Vale AVM (Retd) Brenton Jack Espeland AM
Brenton, ‘Brent’ as he was commonly known, was a retired senior RAAF officer and a former Deputy Chief of Air Force – the second most senior appointment in the RAAF. Sadly, Brent passed away on September 29th, 2017 following a short battle with cancer. He was aged 69 years.
Brent was National President of the Air Force Association among many other appointments he held on various boards and committees of charitable institutions and similar organisations. He was a champion of veterans’ benefits and staunch supporter of Air Force and its honourable objectives. Brent was often described as a true gentleman, and an inspiring and charismatic leader who went about his business in a quiet and achieving style. Those who were privileged to know him would testify to his gracious manners, good humour and humble disposition. He was a man you could not fail to admire.
Brent’s significant Air Force career began at the RAAF Academy Point Cook in 1966 where he graduated in 1969. He flew C130 aircraft with No 36 Squadron, including flights to Vietnam in 1975. Brent led the famed Roulettes aerobatic team when he was the Chief Flying Instructor at Central Flying School. Training at the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College followed. From 1983-1986 he was the Military Secretary and Head of Household to the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen. He was Commanding Officer of Central Flying School 1986-1988. A period of military academia followed with postings to the USAF Air War College in Alabama, Air Power Studies Centre as its Director, RAAF Base Fairbairn as its Officer Commanding and Commandant RAAF Staff College, and Australian College of Defence & Strategic Studies as its Director of Studies. Brent assumed the appointment of Air Officer Commanding Training Command in 1995 followed by his promotion to Air Vice-Marshal and appointment as Deputy Chief of Air Force. His final RAAF appointment was Specialist Adviser to Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Coordination Task Force.
Brent will be given a Service Funeral with full military honours at St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide at 1400 hrs on Tuesday October 10th.