Deputy Chief of Air Force

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 RAAF Base 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, afterwhich he instructed at the Advanced Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce. In 1991, he transferred to fast jets and trained on the Macchi, and then the F/A-18 at RAAF Base Williamtown.

Following training, he was posted to No. 75 Squadron at RAAF Base Tindal, completing a three and a half year tour as line aircrew and Flight Commander. He then spent two years in Headquarters Air Command as part of the planning cell, where he was responsible for planning 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 before completing Navy Command and Staff Course in the latter half of 1999. He returned to RAAF Base Williamtown the following year into the Capability Management and Development role within Headquarters Tactical Fighter Group, 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 in Baghdad, serving a six-month tour. This was 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.

Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull 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). He was appointed as the Air Commander Australia on 12 September 2014, conducting duties as the senior operational commander in Air Force. On 1 May 2017, he was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Air Force.

Air Vice-Marshal Turnbull was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force in air combat capability development and support to military operations in the Australia Day 2016 Honours list.

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