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Chiefs of the Australian Defence Force :: 1958 to the present

Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee

 
Lieutenant General Sir Henry Wells, KBE, CB, DSO 23.3.1958 to 22.3.1959
Vice Admiral Sir Roy Dowling, KBE, CB, DSO 23.3.1959 to 27.5.1961
Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Scherger, KBE, CB, DSO, AFC 28.5.1961 to 18.5.1966
General Sir John Wilton, KBE, CB, DSO 19.5.1966 to 22.11.1970
Admiral Sir Victor Smith, AC, KBE, CB, DSC 23.11.1970 to 23.11.1975
General Sir Francis Hassett, AC, CB, CBE, DSO, MVO 24.11.1975 to 8.2.1976
   

Chief of Defence Force Staff

The position of Chief of Defence Force Staff was created after amending Defence legislation and came into effect on 9.2.1976.

General Sir Francis Hassett, AC, KBE, CB, DSO, MVO 9.2.1976 to 20.4.1977
General Sir Arthur MacDonald, KBE, CB 21.4.1977 to 20.4.1979
Admiral Sir Anthony Synnot, KBE, AO 21.4.1979 to 20.4.1982
Air Chief Marshal Sir Neville McNamara, KBE, AO, AFC, AE 21.4.1982 to 12.4.1984
General Sir Phillip Bennett, KBE, AO, DSO 13.4.1984 to 25.10.1984
   

Chief of the Defence Force

The position of Chief of the Defence Force was created after amending Defence legislation and came into effect on 25.10.1984.

General Sir Phillip Bennett, AC, KBE, DSO 26.10.1984 to 12.4.1987
General Peter Gration, AC, OBE 13.4.1987 to 16.4.1993
Admiral Alan Beaumont, AC, RAN 17.4.1993 to 6.7.1995
General John Baker, AC, DSM 7.7.1995 to 3.7.1998
Admiral Chris Barrie, AC, RAN 4.7.1998 to 3.7.2002
General Peter Cosgrove, AC, MC 4.7.2002 to 3.7.2005
Air Chief Marshal A.G. 'Angus' Houston, AC, AFC 4.7.2005 to 3.7.2011
General David Hurley, AC, DSC 4.7.2011 to 30.6.2014
Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC 30.6.2014 to 6.7.2018

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC (Retd)

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 from 30 June 2014 until 6 July 2018.

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.