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Chief Joint Operations

Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, AO, DSC

Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld is the Chief of Joint Operations at Headquarters Joint Operations Command. He is responsible for ADF Operations and Joint exercises both domestically and internationally as directed by the Chief of the Defence Force in order to achieve Government strategic priorities. In carrying out this mission Air Marshal Hupfeld is responsible for the planning, control and conduct of all Australia’s military campaigns, Operations, joint exercises and other activities in order to meet Australia's national objectives.

Air Marshal Hupfeld was born in Sydney in 1962 and joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1980, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1983 from the RAAF Academy.

During Air Marshal Hupfeld’s career he initially flew the Mirage IIIO fighter before converting to the F/A-18 Hornet when it was first introduced to service. In 1989 he qualified as a Fighter Combat Instructor and in 1997 he attended the Royal Air Force Advanced Staff Course, graduating with a Master of Arts in Defence Studies from the King's College in London.

Air Marshal Hupfeld has commanded at all levels throughout his military career. His command appointments include; Commanding Officer No 75 Squadron, Officer Commanding No 81 Wing, Commander Air Combat Group and Air Commander Australia. The highlight of these appointments was the Command of No 75 Squadron on Operations BASTILLE and FALCONER in the Middle East. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross in recognition of his performance in this role, and his Squadron was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation. Additional operational deployment included an embedded role in 2008 as Director of the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre in the Middle East Area of Operations.

Air Marshal Hupfeld’s Staff appointments include; Deputy Director and Director Aerospace Combat Development, Head Capability Systems Division, acting Chief Capability Development Group (CDG) (during the First Principles Review implementation and disbandment of CDG) and Head Force Design in Vice Chief of Defence Force Group.

In 2015 Air Marshal Hupfeld was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force in senior command and staff appointments.

On promotion to Air Marshal in May 2018, he was appointed as the Chief of Joint Operations.

Air Marshal Hupfeld is married to Louise, and his interests include mountain biking, running, fishing, light aircraft, and sailing.