ADF’s new second in command takes over

Under cloudy Canberra skies, Vice Admiral David Johnston handed the responsibility of Vice Chief of the Australian Defence Force to Air Marshal Rob Chipman on July 9.

CAPTIONVice Admiral David Johnston, left, passes the flag to his successor as Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Rob Chipman, during the handover ceremony at Russell Offices, Canberra. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite.

At the end of his six-year tenure, Vice Admiral Johnston praised his team’s work on the 2024 National Defence Strategy and rebuilt Integrated Investment Program.

“There are simply too many achievements to call out individually now but I want you to know that as the Vice Chief and your Group Head, I have been extremely proud of how you have continued to deliver this critical work,” he said.

“It has been my distinct privilege to lead you.”

Former F/A-18 fighter pilot and incoming Vice Chief, Air Marshal Chipman, expressed a sense of pride and duty during his address at the handover ceremony.

“It’s a profound responsibility that I accept with humility and resolve,” Air Marshal Chipman said.

“I come into the role at a pivotal time in our history, when the international system that has underpinned Australia’s security and prosperity for almost 80 years is under intense pressure, and when the scope and scale of investment in military technology is simultaneously unsettling and imperative.

“Our assumptions and expectations are being challenged and contested.”

Air Marshal Chipman committed to champion all sailors, soldiers, aviators and Defence public servants.

He also committed to implement learnings from the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

“It’s my great fortune to assume this role after Vice Admiral David Johnston, whose tenure has seen a recalibration of our future investment program, increased integration of ADF military power, and a more strategic approach to managing Defence preparedness,” Air Marshal Chipman said.

Vice Admiral Johnston, who will be the new Chief of the Defence Force, looked forward to working with Air Marshal Chipman.

“I am delighted that Rob is the next VCDF. He is an exceptional officer who will bring his own considerable experience and insight to the role. I know he will excel in this position,” Vice Admiral Johnston said.


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