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ADF hierarchy revamped, CDF to remain

The Albanese government has extended the term of the Chief of the Defence Force, however, a number of changes to senior leadership positions across the domains have been announced. 

The Albanese government has extended the term of the Chief of the Defence Force, however, a number of changes to senior leadership positions across the domains have been announced. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles has announced extensions to the terms of Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell AO DSC, and the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral David Johnston AC RAN, who will both serve an additional two years.


GEN Campbell has also been asked to extend the term of Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton AO CSC, for a further two years.

"The Albanese government is putting a premium on continuity," the deputy prime minister said.

"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."

However, new leads have been appointed across the Army, Air Force, and Navy.



Following his promotion to Lieutenant General, Major General Simon Stuart AO DSC, will assume the role as Chief of Army for a period of four years, replacing Lieutenant General Rick Burr.

The incoming Chief of Army joined the service as a recruit in 1987 and served as a signalman before commissioning as an officer in 1989. 

He has most recently served as head of land capability, responsible for the design, modernisation and sustainment of current and future land capability.

Air Force

Air Vice-Marshal Robert Chipman AM CSC, on promotion to Air Marshal, will be the new Chief of Air Force for a period of four years, replacing Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld.

After joining the Air Force in 1989 and, after qualifying as an aeronautical engineer, he served as a fighter pilot. 

The new chief currently serves as head of military strategic commitments, charged with providing strategic military advice, planning guidance and Defence input to the national crisis management machinery.


Rear Admiral Mark Hammond AM RAN, once promoted to Vice Admiral, will serve as the new Chief of Navy for a period of four years, replacing Vice Admiral Michael Noonan.

RADM Hammond joined the Navy in 1986 to become an electronics technician and commissioned as an officer in 1988. 

He currently serves as the Australian Fleet Commander, responsible for the force generation of capable maritime forces. 

Since its inception in 1986, RADM Hammond will be the first graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy to become a Service Chief.

Minister Marles, currently serving as acting PM during Prime Minister Albanese's visit to Europe, went on to thank the outgoing chiefs for their service. 

"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," he said.

"These officers have served our nation with great distinction during a period of significant cultural change and modernisation of military capabilities."

[Related: Outgoing DFAT secretary to assume senior AUKUS role]


Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

ADF hierarchy revamped, CDF to remain
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