Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2015 Contents OUT BUT NOT
Warren King might have retired as head of the former Defence Materiel
Organisation, but he feels he still has something to offer.
MAN who joined the Navy as an
apprentice at 17 because “I had
to” has stepped down as CEO
of the former Defence Materiel
Organisation (DMO) after 48 years
with Defence and related industries.
Warren King, who was awarded the
United States Secretary of Defense Medal for
Outstanding Public Service in Washington in
May, is, in his own words, in transition.
“I’m doing some small jobs for the Secretary,”
“I also had the opportunity to take part in
Jarwun, the Indigenous support program, and I
spent six weeks in Cape York, which was a really
“The idea of the program is that senior people
from the public service and industry, like Westpac
for example, release their executives into different
Indigenous action areas and those executives help
solve problems for that community.
“In March and April, I was working with the
Cape York partnership, which is an umbrella
group for Cape York Peninsula.
“That was a terrific experience and one that
I’m going to continue working with post my
public service career.”
Warren is not planning to retire, as such.
“You can’t just spend your life working in the
defence arena and then not do anything,” he says.
“When I joined the DMO 10 years ago I
thought I could bring my military experience and
my industrial experience to bear on some major
projects and challenges for Defence.
“It’s never been something I had to do for
the money. It’s been a choice of mine to try to
contribute to the national good. It was an area
where I thought I could make a difference.”
Warren says development challenges with the
Joint Strike Fighter were among his most testing
times as head of the DMO, which on 1 July was
renamed the Capability Acquisition and Sustain-
“I remained supportive of the US, which has
invested an enormous amount of money in that
program, and I spoke to other international part-
ners and said we all needed to make our contribu-
tions for that program to succeed,” he says.
“There’s a tendency for the international part-
the heavy lifting, often being quite critical of their
“Then, when everything becomes a success
story, they jump on the bandwagon.
“I think, as true allies and true partners, we
need to carry our share of the burden. Whether
that’s financial, or just support for the US as they
go through these difficult periods, that’s what an
alliance is all about. Otherwise we’re all just rid-
ing on the coat-tails of the Americans, and I don’t
think that’s right.”
He says his recent award, presented by
Under-Secretary of Defense for Acquisition,
Technology and Logistics, Frank Kendall III, at
the Pentagon, “represents the close bond between
our two nations and the deep respect that we hold
for each other as acquisition professionals”.
Warren was nominated for the award in recog-
nition of his leadership and project management
expertise as head of the DMO.
Australia’s Ambassador to the US, Kim
Beazley, Warren’s family and senior US Defense
officials attended the ceremony.
Defence Secretary Dennis Richardson and
acting Deputy Secretary Capability Acquisition,
Harry Dunstall, congratulated Warren on the
“Being recognised in this manner holds special
significance for me personally, but also for our
nation,” Warren says.
“It reflects the high regard in which we are
held by the acquisition, technology and logistics
community in the Pentagon.
“I would like to thank all those hard-working
individuals for their efforts.”
Warren says when he leaves the APS he will
do what he feels is interesting and valuable.
“Some of it will relate to indigenous work, no
doubt. But I think I still have a lot to contribute to
the military domain,” he says.
“Obviously, shipbuilding and submarine
construction is a major issue for the nation,
as well as the Government and Defence, and
probably an area in which I’d like to make some
sort of contribution.
“I love outback Australia, so I’ll also find
some time to do a bit of four-wheel driving with
my wife Liz.”
Sergeant Dave Morley
“IT’S NEVER BEEN
SOMETHING I HAD TO
DO FOR THE MONEY.
IT’S BEEN A CHOICE
OF MINE TO TRY TO
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
FORMER CEO OF THE DMO
34 Defence Issue 2 2015
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