CAPT Stephen Dryden

@ Director General Naval Information Warfare

Captain Dryden serves as the Director General Navy Communications & Information Warfare (DGNCIW). He is responsible to the Head Navy Capability for Navy’s Communications & Information Warfare Program. This encompasses current and future communications, computer systems, command and control systems, electronic warfare, cyber and space capabilities. He also holds responsibilities as the Category Sponsor for the Intelligence, Communications and Information Warfare Officer Communities. He assumed this appointment in January 2016.

Captain Dryden is a command-qualified Principal Warfare Officer (PWO) holding dual specialisations in Surface Warfare and Communications & Information Systems. He is a Royal Australian Navy Tier 5 Communications Officer, a former Joint Operations Command J6 and a former Royal Australian Navy Fleet N6. He is a 2006 graduate of the Australian Command and Staff College.

Captain Dryden joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from the Darling Downs region of Queensland, Australia in 1987. He graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1989 and then completed a series of postings in Fleet Units in either a training or junior officer capacity. Highlights included deploying to the Middle East in 1990 for Operation DAMASK I and serving as the Executive Officer of the patrol boat HMAS CESSNOCK (PTF-210).

A graduate of the 1998 RAN PWO Course, subsequent postings included service as the Signal Communications Officer and Operations Officer in HMAS BRISBANE (DDG41), instructional duties as one of the PWO Faculty Directing Staff (HMAS WATSON), Fleet Headquarters duties as the Deputy Director Maritime Communications and Information Systems (N63), and service as a member of the Australian Major Fleet Unit Sea Training Unit. In mid-2003, Lieutenant Commander Dryden was selected as the commissioning Executive Officer of HMAS BALLARAT (FFH 155), joining her in December
2003 and holding this appointment until November 2005.

Lieutenant Commander Dryden graduated from the Australian Command and Staff College in December 2006. He was promoted to Commander in January 2007 and commenced an appointment as the Commander Fleet Communications (N6). In mid 2008, Commander Dryden was selected for command of the Amphibious Landing Ship HMAS MANOORA (LPA 52). He assumed command on 20 May 2009 and held this appointment until May 2011.

From June 2011 to January 2014, Commander Dryden served as an embedded officer within the J6 Directorate at the Headquarters United States Central Command (USCENTCOM). As the Chief CIO Support, he spearheaded the development and implementation of CIO policies and governance to include portfolio management, capability introduction, C5 enterprise policy and CIO strategy. In August 2012 he was recognized with the award of an Australian Defence Force Gold Commendation from the Chief of Joint Operations for his work with introducing Australia’s use of CENTRIXS-ISAF into Australia & the Middle East Area of Operations. In January 2014 he was awarded the United States Joint Service Commendation Medal and was admitted to the United States Army Signal Corps Regimental Association Bronze Order of Mercury.

In January 2014, Captain Dryden joined Headquarters Joint Operations Command as the Director Communications and Information Systems (J6). In this appointment he was responsible to the Chief of Joint Operations for the planning and oversight of Australian Defence Force Communications and Information Systems utilised in support of operations and exercises. This focused on the enablement of operations and exercises through the effective provision of CIS, Defensive Cyber and Information Management effects that spanned the full spectrum of military operations.

In January 2016 Captain Dryden assumed his current appointment of Director General Navy Communications & Information Warfare.

Captain Dryden holds a Masters degree in Business & Technology, a Masters degree in Maritime Studies (with distinction), a Bachelor of Arts degree (Economics & Management) and a Graduate Diploma of Strategy in Defence Studies. He has completed executive training at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. His interests include travel, military history and film. Captain Dryden is married to Julie and they are the proud parents of their son, Andrew.