French Air Force

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French Air Force
Armée de l'Air
Logo of the French Air Force (Armee de l'Air).svg
Logo of the Armée de l'Air since 24 March 2010
Active Part of the French Army in 1909 – An independent service arm in 1934
2 July 1934 (official)
Country  France
Branch Air force
Type Aerial warfare
Size 41,160 personnel (2017)[1][2]
687 aircraft,[2] of which 226 are combat aircraft.
Part of French Armed Forces
Motto(s) « Faire face » (French)
(also motto of the École de l'air)
« Face honestly, truthfully & correctly [3] straight forward » (Eng)
Engagements

World War I
(French: Première Guerre mondiale)
World War II
(French: Seconde Guerre mondiale)
Indochina War
(French: Guerre d'Indochine)
Algerian War
(French: Guerre d'Algérie)
Chadian–Libyan conflict
(French: Conflit tchado-libyen) Gulf War
(French: Guerre du Golfe)
Kosovo War
(French: Guerre du Kosovo)
War on Terror

Opération Harmattan
(French: Opération Harmattan)

Occidental-Arab Coalition
(French: Coalition Arabo-Occidentale)
Website www.defense.gouv.fr/air
Commanders
Chef d'état-major de l'Armée de l'Air, CEMAA Général d'armée aérienne André Lanata
Major Général de de l'Armée de l'Air French Air Force Deputy Chief
Insignia
Identification
symbol
French-roundel.svg

The French Air Force (French: Armée de l'Air Française [aʀme də lɛʀ], literally "Air Army") is the Air Force Arm of the French Armed Forces. It was formed in 1909 as the Service Aéronautique, a service arm of the French Army, then was made an independent military arm in 1934. The number of aircraft in service with the French Air Force varies depending on source, however sources from the French Ministry of Defence give a figure of 658 aircraft in 2014.[4][5] The French Air Force has 241 combat aircraft in service, with the majority being 133 Dassault Mirage 2000 and 108 Dassault Rafale. As of early 2017, the French Air Force employs a total of 41,160 regular personnel. The reserve element of the air force consisted of 5,187 personnel of the Operational Reserve.[6]

The Chief of Staff of the French Air Force CEMAA is a direct subordinate of the Chief of the general staff headquarters of the Armies CEMA.

History[edit]

French Army[edit]

French military aviation was born in 1909 and was inscribed since that date, accordingly from that fact, France was described as the first country to arm the air with combat aircraft. After voting the law in the French National Assembly on March 29, 1912,[7] French Military Aeronautics was officially party of the French Army (French: Armée de Terre), next to the four traditional branches of the French Army which are typically the: infantry, cavalry, artillery and engineers arms.

French Air Force[edit]

World War I[edit]

French aircraft during World War I, flying over German held territory, 1915.

During the First World War, France had a total of 148 planes ( out of which 8 from the actual French Maritime Force of Naval Aeronautics (French: Force maritime de l'aéronautique navale), know then as the Aéronautique navale (French: Aéronautique navale)) and of 15 Airships, during the armistice on November 1918, 3608 planes were in service.[8] 5,500 pilots and observers were killed from the 17,300 engaged in the conflict, amounting then to 31% of endured losses[9]

The law of December 8, 1922 erected Military Aeronautics in a « special arm »,[10] however, the later remained under the auspicious of the French Army. It wasn't until July 2, 1934, that the "special arm" became an army by itself and was totally independent. Amongst the consensus, these units were for the most part heir to the traditions (insignias) of the escadrille of the First World War where many numerous aviators illustrated themselves famously.

Interwar period[edit]

The first aerial demonstration "In Patrol" (French: En Patrouille) in France took place in 1931 at the hands of the perfectionist instructor pilots at the School of piloting perfectionism (French: l'École de perfectionnement au pilotage). This witnessed the official enacting by the general staff headquarters of the French Air Force on September 14, 1953 of the Patrouille de France (French: Patrouille de France), and the unit remained the most renowned unit of the French Air Force in France, mainly for its demonstrations of aerobatic maneuverings. Since March 1968, the patrouille was completed by the Aerobatic Team of the French Air Force (EVAA) on an aerial base to constitute the presentation teams of the French Air Force (EPAA) which since then has won numerous victories in the national scale and world competitions. During the last world championship in August 2015, the pilots of EVAA have the won the tile world champions by team and individual champions title.[11]

The initial air arm was also the cradle of French military parachuting, responsible for the first formation of the « Air Infantry Groups » (French: Groupements de l'Infanterie de l'Air) in the 1930s, out of which the Air Parachute Commandos (French: commandos parachutistes de l'air) descend from directly.

