The new Australian Defence Force leadership team commenced today, Monday, 4 July.
Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and his Ministerial colleagues met with the new leadership team to mark the occasion.
The new leadership team is Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley, Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison and Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown.
As well, the new Chiefs joined the Minister for Defence, the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon, the Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare and Parliamentary Secretary for Defence David Feeney at a wreath laying ceremony at the Australian War Memorial.
The wreath laying ceremony marks the 93rd Anniversary of the Battle of Hamel in 1918.
The Battle of Hamel involved Australian and US forces under command of Australian Lieutenant General John Monash attacking German positions around the village of Le Hamel in France.
The Battle is widely regarded as a significant example of an outstanding Australian military victory.
The Minister for Defence congratulated the new leadership team on their roles and said he and his Ministerial colleges were looking forward to working with them into the future.
The Australian Defence Force is facing a range of significant challenges including operational, capability management and procurement reform and budget management and reform.
The Government is confident that the new leadership team will meet these challenges.
General David Hurley, previously Vice Chief of the Defence Force, will bring a wealth of experience to the position of the Chief of the Defence Force. He has held several senior command positions within the Australian Defence Force including as Land Commander Australia, Chief of Capability Development Group and Chief of Joint Operations.
Air Marshal Mark Binskin, the new Vice Chief of the Defence Force and previous Chief of Air Force, has extensive operational command experience having served as Chief of Staff at Headquarters Australian Theatre in 2003 and then as Director of Combined Air and Space Operations Centre responsible for the conduct of coalition air operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
The new Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, previously Deputy Chief Joint Operations Command, has broad sea going and operational experience. He has helped drive Defence’s biggest reform program. He has commanded the ANZAC Class frigate HMAS ARUNTA on operations in the Middle East and the Australian Amphibious Task Group. He also has extensive capability management and development experience, and held a senior position in the Defence Strategic Reform Program.
The new Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, previously Commander Forces Command, has wide ranging command experience having served as the Head of Military Strategic Commitments and Deputy Chief of Army. In that position he led the review into Army’s command and control structure which resulted in reform initiatives to ensure Army is able to sustain its current and future operational tempo.
The new Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, previously Deputy Chief of Air Force, has extensive flying experience on helicopters, F-111 and F/A-18 aircraft. Air Marshal Brown has commanded at all levels of the Air Force, including as the Commander Air Combat Group. During Australia’s 2003 contribution to the war in Iraq, he commanded all F/A-18 and C-130 operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Minister also paid tribute to outgoing Service Chiefs, Chief of Defence Force Angus Houston, Chief of Navy Russ Crane and Chief of Army Ken Gillespie.
Air Chief Marshal Houston has served his country with distinction, providing exemplary leadership of the Australian Defence Force and the ADF community for the past six years. Air Chief Marshal Houston has won the respect of successive Governments, the men and women of the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Community.
Vice Admiral Crane has had a distinguished Navy career and has lead the Navy through a period of high operational activity. He has implemented a program of wide-ranging and important cultural, leadership and structural changes to position Navy to meet future challenges. Vice Admiral Crane has faced a series of important challenges which he has to his great credit addressed.
Lieutenant General Gillespie has led the Australian Army at a time of very difficult and high tempo operations for the Army. He has a most distinguished career and his contribution has brought great credit to him, the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.
The Minister thanked Air Chief Marshal Houston, Vice Admiral Crane and Lieutenant General Gillespie for their service to the nation, and wished them well for their future.
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Mr Smith's Office: Ellen Shields (02) 6277 7800 or 0400 347 473
Department: (02) 6127 1999