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Change of command for the Royal Australian Air Force


A changing of the Royal Australian Air Force guard was marked today as aviators and officials farewelled Air Marshal Robert Chipman, AO, CSC, and welcomed Air Marshal Stephen Chappell, DSC, CSC, OAM, as the new chief.

The official ceremonial parade to transfer command was held at Sir Thomas Blamey Square, in Canberra.

Air Marshal Chipman has served as the Chief of Air Force since 1 July 2022. During his tenure, he has led the Air Force response to the Defence Strategic Review and implemented the National Defence Strategy. Air Marshal Chipman will be appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Force on 9 July 2024.

“Today marks a transition in leadership. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served as the 27th Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force,” Air Marshal Chipman said.

“I would like to thank the Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force, and my fellow senior Defence leaders. Thank you, colleagues, for your collaborative approach in developing integrated solutions to the extraordinarily complex challenges we face every single day, and for your friendship to Alyce and I. We look forward to continuing this work with you in the years ahead.”

Air Marshal Chappell becomes the 28th Chief of Air Force at a critical time for Air Force as it becomes a more integrated and focused force. Air Marshal Chappell has vast experience in strategic level management and situational awareness of current and potential ADF commitments.

“Australia faces its most challenging strategic environment since the Second World War. Our key to success is twofold — looking after each other through the embodiment of our Defence values, and doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well.

“My role as your Chief of Air Force is to serve you, our aviators and our nation in this noble endeavour. I am honoured to be your 28th Chief of Air Force and I look forward to repaying the trust placed in me.”


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