Simultaneously, during the same interwar époque until WWII, the French Air Force (French: Armée de l'Air Française) maintained a continuous presence across the Empire particularly from the 1920s to 1943. The Vichy French Air Force (French: Armée de l'air de Vichy) had a significant presence in the French Levant while the Free French Air Force (French: Forces aériennes françaises libres) also took part since the early beginnings of World War II in 1940.

World War II[edit]

On another hand, and leading in to the Second World War, the French Air Force did play an important role this time around the European theatre, most notable during the Battle of France of 1940. The engagement of free French aviators (FAFL) (French: FAFL) from 1940 to 1943, then the engagement of the aviators of the French Liberation Army (French: Armée de la Libération), were equally marking episodes of the History of the French Air Force. The sacrifices of commandant René Mouchotte (French: René Mouchotte) or, more unanimously, lieutenant Marcel Beau (French: Marcel Beau) illustrated the devotion of this army.

1945–1954[edit]

In the post–World War II era, the French made a successful effort to develop a domestic aircraft industry. The French Air Force participated in several colonial wars during the Empire such as French Indochina after the Second World War. Since 1945, the French Air Force was notably engaged in Indochina (1945–1954).

1954 – present[edit]

A North American T-28 Trojan with colors of the French Air Force, used in anti-guerrilla warfare during the Algerian War.

The French Air Force was also active in Algeria since 1952 until 1962 and Suez (1956), then later Mauritania and Tchad, the Persian Gulf (1990–1991), ex-Yugoslavia and more recently in Afghanistan, Mali or Iraq.

From 1964 until 1971 the French Air Force had the unique responsibility for the French nuclear arm : vectors pilots of Dassault Mirage IV or ballistic missiles of base aérienne 200 Apt-Saint-Christol on plateau Albion.

Mirage IIIC of the Hunter Fighter Squadron 2/10 Seine (French: Escadron de chasse 2/10 Seine)[12] of the 10eEscadre de Chasse (French: 10e Escadre de Chasse),[13] in 1980 armed with a Matra R530.

Accordingly, on January 1964, the French political leadership reprioritized its military emphasis on nuclear deterrence, implementing a complete reorganisation of the Air Force, with the creation of four air régions and seven major specialised commands, among which was the Strategic Air Forces Command (French: Commandement des forces aérienne stratégiques) (CoFAS).[14] The Mirage demonstrated its abilities in the Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War, the Falklands War, the Gulf War, becoming one of the most popular jet fighters of its day, with a high quantity of sales. The Military Air Transport Command had previously been formed in February 1962 from the Specialized Aerial Grouping Units (French: Groupement d'Unités Aériennes Spécialisées). The Dassault Mirage IV, the principal French strategic bomber, was designed to strike Soviet positions as part of the French nuclear triad. Also created in 1964 was the Escadron des Fusiliers Commandos de l'Air (EFCA), seemingly grouping all FCA units.

In 1985, the Air Force had four major flying commands, the Strategic Air Forces Command, the Tactical Air Forces Command, the Military Air Transport Command, and the Air Command of Aerial Defense Forces (French: Commandement Air des Forces de Défense Aérienne).[15]

A Mirage F1 of the actual Escadron de Chasse 2/30 Normandie-Niemen (French: Escadron de Chasse 2/30 Normandie-Niemen) and another Mirage of the actual Escadron de Chasse 3/30 Lorraine (French: Escadron de Chasse 3/30 Lorraine) in 1986 armed with Matra R530. Since the end of the 1950s, Dassault Aviation formed the nucleus and corps of the fighter combat auxiliary of the French Air Force. Both respective squadron insignias are visible on the aircraft.

CFAS had two squadrons of S-3 IRBMs at the Plateau d'Albion, six squadrons of Mirage IVAs (at Mont de Marsan, Cazaux, Orange, Istres, St Dizier, and EB 3/94 at Luxeuil), and three squadrons of C-135F, as well as a training/reconnaissance unit, CIFAS 328, at Bordeaux. The tactical air command included wings EC 3, EC 4, EC 7, EC 11, EC 13, and ER 33, with a total of 19 squadrons of Mirage III, Jaguars, two squadrons flying the Mirage 5F (EC 2/13 and EC 3/13, both at Colmar), and a squadron flying the Mirage F.1CR. CoTAM counted 28 squadrons, of which ten were fixed-wing transport squadrons, and the remainder helicopter and liaison squadrons, at least five of which were overseas. CAFDA numbered 14 squadrons mostly flying the Mirage F.1C. Two other commands had flying units, the Air Force Schools Command (CEAA), and the Air Force Transmissions Command, with four squadrons and three trials units.

