Aviation Command address

7 December 2021

Good morning everyone and welcome.

It is an honour to be with you on Ngunnawal country, where I pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

As this parade is being broadcast around Australia, I also acknowledge and pay my respects to First Nations people from wherever you are viewing today.

I also pay my respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have contributed to the defence of Australia in times of peace and war.

Welcome to Tony Fraser, the Deputy Secretary of CASG, Air Force and Defence Personnel.

And welcome to our industry partners Boeing Australia, Airbus Australia, Sikorsky Australia and Sigma Bravo.

And especially welcome to Army, the Army Aviation Community, and those who support you. This is a special day for us all.

Today is an important milestone for the Australian Army.

Army Aviation is for the soldier. It always has been.

Australian Army Aviation Corps was formed July 1968, yet Army has flown supporting ground forces for more than a century.

They flew in combat and supported the Australian soldier from the air, in the First World War, Korea and Vietnam.

Familiar with the geometries of land warfare, Army pilots and observers pioneered new ways to support ground forces though aerial reconnaissance, surveillance, fire control and liaison.

Their experiences were the foundation of the Royal Australian Air Force when it formed in 1921. In the 100 years since then, Army and Air Force aviators have served proudly at home and abroad.

From these experiences, Army Aviation has learnt valuable lessons and has changed in response to new technologies and capabilities.

It will continue to adapt and evolve, as it always has, preparing for the demands of the future operating environment.

This is not a unique demand on Army Aviation.

We are an Army in Motion, and as Chief of Army, I am focused on ensuring the whole Army is prepared for the challenges and uncertainties of the future.

Within our region today, profound changes in every facet of society are compounding and accelerating.

Australia’s Army must be prepared to meet these changes and be ready for conflict on land and to act in all other domains.

The new capabilities approved by Government allow our Army to better contribute land power that enables the ADF to Shape, Deter and Respond on behalf of the nation.

To deliver these capabilities and be set for the demands of continuous competition and conflict, we are proactively redesigning our command and control arrangements.

Today we establish Army Aviation Command as part of this important work.

Commanded by Major General Stephen Jobson, AM, CSC, Aviation Command will deliver aviation capability to support Army’s generation of land power to enable the Joint Force.

Aviation Command will coordinate the introduction into service of new helicopters and unmanned aerial systems, and enhance and assure the safety, effectiveness and sustainability of current aircraft.

As of today, 16 Aviation Brigade and the Army Aviation Training Centre will transfer from Forces Command to the new Army Aviation Command.

These changes consolidate Army’s battlefield aviation in a single command, delivering a more resilient and adaptive Army aviation capability to support land, amphibious and special operations.

The unity, sense of purpose and focus in a single command optimises Army Aviation and helps meet the demands of Accelerated Warfare.

Simultaneously, establishing the command enables Forces Command to orient on the generation of land forces and ensure our training system is agile and contemporary.

At the centre of these changes are our people, who are the strength of everything we do.

Our people are innovative and adaptive.

They get platforms and technology to work and keep working in dirty, austere, and contested land environments

It is our people who make stronger and more capable teams, and build strong partnerships with other services, other nations, and with industry.

People enable our future and deliver results today.

People are at the centre of our Army and they are at the centre of Army Aviation Command.

Today’s parade establishes Army Aviation Command, another important step to being future ready.

Congratulations all.

Lead well.

Live our values.

Good Soldiering.