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AVM John Blackburn (Retired)


John Blackburn retired from the Royal Australian Air Force in 2008 as the Deputy Chief of the Air Force following a career as an F/A-18 fighter pilot, test pilot and strategic planner.   He holds a Master of Arts and a Master of Defence Studies. 

John’s senior posts included Commander of the Integrated Area Defence System (IADS) located in Malaysia, commanding a multi-national headquarters established to effect the Five Power Defence Arrangements, and Head of Strategic Policy in the Defence Headquarters.   In his RAAF Reserve role, he supported the RAAF Chief in the design of Plan Jericho in 2014, then inducted and mentored the Plan Jericho team until December 2015.  His most recent Reserve role was to support the Vice Chief of Defence Staffs in the design of the future integrated force.

Since 2008, John has been a consultant in the fields of Defence and National Security and has undertaken a number of Defence and National Security studies under both the Kokoda Foundation and the Williams Foundation.  His Board roles have included being the Chairman of the Kokoda Foundation Board, the Deputy Chairman of the Williams Foundation Board and the Defence nominee on the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Council.  He has published reports on Integrated Air and Missile Defence, Cyber Security, Defence Logistics, Defence White Papers and Fuel Security.  

John will assume the Chairmanship of the Institute of Integrated Economic Research-Australia when it is established in early 2018.