Dassault Aviation led the way mainly with delta-wing designs, which formed the basis for the Mirage series of jet fighters. Dassault Aviation led the way mainly with delta-wing designs, which formed the basis for the Mirage III series of Fighter jets.

In 1994 the Commandment of the Fusiliers Commandos de l'Air was reestablished under a different form.

Logo until 2010.

The French Air Force is expanding and replacing aircraft inventory. The French are awaiting the A400M military transport aircraft, which is still in developmental stages * as of late November 2016,11 A400M had been delivered to ET00.061 at Orleans-Bricy., and the integration of the new Dassault Rafale multi-role jet fighter, whose first squadron of 20 aircraft became operational in 2006 at Saint-Dizier.

After a French presence an absence lasting several decades, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed that France will rejoin the NATO integrated command.[16] France has also been a lead nation, alongside the United States, Great Britain and Italy in implementing the UN sponsored no-fly zone in Libya (NATO Odyssey Dawn), deploying 20 fighter aircraft to Benghazi in defense of rebel held positions and the civilian population.[17]

The last remaining squadron of Dassault Mirage F1s were retired in July 2014 and replaced by Rafale.

One Rafale[18] Hunter[19] (French: Chasseur Rafale) of the French Air Force.

Structure[edit]

The Chief of Staff of the French Air Force (CEMAA) determines French Air Force doctrines application and advises the Chief of the general staff headquarters of the Armies (CEMA) on the deployment time, manner, and force use of French Air Assets. He is responsible for the preparation and logistic support of the French Air Force. The CEMAA is assisted by a Deputy Chief Major General of the French Air Force (French: Major Général de de l'Armée de l'Air). Finally, the CEMAA is assisted also simultaneously by the Inspection of the French Air Force (IAA) and by the French Air Force Health Service Inspection (ISSAA).

Missions[edit]

The French Air Force has for mission and is allocated five defence attributions:[20]

  1. reconnaissance and anticipation ;
  2. prevention  ;
  3. dissuasion (French deterrence) ;
  4. intervention ;
  5. protection.

Organization[edit]

General organization[edit]

French Air Force is organized in conformity to Chapter 4/ Title II/ Book II of the Third Part of the Defense Code (French: code de la Défense), which replaced decree n° 91-672 of July 14, 1991.

Under the authority of the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force (CEMAA) implanted in Paris, the French air constitution revolves around:

General staff headquarters of the French Air Force[edit]

The general staff headquarters of the French Air Force is actually implanted, along with the general staff headquarters of the Armies (EMA) as well as the general staff headquarters of the Army and Marine on site Ballard, more commonly known as the « French Pentagon » or « Balardgone ». The general staff headquarters is composed of some 150 aviators, officers in principal.

Commandments[edit]

The French Air Force has forces spread in three commands: two grand operational commands (CDAOA and CFAS) and one organic command (CFA)). Since September 2013, the former organic commandments CFA and CSFA were merged at the corps of a unique commandment which readopted the designation of CFA:

These last two brigades belonged until 2013 to the Air Force Support Command (CSFA), which placed at disposition and maintained the arms systems, equipment, information and communication systems (SIC) as well as infrastructures; the CSFA provide accordingly the benefits in relation to support the human element, the military logistics (supply and transport), wherever forces of the French Air Force operated or trained; these two brigades are now subordinated to the CFA.

