New Chief of Defence Force announced

Current Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell will be appointed Australia’s new CDF – Chief of Defence Force – commencing in July.

CAPTIONLieutenant General Angus Campbell. Photo by Jay Cronan.

Vice Admiral David Johnston
Vice Admiral David Johnston

His deputy will be current Chief of Joint Operations Vice Admiral David Johnston.

The announcement was made at a press conference at Parliament House this afternoon.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement in the company of Defence Minister Marise Payne, retiring CDF Air Chief Marshal Binskin and CDF designate Lieutenant General Campbell.

It was announced that current CDF Air Chief Marshal Binskin and his deputy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, will retire from the ADF – though Minister Payne intimated that Vice Admiral Griggs would continue to serve Australia in some capacity.

The outgoing and incoming VCDFs were conspicuously absent from the press conference.

Vice Admiral Griggs had been touted by many as a serious contender for the CDF position, but recent media revelations surrounding his private life (over which he was vindicated by two inquiries) obviously affected his prospects – though Prime Minister Turnbull deflected questions on this at today’s press conference, instead thanking Vice Admiral Griggs for his long and dedicated service.

Minister Payne joked that Air Chief Marshal Binskin would now have more time for flying and riding, though not necessarily in that order.

Prime Minister Turnbull said the government extended its deepest gratitude and thanks to Air Chief Marshal Binskin who has served Australia with great distinction during a period of high operational tempo.

“Air Chief Marshal Binskin has overseen Australia’s highly successful contribution to the counter-Daesh coalition in the Middle East and our transition from combat operations to the current train, advise and assist mission in Afghanistan, and his leadership will continue in the coming months,” Mr Turnbull said.

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett will also retire in July after a 42-year career;

Air Vice Marshal Mel Hupfeld will be the new Chief of Joint Operations;

Rear Admiral Mike Noonan will become Chief of Navy;

Major General Rick Burr will be the new Chief of Army; and,

Air Marshal Leo Davies, who was appointed to a four-year term in 2015, will continue as Chief of Air Force.




BIOGRAPGY: Lieutenant General Angus Campbell

Lieutenant General Angus Campbell
Lieutenant General Angus Campbell

Angus Campbell joined the Australian Army in 1981, graduating from the Royal Military College – Duntroon in 1984.

He was assigned to the Royal Australian Infantry corps and initially served as a platoon commander in the 3rd Battalion (Parachute), Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR).

He then served in troop- and squadron- command appointments within the Special Air Service Regiment.

In 2001 he was appointed the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR).

While in command at 2RAR, the battalion group deployed to East Timor, as a component of the United Nations Transitional Administration East Timor.

He has also served in a range of staff appointments including as Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of Army, as a strategic policy officer in Army Headquarters, an instructor at the Australian Command and Staff College and as Chief of Staff to the Chief of the Defence Force.

In late 2005, he joined the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as a First Assistant Secretary to head the Office of National Security and was subsequently promoted to Deputy Secretary and appointed to the position of Deputy National Security Adviser.

In those roles he was responsible for the preparation of advice to the Prime Minister on national security matters and coordinating the development of whole-of-government national security policy.

Upon his return to the ADF in early 2010 he was promoted to major general and led the Military Strategic Commitments staff in Defence headquarters until January 2011, when he assumed command of Australian forces deployed in the Middle East Area of Operations.

He subsequently served as Deputy Chief of Army from February 2012 to September 2013, when he was promoted to his current rank to command the Joint Agency Task Force responsible for the implementation of Operation Sovereign Borders.

Lieutenant General Campbell was appointed Chief of the Australian Army on 16 May 2015.

He holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Philosophy in International Relations from Cambridge University and is a graduate of the Australian Army Command and Staff College.

Lieutenant General Campbell’s hobbies include hiking, distance running, military history and gardening. He is married to Stephanie and has two adult children.



BIOGRAPHY: Vice Admiral David Johnston

Vice Admiral David Johnston
Vice Admiral David Johnston

David Johnston graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College in 1982 as a seaman officer, later specialising as a principal warfare officer.

His operational tours include serving as Commanding Officer of HMAS Adelaide (FFG 01) and HMAS Newcastle (FFG 06), conducting border-security patrols, and deployed on Operation Quickstep to Fiji in 2006.

His staff appointments include command-and-control specialist staff positions in Australian Defence HQ, operations manager at the Sailors’ Career Management agency and later as Director Joint Plans in Strategic Operations Division, where he developed strategic military response options for consideration by government.

In July 2007, on promotion to commodore, he joined Fleet Headquarters as Commodore Flotillas where he was responsible for planning maritime operations and the operational training of Navy’s ships, submarines and diving teams.

In 2008 he performed the Deputy Coalition Force Maritime Component Commander role and Australian National Commander for Exercise RIMPAC 08.

In November 2008 he assumed the role of J3 (Director General Operations) at Headquarters Joint Operations Command, which encompassed the operational-level execution of all Australian Defence Force operations both overseas and within Australia.

In October 2010, he deployed to Operation Slipper in the Middle East Area of Operations as the Deputy Commander Joint Task Force 633.

He supported the Commander JTF 633 in providing national-command oversight of all Australian Defence Force elements conducting maritime, land and air operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and adjacent maritime areas – and awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service for this role.

Promoted to rear admiral in March 2011 to perform the role of Deputy Commander of the Combined Australia/US Task Force for Exercise Talisman Sabre, he subsequently assumed the role of Deputy Chief Joint Operations Command in June 2011.

While performing that role, he commanded the Defence Joint Task Force that supported the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2011 and the visit by the President of the United States of America later that year.

Vice Admiral David Johnston was appointed Commander Border Protection Command in December 2011 and held this responsibility until December 2013.

As commander of that multi-agency organisation he was responsible for the civil maritime security of Australia’s maritime domain using resources from both the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

Promoted to vice admiral in April 2014, he assumed the appointment of Chief of Joint Operations in May.

That role saw him plan, control and conduct military campaigns, operations, joint exercises and other activities in order to meet Australia’s national objectives.

Vice Admiral Johnston holds a Master of Science in Operations Research from the US Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from Deakin University.

He participated in the inaugural Australian Security Executive Development Program in 2009.

In 2012 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (Military Division).

He is married with two children.








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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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