Air Commander Australia



Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Turnbull AM

Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull is a pilot with more than 3600 flying hours on rotary wing and fast jet aircraft. He completed his basic training in 1984 and spent the next four years flying UH-1H helicopters as a member of No. 9 Squadron which was then based at Amberley. This period included a short tour with the ANZAC Contingent of the Multinational Force and Observers based in the Sinai Desert.

Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull trained as a flying instructor in 1989, following which he instructed at the advanced flying training school in Pearce. In 1991, Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull transferred to fast jets and trained on the Macchi, and then the F/A-18 at Williamtown. Following training, he was posted to No. 75 Squadron in Tindal, completing a three and a half year tour as both line aircrew and as a Flight Commander. The following two years were spent in Headquarters Air Command as part of the planning cell, where he was responsible for the planning of fast jet involvement in major exercises and international deployments.

Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull was posted to Executive Officer No. 77 Squadron in 1998, where he remained for 18 months prior to completing Navy Command and Staff Course in the latter half of 1999. He then returned to Williamtown in 2000 into the Capability Management and Development role within Headquarters Tactical Fighter Group which was later reformed into Air Combat Group.

Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull was appointed to Command No. 77 Squadron in January 2002, and remained in Command until December 2004. In 2005, he was appointed as Director, Airworthiness Coordination and Policy Agency and was responsible to the Chief of Air Force for Airworthiness Management of Australian Defence Force Aircraft and aviation systems and, Airworthiness Policy development.

Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull deployed to the Middle East in March 2007 as Chief of Staff in the Australian National Headquarters, Baghdad serving a six-month tour; followed by appointment as Officer Commanding No. 81 Wing from 01 November 2007. Following his command tour, Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull was appointed Director, Military Strategic Commitments from January 2011. He deployed to the Middle East in January 2012 completing a tour as Director, US Central Command 609th Combined Air Operations Centre where he was awarded the United States Bronze Star Medal. He returned to Australia in May 2012 to take up the dual appointments as Director General Air Command Operations (Headquarters Air Command) and Director General Air (Headquarters Joint Operations Command). Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull was appointed as the Air Commander Australia on 12 September 2014.

Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull was appointed a Member ¬of the Order of Australia (AM) for exceptional service to the ADF in air combat capability development and support to military operations in the Australia Day 2016 Honors and Awards.

Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull is married to Jackie, has four sons and one daughter.