Home' Air Force News : June 23rd 2011 Contents what
o retires on July 4 after 41
It's an incredible
privilege to command
the ADF; man for
man and woman for
woman, we have the
best defence force in
une 23, 2011 15
privilege to command the ADF;
n for man and woman for woman,
have the best defence force in the
One of the high points of ACM
uston's career was witnessing the
F's ability to meld people from all
e services, and Defence civilians,
an operational team.
"It's quite spectacular the effect
can get by taking all of that
ertise, enthusiasm and talent and
ding it off to do something as a
m," ACM Houston said.
"The ADF gets its most impressive
comes when forces like this are
The lowest point during his time as
F was the loss of ADF personnel
The responsibility of announcing
Australia the death of one of his
ple meant much more to him than
speaking to the cameras. Each
ouncement was made with a great
se of humility and compassion.
"When I made an announcement
death it was a challenge, but
ly it's much more than that, it's
rything about the loss of a soldier,"
M Houston said.
He said there was a great sense of
ness and loss associated with the
ths, which became very clear each
e he engaged with the families.
"It's important I focused on
ouncing the bad news, answering
questions from the media and then
uring everything went to plan in
ms of the repatriation of the indi-
ual and to support the families 100
ACM Houston said he had no idea
would ever occupy the office of
"I have no regrets whatsoever
ut my career. After I joined in
0, my first hurdle was getting
though officer training and my pilot's
course; I was totally focused on fin-
"To be honest, initially I didn't
think much beyond those courses and
I continuously focused on the next
hurdles in my career.
"Did I ever think I would get here
as CDF? No way, I was a helicopter
pilot in the Air Force.
"I don't know why I emerged as
CDF and I've never pursued or wor-
ried about it as the important thing
was to focus on the job and get on
Something which helped him to
keep his career and life on track was
a piece of advice he often gives to
"Go with your intuition and at the
end of the day if it doesn't feel right,
then it probably isn't right," he said.
Although he doesn't have a new
career planned after July 4, he does
know what he will do the day after he
finishes his busy role.
"I actually finish work one minute
past midnight on July 3, so I'll just
go to bed, roll over and go to sleep,
knowing I'm not going to get a phone
call in the night," ACM Houston said.
"On July 4, I will get up and I'll
either go for a long run or bike ride."
His parting message to the ADF
is simple -- keep doing what you are
"Your professionalism, dedica-
tion and ability to work in teams
makes you a very capable, impressive
defence force," he said.
"As CDF I've been very proud
of every one of you who has been
out there doing what you have been
trained to do on operations.
"You all do it wonderfully well so
just keep doing what you are doing."
Y G'DAY: Left, CDF, then AVM Angus Houston,
s to meet troops in East Timor in 2000 and,
ove, speaking with some ADF members there the
owing year. Photos: Jason Weeding and SGT Bill Guthrie
MANY ROLES: Above, as CAF taking the
salute at RAAF Base Wagga in 2002 and,
below, thanking ADF personnel deployed in
Victoria during the 2009 bushfires.
Photos: WOFF Ken Rowland and CPL Ricky Fuller
ONE FAMILY: Above, visiting an Australian patrol base in
Afghanistan; below, comforting SPR Jacob Moerland's fiancee
Photos: SGT Brent Tero and LAC Leigh Cameron
LOW LEVEL RECCE: Speaking with members of the AP-3C
detachment in the Middle East in 2006. Photo: CPL Rob Nyffenegger
What I will look
back on is 41
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