Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin was born in Sydney in 1960. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1984 after an initial period of service with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Air Chief Marshal Binskin's service commenced in May 1978 and on completion of flying training was posted to fly A-4G Skyhawk aircraft. He served in VC724 and VF805 Squadrons and in January 1982 was selected as the first RAN pilot to undergo an exchange with the Royal Australian Air Force flying Mirage III aircraft. On completion of this exchange and with the disbanding of the Navy's fixed wing capability, he joined the RAAF.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin's other flying tours include No 2 Operational Conversion Unit and No 77 Squadron at Williamtown, NSW flying Mirage and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft; training on F/A-18 aircraft with the United States Navy at VFA-125 at Lemoore, California; instructing on F-16C aircraft with the United States Air Force at 314 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, USAF at Luke AFB, Arizona; and No 75 Squadron at Tindal, Northern Territory flying F/A-18 aircraft.
His command appointments include Commanding Officer of No 77 Squadron at Williamtown, Commander of Air Combat Group (F/A-18, F-111, Hawk and PC9-A(F)) and later as Air Commander Australia. Air Chief Marshal Binskin's flying qualifications include Fighter Combat Instructor and Tactical Reconnaissance Pilot. Additionally, he has served as the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet Demonstration Pilot. He has over 3,500 hours in single-seat fighter aircraft.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin has served in various joint staff positions including Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence Force and in the Defence Materiel Organisation as Officer Commanding the Airborne Early Warning and Control System Program Office. During Australia's 2003 contribution to the war in Iraq, Air Chief Marshal Binskin served as Chief of Staff at Headquarters Australian Theatre. Following this, he served as the Director of the US Central Air Force Combined Air and Space Operations Centre where he was responsible for the conduct of Coalition air operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (ADF Operations CATALYST and SLIPPER). For this service he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin is a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC). He has also received the Order of National Security Merit, Gukseon Medal (Republic of Korea); the Distinguished Service Order and Meritorious Service Medal (Military) (Singapore); Commander in the Legion of Honour (France); Commander in the Order of Orange – Nassau with Swords (Netherlands); the Order of Valour – Gallant Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces (Malaysia); and the United States Legion of Merit - Commander.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, Australian Institute of Company Directors and RAAF Command and Staff Course where he was awarded the Chief of Staff's Prize for Professional Excellence. In February 2017, Air Chief Marshal Binskin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Deakin University for his significant and sustained contribution to the Australian community through leadership positions in the Australian Defence Force.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin was Chief of the Air Force from 2008-2011, Vice Chief of the Defence Force from 2011-14 and was appointed as Chief of the Defence Force on 30 June 2014.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin is married to Gitte and they have two sons. Air Chief Marshal Binskin's interests include flying, most motor sports and motorcycle riding with his family.
The Chief of the Defence Force has primary responsibility for the command of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). This role arises directly from section 10 of the Defence Act 1903, whereby the Chief of the Defence Force commands the ADF under direction of the Minister.
The Chief of the Defence Force is also the principal military adviser to the Minister and provides advice on matters that relate to military activity, including military operations.