Since 1 January 2008, the French Air Force is organized at the national echelon and has no longer any territorial commands. Prior, these territorial commands articulated around aerial regions (RA), which were five at origin. The number was then reduced to four by decree of June 30, 1962 with suppression of the 5th Aerial Region (AFN). The decree of July 14, 1991 brought the number of Aerial Regions (RA) to three: « RA Atlantic », « RA Mediterranean » and «  RA North-East ». On July 1, 2000 was placed into effect an organization consisting of « RA North » (RAN) and « RA South » (RAS). The territorial division was abolished by decree n°2007-601 of April 26, 2007[25] · .[26]

From 2008–2010 the French Air Force underwent an organisational streamlining process. This project was called Air 2010, which was the year of the deadline for all transitions. The main targets of this project were to simplify the command structure, to regroup all military and civil air force functions and to rationalise and optimise all air force units. Five major commands, were formed, instead of the former 13, and to disband several commands and units.[27]

Directorate of human resources of the French Air Force (DRHAA)[edit]

The DRH-AA recruits, forms, manages administers and converts personnel of the French Air Force. Since January 2008, the DRH-AA regroups at the corps of attributions the former directorate of military personnel of the French Air Force (DPMMA) and certain attributions of the former commandment of the schools of the French Air Force (CEAA). The directorate is responsible for recruitment at the corps of the French Air Force via the bureau of recruitment.

Services[edit]

The inter-arm services of the French Air Force revolve around:[22]

Inter-Arm Space Command[edit]

The French Air Force assures the operational command of the Inter-arm Command Space (French: Commandement Interarmées de l'Espace).

Navigating units of the French Air Force[edit]

There are three echelons:

Within the respective French echelons : an Escadre (not actual, a sort of Wing), the Escadron (the actual French equivalent of a Squadron) and the Escadrille (under the echelon of a French designated Escadron).

The base operational unit is the Escadron, in general commanded by a lieutenant-colonel. The superior echelon, Escadre, which was suspended at the beginning of 1990, was reestablished in 2014. The Escadrille is a subdivision of an Escadron.

For Aerial Bombardment, the navigating units could designate or refer to the following : Escadre Bombardment (EB) units or Escadron Bombardment (EB) units or Escadrille Bombardment (EB).[29]

Escadre[edit]

Commanded by a Lieutenant-colonel or Colonel, the Escadre is a formation that assembles various units and personnel dedicated to the same mission. The designation of « Escadre » was replaced with that of regiment in 1932 and was designated until 1994, a unit regrouping under unique commandment:

  • units (escadrons or groups) generally equipped with the same type of aircraft or at least assuring the same type of mission (chasse, transport, etc.);
  • units of maintenance and support.

Escadres,[30] which were dissolved from 1993 as part of the Armées 2000 reorganisation, were reestablished in 2014.[31] The problems caused by having the aircraft maintenance units not responsible to the flying squadrons they supported eventually forced the change.

4 Escadres (French: Escadres) were reformed in the first phase:[31]

In the second phase, the French Air Force announced in August 2015 the creation of 7 additional Escadres :[31]

The French Air Force also announced in August 2015 that unit numbering, immatriculation of affected aircraft and the transfer of historic material (flags, traditions and names) would be completed in 2016.[31]

Escadron or the Group[edit]

Commanded by a lieutenant-colonel, the Escadron is base operational unit. This term replaced that of Group as of 1949 with the aim to normalize with the allies of NATO who were using squadrons. However, the term Group did not entirely disappear: the term was notably conserved with the Aerial Group 56 Mix Vaucluse, specialized in Special Operations or Group – Groupe de Ravitaillement en Vol 02.091 Bretagne (French: Groupe de Ravitaillement en Vol 02.091 Bretagne) which is still carrying the same designation since 2004.[35]

Also to note that the designation of Escadron is equally utilized by terrestrial formations which assure the functions of technical support, ground to air defense, protection and security.

A Hunter Escadron (French: Escadron de Chasse) can count some twenty machines, spread in general in three Escadrilles.

A Transport Escadron (French: Escadron de Transport) can count a dozen of equipment in number theory (Transall C-160), however, numbers are usually much lesser in function of the type of equipment, availability and missions ( three Airbus A310-300 and two Airbus A340-200 for the Transport Escadron 3/60 Estérel (French: Escadron de Transport 3/60 Estérel)).

To note that the Escadrons have conserved in their designation the numbering of former Escadres during their suppression in the 1990s. For instance: Transport Escadron 1/64 Béarn (French: escadron de transport 1/64 Béarn) (more specifically Transport Escadron 01.064 Béarn), which belonged to the 64th Transport Escadre (French: 64e Escadre de Transport) during the dissolution of the later (recreated on August 2015).

Not all Escadrons (Squadrons) are necessarily attached to an Escadre; however, each Escadron (Squadron) is attached to the particular respective command.

Escadrille[edit]

A Escadron regoups in general two to three Escadrilles.

