New Chief of Air Force welcomed in Canberra

The Royal Australian Air Force welcomed its new chief – Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld – during a ceremonial change-of-command parade and flypast in Canberra this morning.

CAPTION: Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld returns his first general salute as Chief of Air Force. Photo by Sergeant Brett Sherriff.

Air Marshal Hupfeld said it was both an incredible honour and a substantial responsibility to be taking command of Air Force.

“Our people are the key to our capability, and it is humbling to have been chosen to lead them,” he said.

“I am grateful for the enduring legacy of Air Marshal Davies’ leadership, with today’s RAAF on a strong and solid vector for the future.”

A RAAF P-8 Poseidon flies over the Russell Offices 'chook on a stick' during the Chief of Air Force change-of-command parade. Other aircraft, all of which had been introduced into RAAF service during Air Marshal Leo Davies' tenure, also flew over – including EA-18G Growler, F-35 Lightning and Falcon 7X. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Cameron Martin.
A RAAF P-8 Poseidon flies over the Russell Offices ‘chook on a stick’ during the Chief of Air Force change-of-command parade. Other aircraft, all of which had been introduced into RAAF service during Air Marshal Leo Davies’ tenure, also flew over – including EA-18G Growler, F-35 Lightning and Falcon 7X. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Cameron Martin.

Outgoing Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies said it had been a privilege to lead the RAAF for the past four years.

“I have been fortunate to have spent most of my life in this wonderful institution with its long record of service to our nation,” Air Marshal Davies said.

“I am grateful for the tireless support of my family throughout my career, and for the dedication and commitment of all the men and women of the RAAF during my time as chief.”

Air Marshal Hupfeld has served in the RAAF for almost 40 years.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) in recognition of his performance as Commanding Officer of Number 75 Squadron on Operation Falconer (the squadron was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation).

Air Marshal Hupfeld has commanded Air Combat Group, posted as Air Commander Australia and Head Force Design.

He received an appointment as Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force in senior command and staff appointments.

Before being appointed Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Hupfeld served as Chief Joint Operations.

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Brian Hartigan

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