It has always been with pride that I have watched the career of my former neighbour in Townsville, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, the current Chief of the Australian Defence Forces. The Houstons arrived in Townsville at the same time that we arrived, at the end of 1988, and departed at the same time that we departed at the end of 1989. In fact we were in the middle of uplift on the day that the Newcastle earthquake hit (my husband has family in Newcastle, Australia). My sons played with their sons, and enjoyed a game of cane toad cricket :). Angus was there to oversee the army takeover the squadron of blackhawk helicopters, and my husband was there to see the end of the caribou aircraft at the Townsville base.
The career of Angus Houston has been exemplary. He is the second longest serving chief of the Defence Forces in Australia. He is known for his honesty and integrity. At the age of 63 he is more than ready for retirement from his position.
The changes at the top of the Defence Forces have just been announced. It is now the Army’s turn to provide the Chief of the Defence Forces, a positon that has gone to Lt-General David Hurley. He comes into the job at a time when Australia has suffered the loss of three more servicemen in Afghanistan, the latest two losses being on Monday. (I have posted about the death of one of those individuals – it remains the subject of investigation with questions being raised about whether or not the Afghan soldier was a plant).