New ADF Chief Vice Admiral David Johnston

Vice-Admiral David Johnston will become the new chief of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

He will succeed the present chief General Angus Campbell in July, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced today.

“Vice-Admiral Johnston is a proven leader with the experience, intellect and resolve to lead the ADF in a complex and rapidly changing global strategic environment,” Albanese said.

“Vice-Admiral Johnston joined the naval academy back in 1978 as a junior entry cadet midshipman.

“His service career has spanned a period of profound change in our defence force in our region, in the very nature of the challenges confronting our national security in the Indo-Pacific like Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Vice-Admiral Johnston has consistently distinguished himself with his capacity to ensure that the different elements of national defence work together.

Air Marshal Robert Chipman has been selected as the new vice chief of the ADF.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “I’d like to congratulate all personnel for accepting these appointments, and leading the Australian Defence Force with the values and tenets the Australian public expect of our military leaders.
“I look forward to working with you to plan and deliver a more integrated and focused Defence Force.

“I’d personally like to thank General Campbell for his service over many years.

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

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said: “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.

“I’d like to thank General Campbell who has been 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.

“I thank General Campbell, and all outgoing senior ADF leaders, for their service to our nation. I also want to acknowledge their families, and thank them for their commitment and their sacrifice.”

Rear Admiral Justin Jones, will replace Lieutenant General Greg Bilton, as the Chief of Joint Operations. Rear Admiral Jones is currently the Deputy Chief of Joint Operations.

Major General Susan Coyle, will replace Lieutenant General John Frewen, as the Chief of Joint Capabilities. Major General Coyle is currently the Commander of Army’s Forces Command.

Lieutenant General Gavan Reynolds, will complete his term as the inaugural Chief of Defence Intelligence. The Chief of Defence Intelligence position will rotate to a civilian appointment with the replacement to be identified in due course.

The Government has extended its sincerest gratitude to General Campbell and Lieutenant Generals Bilton, Frewen and Reynolds, and to their families, for their longstanding commitment to defending the nation, their service to country and their lasting contribution to the ADF.