New Defence Chief set to take command

Vice Admiral David Johnston is set to be promoted to chief of the Australian Defence Force, after the government recommended his appointment to the Governor General.

Vice Admiral David Johnston: embedding Defence Strategic Review

Vice Admiral Johnston joined the ADF in 1978 and has served as Vice Chief of the defence force since 2018.

Subject to approval from the GG, he’ll take over from retiring chief Angus Campbell in July.

Vice Admiral Johnston’s experience in command and the strategic design of the integrated force would be critical to embedding the recommendations of the Defence Strategic Review, defence minister Richard Marles and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a statement on Tuesday.

Air Marshal Robert Chipman will be appointed as the new Vice Chief of the Defence Force after leading the Royal Australian Air Force over the past two years.

He’ll be replaced as Air Force Chief by Head of Military Strategic Commitments Air Vice‑Marshal Stephen Chappell.

The appointments are among a raft changes to senior defence leadership announced by the government on Monday which will also take effect from early July.

“It is an honour to announce these senior appointments who will lead the Australian Defence Force during a period of increasing strategic competition and remain focused on delivering on key defence priorities and outcomes,” Mr Marles said.

He also thanked General Campbell for leading the nation through regional and global security challenges and driving organizational and cultural change in the ADF.

“He oversaw the drawdown of Australian troops in the Middle East region and reorientation of our military focus to the Indo-Pacific,” the minister said.

“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.”

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