The Escadrille assures a double administrative and operational function, even of the essential operational control is done at the level of the Esacdron. A pilot is assigned to the Escadrille, however the equipment and material devices, on the other hand, are assigned to the Escadron. Since the putting into effect of the ESTA (Aeronautic Technical Support Escadrons), material devices and the mechanics are assigned directly to the base then put at disposition of the based Escadrons.

The Escadrilles readopted the traditions of the prestigious units out of which most (SPA and SAL),[36] are those traditions of the First World War.

Non navigating units of the French Air Force[edit]

The French Air Force mobilizes aircraft as well as aviator pilots, however equally equips specialized, non navigating teams, which contribute directly to the employment of the various equipment.

Fusiliers Commandos de l'Air[edit]

The Fusiliers Commandos de l'Air are assigned[37] · :[38]

  • Either in squadron protection (French: escadron de protection) (EP);
  • Either in one of the three units dites « Commando Parachutiste de l’Air » (CPA), Air Parachute Commando n° 10, C.P.A 10, Air Parachute Commando n° 20, C.P.A 20, Air Parachute Commando n° 30, C.P.A 30.

Squadron Protection participate to the protection of aerial bases inside and outside the national territory, and in exterior operations as well.

The CPAs practice today common missions, as well as specialized tasks; these concern intervention and reinforcement of protection at the profit of sensible points « air » inside and outside the national territory. These troops contribute to operations of the French Air Force and Special Operations.

Non navigating units include also mechanics of the French Air Force as well the administrative personnel. Other units also include the Commissioner service of the armies.

Aerial Bases[edit]

Air bases in Metropolitan France.

Airbases[edit]

French Air Force houses, as of August 1, 2014:

  • In metropolis, 27 Aerial Bases[39] out of the which 18 aeronautical platform with perceived runways and 5 Bases non platform, two schools, 3 air detachments and « one attached air element » (EAR).
  • Outside metropolis, 7 Aerial Bases or permanent detachments in overseas or country.
Crotale missile-launchers of the Air Defense Ground-to-Air Squadron of the French Air Force.

French Aerial Bases do not all necessarily harbor hunter (fighter jets), supply or transport aircraft : some are radar based bases (Lyon, Mont-Verdun, Drachenbronn (French: Drachenbronn), Cinq-Mars-la-Pile, Nice, Mont-Agel...) destined for the surveillance of the territory (Air Defense ((French: défense aérienne)) and Aerial Military Control (French: contrôle aérien militaire). Others house material warehouses or command posts. In overseas and foreign countries, the bases – which can be temporary – support aircraft and ground capabilities depending on the needs of exterior operations (OpEx) upon which they were created : transport aircraft at Dushanbe (Tajikistan, Operation Héraclès), hunter aircraft (French: avions de chasse) (fighter jets) in N'Djamena (Tchad, Opération Épervier), for instance.

As swift as the French Air Force operates, the closure of Aerial Bases is more constant and immediate, having known a strong acceleration since the 1950s.

The air base command levels are the combat assets of the ALA. An airbase commander has authority over all units stationed on his base. Depending on the units tasks this means that he is responsible for approximately 600 to 2500 personnel.

Flying activity in France is carried out by a network of bases, platforms and French air defence radar systems. It is supported by bases, which are supervised and maintained by staff, centres of operations, warehouses, workshops, and schools.

Both in France and abroad, bases have almost similar infrastructure to provide standardised support. This operational mode allows fast and easy creation of air bases outside France.

Overseas, fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters allow quick response to any request for assistance that falls within international agreements. On average, a base platform, made up of about 1500 personnel (nearly 3500 people including family), provides a yearly economic boost to its area of about 60 million euros. Consequently, determining the sites for air bases constitutes a major part of regional planning. [40]

Northern region[edit]

CABA 117 Paris, HQ of the French Air Force until 2015.

Two bases have recently been closed; BA 922 Doullens Air Base, a disbanded command reporting centre, and DA 921 Taverny Air Base, the former Strategic Air Forces Command headquarters.

Southern Region[edit]

Overseas[edit]

Visual identity, symbols, insignias[edit]

The Patrouille de France PAF in repeat on July 2017.

