New ADF senior leaders announced

The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral David Johnston, has been nominated to take the ADF reins as Chief of the Defence Force from July.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles announced the Government’s recommended appointment on April 9, among a number of senior command changes that are all subject to the Governor-General’s consideration and approval.

Vice Admiral Johnston, who joined the ADF in 1978 and has been Vice Chief of the Defence Force since 2018, will take over from General Angus Campbell, who joined the ADF in 1981.

The current Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Robert Chipman, will become the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, and the Head of Military Strategic Commitments, Air Vice‑Marshal Stephen Chappell, will, on promotion, be the new Chief of Air Force.

Mr Albanese said he was looking forward to working with the new leaders to plan and deliver a more integrated and focused Defence Force, and thanked General Campbell for more than 40 years of service with the ADF.

“General Campbell has served our nation with great distinction during a period of significant strategic change and cultural reform,” Mr Albanese said.

Mr Marles also thanked the outgoing Chief of Defence Force for his service, describing him as a “pivotal Defence leader through thoughtful, necessary and difficult change”.

“He oversaw the drawdown of Australian troops in the Middle East region and reorientation of our military focus to the Indo-Pacific. He has been a strong advocate for operational accountability, strengthening our alliance and regional relationships, supporting the wellbeing of ADF personnel and maximising the power and effectiveness of an integrated force,” Mr Marles said.

Other senior command changes include:

  • Rear Admiral Justin Jones taking over as Chief of Joint Operations from Lieutenant General Greg Bilton
  • Major General Susan Coyle taking over as Chief of Joint Capabilities from Lieutenant General John Frewen
  • Lieutenant General Gavan Reynolds completing his term as the inaugural Chief of Defence Intelligence.

Public release

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