Australian Defence Staff (Washington) operates under a Joint Directive from the Chief of the Defence Force and the Secretary. The Head of the Australian Defence Staff (Washington), also known as HADS(W), is the Australian Defence Attaché in the United States and brings a whole-of-department approach to the direction in which the Washington Post moves. The position also allows access to the higher end of the policy spectrum within the United States Department of Defence.
The Australian Defence Staff's (Washington) mission is to promote Australia’s security interests.
The Australian Defence Staff (Washington) consists of a number of Branches. Each Branch provides HADS(W) and the Ambassador with specialists military advice. Branches also represent their respective single Service or Group Head.
ADS(W) Branches are as follows:
MAJGEN Timothy McOwan
AO, DSC, CSM
Australian Defence Attaché
Head of the Australian Defence Staff (Washington)