DJ5N Deputy Director, Strategic Targeting and Nuclear Mission Planning

Rear Admiral Mark Behning

Rear Admiral Mark Behning is a native of Phoenix, Arizona, and a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He also holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and has completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI program.

His sea tours include division officer assignments aboard USS Philadelphia (SSN 690), engineer officer aboard USS Charlotte (SSN 766), executive officer aboard USS Alaska (SSBN 732). He commanded USS Nevada (SSBN 733) and USS Henry M Jackson (SSBN 730) in Bangor, Washington and also served as commodore of Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 17 in Bangor, Washington.

His shore tours included duty as the Tomahawk strike officer for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe; Assistant Force Nuclear Power Officer for Commander Submarine Forces Atlantic; deputy commander, Submarine Squadron 17; deputy for Strategic Forces, Nuclear Weapons, and Force Protection for Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Sea Based Strategic Deterrence branch head for the Director of Undersea Warfare (OPNAV N97), Undersea Warfare Division (OPNAV N97); and, most recently, the Deputy Director and Chief of Staff for Strategic Systems Programs in Washington, D.C. 

Rear Admiral Behning currently serves as the Deputy Director for Strategic Targeting and Nuclear Mission Planning (J5N), United States Strategic Command.  He is responsible for identifying strategic targets and conducting nuclear mission planning in order to meet both deterrence and decisive national security objectives.

His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, as well as other unit and campaign awards.

(Current as of May 2020)