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Space Command shake-up as new JCG chief announced

A former commander of Australian Forces in the Middle East is to become the new chief of Joint Capabilities – effectively overseeing Space Command.

Major General Susan Coyle will replace Lieutenant General John Frewen in the role following a reshuffle of senior military positions announced by the Prime Minister on Tuesday.

Coyle is currently the Commander of the Army’s Forces Command but previously saw operational service in Afghanistan and East Timor.

Born in Kyogle, NSW in 1970, she gained a degree in science at the ADF Academy and graduated from the Royal Military College in 1992 into the Royal Australian Corps of Signals.


She will now direct the head of Space Command, Major General Greg Novak, who will be delivering a presentation at Space Connect’s AusSpace24 summit in May.

“I’d like to congratulate all personnel for accepting these appointments, and leading the Australian Defence Force with the values and tenets the Australian public expect of our military leaders,” said PM Anthony Albanese.

“I look forward to working with you to plan and deliver a more integrated and focused Defence Force.”

MAJGEN Coyle, pictured above in Kabul in 2015, becomes the third woman to rise to the military’s three-star ranks in the past 12 months.


It came after Space Command formally shifted from operating within the Air Force to being within the ADF’s Joint Capabilities Group last year.

Unlike the RAAF, JCG supports Defence by providing “enabling capabilities”, including logistics support, health services, and military education and training.

Labor said it hoped the move would “increase the importance” of the fledgling organisation and allow it to integrate better with other military branches.

The reshuffle was part of the federal government’s broader Defence Strategic Review, or DSR, which was billed as the biggest shake-up in defence policy in decades.

“It is an honour to announce these senior appointments who will lead the Australian Defence Force during a period of increasing strategic competition and remain focused on delivering on key defence priorities and outcomes,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles.

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

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