We arrive at a time which is as strategically complex as any since the end of the Second World War in terms of our national security and the needs of our defence procurement.
That is why today, the Albanese Government announces the terms of the Chief of the Defence Force, Angus Campbell AO DSC, and the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral David Johnston AC RAN, will be extended by two years.
Additionally, the Government has asked the CDF to extend the term of the Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton AO CSC, for two years.
The Government has asked for the additional service of Generals Campbell and Bilton and Admiral Johnston fully aware of the burden this places upon each of them.
The Government is deeply grateful for their acceptance of this responsibility and we thank them for their service.
The Albanese Government is putting a premium on continuity. This applies to strategic advice and the timely and effective delivery of key procurements including through the AUKUS framework.
Australia cannot afford any further delay in the next generation of submarines.
General Campbell and Admiral Johnston are a team which offer stability in command, and continuity in the delivery of advice and defence capability for the Government. General Bilton’s continued leadership in the planning and conduct of our military campaigns and exercises will provide ongoing stability and certainty.
Today, we are also announcing a new team of Chiefs for Navy, Army and Air Force.
Chief of Navy
Rear Admiral Mark Hammond AM RAN, on promotion to Vice Admiral, has been selected to be the Chief of Navy for a period of four years.
Rear Admiral Hammond joined the Navy in 1986 to become an electronics technician and commissioned as an officer in 1988.
He has had an extensive career as a submariner and currently serves as the Australian Fleet Commander, responsible for the force generation of capable maritime forces.
Since its inception in 1986, Rear Admiral Hammond will be the first graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy to become a Service Chief.
Chief of Army
Major General Simon Stuart AO DSC, on promotion to Lieutenant General, has been selected to be the Chief of Army for a period of four years.
Major General Stuart joined the Army as a recruit in 1987 and served as a signalman before commissioning as an officer in 1989.
Major General Stuart has had a diverse career as an infantryman and he has significant command experience.
Most recently, as Head of Land Capability, he has been responsible for the design, modernisation and sustainment of current and future land capability.
Chief of Air Force
Air Vice-Marshal Robert Chipman AM CSC, on promotion to Air Marshal, has been selected to be the Chief of Air Force for a period of four years.
Air Vice-Marshal Chipman joined the Air Force in 1989 and, after qualifying as an aeronautical engineer, led an extensive career as a fighter pilot. He is currently the Head of Military Strategic Commitments, providing strategic military advice, planning guidance and Defence input to the national crisis management machinery.
The Government extends its deepest gratitude and thanks to the outgoing Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN, Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr AO DSC MVO and Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld AO DSC. These officers have served our nation with great distinction during a period of significant cultural change and modernisation of military capabilities.
The Governor-General has accepted these recommendations for appointment of the ADF’s senior leadership positions.