Patrouille de France[edit]

Aircraft inventory[edit]

French Air Force inventory includes ten categories and feature in part:

Type Origin Class Role Introduced In service Total Notes
Aérospatiale SA330 Puma France Rotorcraft Transport 1968 26 [1][43]
Airbus A310 France Jet Transport 1993 3 3 [43]
Airbus A340 France Jet Transport 2006 2 2 [2]
Airbus A400M Atlas EU Propeller Transport 2014 13[44] 13 37 more on order.[2]
Boeing E-3F Sentry USA Jet AEW&C 1990 4 4 [43]
Boeing C-135FR USA Jet Tanker 1964 14 14 [43]
CASA CN235M-200/300 Spain Propeller Transport 2012 27 27 [43]
Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet France Jet Trainer 1978 84 92 [2]
Dassault Falcon 7X France Jet Transport 2 2 [2]
Dassault Falcon 900 France Jet Transport 2 2 [2]
Dassault Falcon 2000 France Jet Transport 2 2 [2]
Dassault Mirage 2000B France Jet Trainer 2000 6 30 [2]
Dassault Mirage 2000C/2000-5F France Jet Fighter 1983 38 161 [2]
Dassault Mirage 2000N/2000D France Jet Attack 1988 89 161 [43]
Dassault Rafale B/C France Jet Multi-role 2006 108 108 [45][46][47]
DHC-6 Twin Otter Canada Propeller Transport 1976 5 [43]
Diamond HK36 Super Dimona Austria Propeller Trainer 5 5
Embraer EMB 121 Xingu Brazil Propeller Trainer 23 [43]
Eurocopter AS532 Cougar France Rotorcraft Utility 10
Eurocopter AS555 Fennec France Rotorcraft Trainer 40 [43]
Eurocopter EC725 Caracal France Rotorcraft SAR 11 [2]
Extra EA-300 Germany Propeller Utility 3 3
General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper USA UAV ISR 2013 6 6 10 on order[2][48]
Jodel D.140 Mousquetaire France Propeller Trainer 1966 17
Lockheed C-130 Hercules USA Propeller Transport 15 15 [43]
Pilatus PC-21 Switzerland Propeller Trainer 2018 . . 17 on order[49][50]
Socata TB 30 Epsilon France Propeller Trainer 33 [2]
Socata TBM 700 France Propeller Transport 1990 15 [43]
Transall C-160 France Propeller Transport/ELINT 1968 23 [2]

Human means[edit]

Aviators of the one of the CPA's units, during the opening of the Lafayette Escadrille War Memorial.

Since the end of the Algerian War, the percentage of formations of the French Air Force in the comparison with the ensemble of the Armies corresponded to 17 to 19%.[51] In 1990, at the end of the Cold War, numbers reached 56,400 military personnel under contract, out of which 36,300 were part of conscription and 5,400 civilians.[52]

In 2008, forecasts for personnel of the French Air Force were expected to number 50,000 out of which 44,000 aviators on the horizon in 2014.

In 2010, the number personnel of the French Air Force was reduced to 51100 men and women (20%) out of which: 13% officers; 55% sous-officier; 29% air military technicians (MTA); 3% volunteers of national service and aspirant volunteers; 6500 civilians (14%). They form several functions:

Non-Navigating Personnel

Non-navigating personnel of the French Air Force include and are not limited to : Systems Aerial Mechanics (French: mécanicien système aéronautique), Aerial Controllers (French: contrôleur aérien), Meteorologists (French: météorologue), Administrative Personnel, Air Parachute Commandos (French: Commandos parachutistes de l'air), in Informatics, in Infrastructures, in Intelligence, Commissioner of the Armies (French: Commissaire) (Administrator Task).

Navigating Personnel

Hunter Fighter Pilots (French: Pilote de Chasse), Transport Pilot (French: Pilote de Transport), Helicopters Pilots (French: Pilote d'Hélicoptère), Mechanical Navigating Officer (French: Mécanicien Navigant), Navigating Arms Systems Officer (French: Navigateur Officier Système d'Armes) (NOSA), Combat Air Medic (French: Convoyeur de l'Air) (CVA).

Formation of personnel[edit]

Students of the École de l'air (Air School) during the military parade of July 14th in 2007 on the Champs-Élysées.

Officers, within their recruitment and future specialty, are formed in:

Officers of the French Air Force are spread in three corps:

Sous-Officiers are formed at:

Air Military Technicians (French: militaires techniciens de l’air) having been formed until July 1, 2015 at the Center of Elementary Military Formation (French: « Centre de formation militaire élémentaire ») of the Technical Instruction School of the French Air Force (French: École d'enseignement technique de l'Armée de l'air) of Saintes. Since July 1, 2015, this formation was assured by Aerial Base 115 Orange-Caritat, within the « Operational Combatant Preparation Center of the French Air Force » (French: Centre de préparation opérationnelle du combattant de l'Armée de l'air).

