in Afghanistan where he was part of a specialist team advising and mentoring senior members of the Afghan Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence on logistics, medical and ICT matters. For his efforts in Afghanistan he received the US Legion of Merit.

Haydn has undertaken professional education throughout his career. Highlights include a Masters of Science in Operations Research and Statistics in 1999, and graduating from Staff College with a Masters of Management in Defence Studies in 2002. In 2007 Haydn joined the Australian Institute of Project Management and in 2012 he joined the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Haydn is married to Alex, an Australian Federal Police officer. Alex and Haydn have a nine year old son Hugo and a five year old daughter Zara. Haydn enjoys a range of sports, including long distance running, triathlon, sailing and horse-riding. He has previously competed on behalf of the ADF in Modern Pentathlon at an international level.​

Director of Ordnance Safety, Colonel Athanasios “Arthur” Tsamis


Colonel Athanasios Tsamis enlisted into the Army Ready Reserve in 1992 as a rifleman in the 49 Battalion of The Royal Queensland Regiment.  In 1993 he entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon, graduating to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. Colonel Tsamis gained regimental experience in various units including the Land Force Signal Unit in Melbourne and the 145 Signal Squadron in Sydney. In 1997 he was posted to the 1 Recruit Training Battalion in Wagga Wagga as a Recruit Training Platoon Commander.

From 1998 to 2001 Colonel Tsamis completed long term schooling at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in Canberra where he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical) with First Class Honours. Upon graduation from ADFA, Colonel Tsamis was posted to Headquarters 16 Brigade (Aviation) as a staff officer in the Logistics Branch. In 2003 he served with the Rotary Wing Maintenance School (RAMS) at the Army Aviation Training Centre in Oakey as the Senior Instructor of the Armament Systems Wing.

In January 2004 Lieutenant Colonel Tsamis was selected as the Officer Commanding/Chief Instructor of RAMS. In December 2005, Colonel Tsamis deployed on OPERATION CATALYST (Iraq) as the Plans Officer for the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT) in Baghdad, and was awarded the United States Bronze Star Medal for his role in developing logistics training for the Iraqi Security Forces.

Upon return to Australia, Colonel Tsamis was posted to the Aircraft Maintenance Regulations Section at the Directorate General Technical Airworthiness in Melbourne. In 2007 he completed Australian Command and Staff College and posted to the Directorate of Logistics-Army at Army Headquarters as a staff officer. In 2011 Colonel Tsamis was posted to the newly formed Aviation Branch within Headquarters Force Command as Staff Officer Grade One Aviation Logistics.

In January 2013 Colonel Tsamis was appointed Commanding Officer of RAMS.

Colonel Tsamis took up his current post as Director Ordnance Safety in January 2018, following a three year exchange with the UK Defence Ordnance Safety Group (DOSG). During his time in DOSG he gained valuable insight and experience in assessing safety and suitability for service of a range of weapon systems including small arms, shoulder-launched guided weapons, medium calibre gun systems and artillery. In addition to his duties with DOSG he was the Australian representative on the MSIAC steering committee, and the NATO Ammunition Safety Group (AC/326).

Arthur is married and has two children. He enjoys travelling, fishing and his football.