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Defence News 2008

New Defence leadership team announced - 19 March 2008

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, AC, AFC
Chief of the Defence Force

19 March 2008

Allan Grant (Angus) Houston joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as a cadet pilot in 1970. He spent the early part of his career flying Iroquois helicopters in various parts of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

He is a qualified Flight Instructor and completed several instructional tours on Macchi, BAC Strikemaster and Iroquois aircraft in the late 1970's. He also served on exchange with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and in late 1979 was posted to Hill Air Force Base, Utah for exchange duties with a United States Air Force helicopter unit.

Air Chief Marshal Houston's principal command appointments include Number 9 Squadron in 1987, during the introduction of the Blackhawk, the relocation of the unit from Amberley to Townsville and its transfer to Army, 5th Aviation Regiment in 1989 and Number 86 Wing from 1994-1995. He was also Commander Integrated Air Defence System from 1999-2000.

Air Chief Marshal Houston has wide staff experience having served on the Joint Operations staff at Headquarters Australian Defence during the Gulf crisis of 1990-1991. He was the Director Air Force Policy during 1992-1993 where he negotiated the establishment of the RSAF Flying School at RAAF Base Pearce. He also served at Headquarters Australian Theatre from 1997-1999 as Chief of Staff, and Head Strategic Command from 2000-2001.

He was promoted to Air Chief Marshal and assumed his current appointment as Chief of the Defence Force on 4th July 2005 after four years as Chief of Air Force.

He is a graduate of the Flying Instructors Course (1975), RAAF Staff College (1985), Joint Services Staff College (1990) and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London (1996).

In 2008, Air Chief Marshal Houston was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, having previously been appointed a Member in 1990 and advanced as an Officer in 2003. In 1980 he was awarded the Air Force Cross.

Angus Houston and his wife Liz, who is a teacher, have three sons.

Air Chief Marshal Houston is the third RAAF officer to be appointed to the most senior position in the Australian Defence Force. Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Scherger, KBE, CB, DSO, AFC was Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee from May 1961 to May 1966, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Neville McNamara, KBE, AO, AFC, AE was Chief of Defence Force Staff from April 1982 to April 1984.

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