Aerial Circulation Controllers (French: Contrôleurs de la Circulation), or Defense Aerial Circulation Controllers are formed at the Center of Control Instruction and Aerial Defense (French: Centre d'Instruction du Contrôle et de la Défense Aérienne).

Ranks[edit]

Officers
NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
 France
(Edit)
No equivalent French Air Force-général d'armée aérienne.svg French Air Force-général de corps aérien.svg French Air Force-général de division aérienne.svg French Air Force-général de brigade aérienne.svg French Air Force-colonel.svg French Air Force-lieutenant-colonel.svg French Air Force-commandant.svg French Air Force-capitaine.svg French Air Force-lieutenant.svg French Air Force-sous-lieutenant.svg French Air Force-aspirant.svg French Air Force-élève officier.svg
Général d´armée aérienne Général de corps aérien Général de division aérienne Général de brigade aérienne Colonel Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant Capitaine Lieutenant Sous-Lieutenant Aspirant Élève-officier
Student
Aspirant élève de l'École de l'air (EA)
(Officer candidate, air force academy) 
Aspirant élève de l'École militaire de l'air (EMA)
(Officer candidate, military flight school) 
Élève officier de l'École de l'air (EA)
(Officer cadet, air force academy) 
Elève officier du personnel navigant (EOPN)
(Navigation officer cadet) 
Enlisted
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
France France
(Edit)
French Air Force-major.svg French Air Force-adjudant-chef.svg French Air Force-adjudant.svg No equivalent French Air Force-sergeant-chef.svg French Air Force-sergeant.svg French Air Force-caporal-chef.svg French Air Force-caporal.svg French Air Force-aviateur de première classe.svg French Air Force-aviateur.svg
Major Adjudant-chef Adjudant Sergent-chef Sergent Caporal-chef Caporal Aviateur 1e classe Aviateur 2e classe

