The RAAF has a new Chief of Air Force (CAF) after Air Marshal Mark Binskin formally handed over command to newly promoted Air Marshal Geoff Brown today.
Brown was announced as the incoming CAF by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Defence Minister Stephen Smith on June 1 as part of the changeover of defence senior leadership positions, which also sees AIRMSHL Binksin become Vice Chief of the Defence Force, and GEN David Hurley replace the retiring Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston as Chief of the Defence Force (CDF).
The ceremony, held outside Russell Offices in Canberra, was attended by ACM Houston, LTGEN Hurley, the Army and Navy service chiefs, and several hundred Air Force members. It included a flypast by a RAAF Super Hornet, two ‘classic’ Hornets and a Hawk during AIRMSHL Binskin’s last general salute as CAF.
“I have been, and remain, tremendously proud of what we have achieved over the last three years and feel extremely privileged to have been Chief of Air Force during that time,” said AIRMSHL Binskin. “I would like to join with my wife Gitte and personally thank everyone within Air Force and your families for your dedication and support during the period and wish all of you the very best for your future careers. I will continue to watch Air Force grow and deliver airpower globally with great interest!”
“To be charged with the care and future development of the Air Force is a great privilege,” said AIRMSHL Brown. “To be entrusted with the wellbeing and the command of the men and women of the Air Force is a very special honour and an even greater responsibility.”
Significantly, if briefly, there are for the first time in RAAF history three three-star (Air Marshal) ranked Air Force officers – AIRMSHLs Binskin and Brown, plus AIRMSHL John Harvey, who is head of Defence’s Capability Development Group – and an Air Force four-star officer, in ACM Houston.
ACM Houston is retiring with the promotion of GEN Hurley to CDF with effect from Monday July 4.