Angus Houston: Wikis


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Allan Grant Houston
Born 1947 (1947) (aged 63)
Angus Houston 2.JPG
Angus Houston, Chief of the Defence Force (Australia) at the 2009 Australia Day ceremony, Canberra.
Nickname Angus
Place of birth Ayrshire, Scotland
Allegiance Australia Commonwealth of Australia
Service/branch  Royal Australian Air Force
Years of service 1970 – present
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands held Chief of the Defence Force
Chief of Air Force
No. 86 Wing
5th Aviation Regiment
No. 9 Squadron
Awards Companion of the Order of Australia
Air Force Cross

Air Chief Marshal Allan Grant "Angus" Houston, AC, AFC (born in 1947 in Ayrshire, Scotland) has been the Chief of the Australian Defence Force since 4 July 2005. At the time of his appointment he was Australia's Chief of Air Force, a position he had held since 20 June 2001.


Service career

Early career

"Angus" Houston joined the RAAF as a cadet pilot in 1970 and spent the early part of his career flying UH-1 Iroquois helicopters in various parts of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

After graduation from Flying Instructors Course in 1975, Houston completed several instructional tours on Macchi MB-326H, British Aircraft Corporation Strikemaster and Iroquois aircraft. A posting to the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) from 1976-1978 was followed by two years at No. 9 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley. In late 1979, Houston was posted to Hill Air Force Base, Utah U.S.A. for exchange flying duties with a United States Air Force helicopter unit.

In 1980 he was awarded the Air Force Cross (AFC) for an open sea rescue in gale force winds the previous year off the coast of Western Australia.[1]

After a further posting to No. 9 Squadron as the Executive Officer, and staff training at RAAF Staff College, Houston was posted to the Department of Air (Development Division) where he was involved in the Black Hawk helicopter Project. In 1987, Houston assumed command of No. 9 Squadron to introduce the Black Hawk helicopter, to relocate the unit from Amberley to Townsville, Queensland, and to transfer the capability to the Australian Army. In 1989 he served one year as a Squadron Commander with the 5th Aviation Regiment. Houston was admitted as a Member of the military division of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1990 for his work in the transfer of responsibility for Blackhawk operations.[2]

Following graduation from Joint Services Staff College, Houston was posted to the Joint Operations staff at Headquarters Australian Defence Force and was involved in strategic planning during the Persian Gulf War of 1990/91.

On promotion to Group Captain in July 1992, he assumed the post of Director Air Force Policy and negotiated the establishment of the RSAF Flying School at RAAF Base Pearce. After completing a C-130H Hercules conversion in 1993, Houston commanded No. 86 Wing from 1994-95.

Houston attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 1996. He was Chief of Staff, Headquarters Australian Theatre (HQAST) in 1997-99, Commander Integrated Air Defence System from 1999-2000 and Head Strategic Command from 17 August 2000.

Chief of Air Force

Air Marshal Houston was appointed as Chief of Air Force (CAF) on 20 June 2001, and in the 2003 Australia Day Honours, advanced to Officer of the military division of the Order of Australia (AO).[3]

As acting Chief of the Defence Force in 2001, Houston played a central role in the Children Overboard Affair. At a Senate inquiry in February 2002, Houston challenged the then government's claim made during the 2001 election campaign, that sea-faring asylum seekers had thrown children overboard in a presumed ploy to secure rescue and passage to Australia.[4][5]

Chief of the Defence Force

On 4 July 2005 he became Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) and was promoted to Air Chief Marshal, becoming only the third RAAF officer to hold the rank. In the Australia Day Honours of 2008, Houston was advanced to a Companion of the Order of Australia.[6] On 19 March 2008, it was announced that ACM Houston's appointment had been extended to 3 July 2011.[7]

Personal life

Angus Houston and his wife Liz, who is a teacher, have three sons.[8]

Honours and awards

Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png AFC (UK) ribbon.png

Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png DFSM with Fed Star.png Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png

Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Singapore) medal.png Panglima Gagah Angkatan Tentera (Malaysia).png Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) ribbon.png

Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) (2008)[6]
Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) (2003)[3]
Member of the Order of Australia (AM) (1990)[2]
AFC (UK) ribbon.png Air Force Cross (AFC) (awarded 1980)[1]
Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Australian Service Medal 1945-1975
Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Centenary Medal (awarded 2001)[9]
DFSM with Fed Star.png Defence Force Service Medal with Federation Star (40–44 years of service)
Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal
Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Singapore) medal.png Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera) (Singapore) (Meritorious Service Medal - Military) 1 August 2003[10]
Panglima Gagah Angkatan Tentera (Malaysia).png Panglima Gagah Angkatan Tentera (Malaysia) (Order of Military Service, Knight Grand Commander)
Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg Légion d'honneur (France) (Commander of the Legion of Honour)
Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) ribbon.png Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) (Singapore) (Distinguished Service Order - Military) 24 August 2007[11]


  1. ^ a b It's an Honour - Air Force Cross - 14 June 1980
    Citation: 9 Sqn RAAF - Helicopter rescue off Evans Head - For devotion to duty as a pilot of No9 Sqn RAAF
  2. ^ a b It's an Honour - Member of the Order of Australia - 26 January 1990
    Citation: For service to the RAAF as CO No9 Sqn and subsequently Officer Commanding 5th Aviation Regiment
  3. ^ a b It's an Honour - Officer of the Order of Australia - 26 January 2003
    Citation: For distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force and the Royal Australian Air Force in senior command appointments.
  4. ^ Forbes, Mark; Gordon, Michael; Taylor, Kerry (20 February 2002). "Defence chief told Reith: no children overboard". The Age: pp. 1. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  5. ^ "New defence chief dismisses 'children overboard' shadow". ABC News Onine. 18 April 2005. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  6. ^ a b Commonwealth of Australia Gazette - Companion of the Order of Australia - 28 January 2008
    Citation: For eminent service to the Australian Defence Force as Chief of the Defence Force.
  7. ^ New Defence leadership team announced
  8. ^ Official Biography - Department of Defence
  9. ^ It's an Honour - Centenary Medal - 01 January 2001
    Citation: For outstanding service as Chief of Air Force
  10. ^ MINDEF Singapore, Australian Chief of Air Force Receives Prestigious Military Medal, 1 August 2003, retrieved 10 July 2007.
  11. ^ MINDEF Singapore, President Nathan Confers Top Military Award on Chief of the Australian Defence Force, 24 August 2007, retrieved 24 September 2007.

External links

Copyright photos
Military offices
Preceded by
Air Marshal Errol McCormack
Chief of Air Force
2001 – 2005
Succeeded by
Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd
Preceded by
General Peter Cosgrove
Chief of Defence Force
2005 – Present

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