The current Chief of Joint ForceOperations (CJOPS) Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld will fly back into the Air Force fold as Chief of Air Force (CAF) in July, following a Federal Government announcement.
Apart from his time at Headquarters Joint Operations Command, Air Marshal Hupfeld will also bring experience as Air Commander Australia, Director Combined Air Operations Centre and Head Force Design. Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said Air Marshal Hupfeld would easily fit into the new job. “His experience in these roles makes him ideally suited to continue the development of the Air Force as a modern and effective force capable of undertaking regional and global operations,” he said. Current CAF, Air Marshal Leo Davies, will hand over command of Air Force on July 3 after more than 40 years of exemplary service.
“The government extends its sincere gratitude to Air Marshal Davies, who has been relentless in embedding a culture of innovation and integration that will continue to shape the Air Force for generations to come,” Mr Pyne said. During a distinguished career as a fighter pilot AM Hupfeld’s flew the Dassault Mirage III and F/A-18A Hornet particularly as a member of No 3 Squadron RAAF, which is the first squadron to be equipped with the new F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
AM Hupfield was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 2003 for his service as Commanding Officer of No 75 Squadron flying air combat operations with the multinational force in the Middle East. Army Major General Greg Bilton will take control of the joint space as CJOPS on June 28 and be promoted to Lieutenant General. “Major General Bilton currently serving as the commander Forces Command within Army and is a highly experienced officer with extensive leadership and operations experience through senior positions including Deputy Chief of Joint Operations and Commander 7th Brigade,” Mr Pyne said.