New Air Force Chief welcomed

Air Force has welcomed its new Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Robert Chipman, and farewelled the outgoing Chief, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, in a fitting Change of Command ceremony in Canberra on July 1.

CAPTION: Outgoing Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, and wife Mrs Louise Hupfeld, right, with Air Marshal Robert Chipman, and wife Mrs Alyce Chipman at the Change of Command ceremony. Story by Flight Lieutenant Jessica Aldred. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Adam Abela.

Air Marshal Hupfeld became the Chief of Air Force on July 4, 2019, following his role as the Chief of Joint Operations.

He reflected on his three years as Chief and some of the changes that have taken place.

“When I commenced my role as Chief of Air Force, we were in a period of great transition – we were bringing on some of the very first F-35A Lightning II jets, EA-18G Growler and P-8A Poseidon,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.

“At the time, we were becoming an Air Force for the next generation in an uncertain strategic environment and, as I said when I became Chief, our people are, and continue to be, at the heart of our capability.

“I am most proud of our dedicated and skilled workforce who are trusted to deliver air and space power for the joint force wherever it’s needed.”

Some of Air Marshal Hupfeld’s key tenure highlights include the Air Force Strategy to ensure Air Force is ready to defend Australia and its interests, and the commemoration of Air Force’s Centenary.

He said leading the Air Force during this historical milestone was the peak of his 42-year career.

“We were able to honour the service and sacrifice of past and present members, engage the Australian nation and inspire future aviators.

“I’ve had so many great opportunities throughout my career, from flying Mirages and F/A-18A/B Hornets, commanding 75SQN in the Middle East and being the Air Commander Australia through to becoming Chief of Air Force,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.

“To lead all aviators as your Chief was a great highlight, a privilege and an honour – and I thank you for your support.

“I have no doubt that Air Marshal Chipman will continue to shape and lead a capable and modern Air Force for all Australians.”

Air Marshal Hupfeld is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Lou in the great outdoors and finding some time to fly his P-51 Mustang.





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