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.defense.gouv.fr/content/download/511454/8625925/Les%20chiffres%20cle%CC%81s%20de%20la%20D%C3%A9fense%20%C3%A9dition%202017%20EN.pdf
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Defence Key Figures: 2016 Edition". Defense.gouv.fr.  (download PDF file or see HTML version Archived 6 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine.)
  3. ^ Faire face (French is an action or behavior of being straight forward and being honest, truthful and correct regardless the environment).
  4. ^ "Annuaire statistique de la défense 2013–2014" 10 July 2014 (in French)
  5. ^ "Annuaire statistiques de la défense 2012–2013" 4 June 2013 (in French)
  6. ^ "Key defence figures 2014" (PDF) (in French). Defense.gouv.fr. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2014.  ()
  7. ^ [1], Law of March 29, 1912 organizing the Military Aeronautics, published in JO of March 31, 1912, Editor BNF-Gallica, gallica.bnf.fr
  8. ^ History of light aviation of the French Army 1794–2008, Lavauzelle, Collection of History, Memory and Patrimony, Général André Martini, 2005, Paris, pages 36,42, ISBN 2-7025-1277-1
  9. ^ [2], Hydroplanes Georges Lévy, Gérard Hartmann, 2011, The Schneider cup and veteran hydroplanes.
  10. ^ [3], Law on the creation of the Aeronautics Arm on December 8, 1922 published in JO on December 9, 1922, BNF-Gallica, gallica.bnf.fr
  11. ^ [4], equipedevoltige.org
  12. ^ The Hunter Fighter Squadron 2/10 Seine (December 13, 1954 – May 30, 1985)
  13. ^ The 10e Escadre de Chasse (April 1, 1951 – May 31, 1985)
  14. ^ Décree 6446 du 14 janvier 1964 créating the Commandement des Forces aériennes stratégiques (CoFAS)
  15. ^ Isby, David; Kamps, Charles (1985). Armies of NATO's Central Front. London: Jane's Publishing Company. pp. 168–170. ISBN 0-7106-0341-X. 
  16. ^ "Sarkozy confirmed that France will soon return to NATO’s integrated command" 17 June 2008
  17. ^ "Report Hubert Védrine" 12 November 2012 (in English)
  18. ^ In the French language, "Rafale" has numerous meanings and designations. In Meteorology, a "Rafale" (French: une Rafale) is a sudden temporary augmentation of the wind. If the wind is violent, it is referred to as "Bourasque". In a similar context and category a "Rafale front" (French: Front de Rafale) designates a line series of organized violent winds coming out of a thunderstorm. Similarly, a "descending Rafale" (French: Rafale descendante) is an aerial current which descends intensely under thunderstorm, and whose surface crush produces violent, divergent and turbulent winds. In the Military context, the "Rafale" (French: la Rafale) is a sudden short, violent and rapid burst of fire, shot from one Firearm with automatic fire.
  19. ^ The French word "Chasseur" translates to "Hunter" in English, and while this is a Fighter aircraft, the actual translation is different. The word "Fighter/Combat Aircraft" translates to "Avion de Combat" in the French language.
  20. ^ Armée de l'air : présentation, organisation.
  21. ^ The French referral of "Base Aérienne" is the proper equivalent of "Aerial Base" in English. While the term "Air Base" is more common, the proper French translation of the latter (Air Base) to the French language would refer to "Base d'Air", which has no relevant meaning for the French Air Force.
  22. ^ a b Légifrance, base CDEF(R), numéro R3224-8, Code de la Défense, Art. R.3224-8
  23. ^ The correspondent French article on air nuclear deterrence is not called "Strategic Air Forces Command". It is referred to in translation as Strategic Air Forces only (French: Forces Aériennes Stratégiques). Content in this particular French Article should match exactly that on the English article.
  24. ^ The word "Fighter" (in reference to a Fighter aircraft) in the English language doesn't exist in the French Air Force repertoire; therefore the Fighter aircraft articles (involving Escadres, Squadrons, Escadrille) were created under the official French designation; however these are Fighter formations.
  25. ^ [5], Décret n° 2007-601 du 26 avril 2007, modifiant la première partie du code de la Défense (partie réglementaire), Légifrance, Jacques Chirac, April 26, 2007
  26. ^ Décret du 26 avril 2007.
  27. ^ "The Military Balance 2013"., 14 March 2013.
  28. ^ When referring to a Escadron/Squadron of the French Air Force or any military unit in France, be careful (unless sure), the names after the numbers such as : "2/30 (number) "Normandie-Niemen" (official battle honor designation) actually sometimes designates locations, emblems or not, and mainly for military units referring to Battle honours inscriptions at these locations. Hence, a location would translate in any language to the same, usually, an emblem can be misinterpreted and Battle honours should not be translated. In addition, some of these unit squadrons are heir to others with direct official designations but different number sequences. On another hand, locations, emblems and battle honors can sometimes be misinterpreted and translated to another language (word) with a totally different word. Emblems also sometimes may refer to a region while they also could be wrongly misinterpreted. Therefore, it is better to keep their title designation in the French language (specially in case of military units which most harbor battle honor designations but not necessarily) and translate within the article itself, since some of these designated name designations/emblems/locations/battle honors have history behind them as well, where as a wrongly translated word or not (or composition word) would be incorrect in relation to a mentioned history designation of a Squadron/Escadron. For the reference, the previously stated would be related to Encyclopedic (Wikipedia) inter-languages integrity concepts which has no distinct official citation on a language Encyclopedia (in this case either French or English Wikipedia).
  29. ^ The French abbreviation (EB), for bombardment units, can refer to any of the three echelons of the French Air Force.
  30. ^ not actual but a sort of wing
  31. ^ a b c d Nouvelles escadres aériennes : une cohérence opérationnelle accrue, des valeurs renforcées. Site de l'Armée de l'air accessed 16 November 2015.
  32. ^ The French word "Ravitaillement" means "Supply" in English. However, while the word "Ravitaillement" or "Supply" can be understood as designating Air Refueling, it can also designate within the context of the French Air Force, any sort of supply activity while Airborne.
  33. ^ The French word "Escadre" corresponds to a close and not actual designation of "Wing" (in this case Air Wing) and the French word "de chasse" literary corresponds in translation to "of a hunt or hunter", accordingly, while these designated similar wing formations designate units that correspond to Fighter Wings, their actual language translations are different.
  34. ^ The French word "Escadre" corresponds to a close and not actual designation of "Wing" (in this case Air Wing) and the French word "de chasse" literary corresponds in translation to "of a hunt or hunter", accordingly, while these designated wing formations designate units that correspond to Fighter Wings, their actual language translations are different.
  35. ^ Also to note equally that Escadron de Chasse 2/30 Normandie-Niemen (French: Escadron de Chasse 2/30 Normandie-Niemen) has recently readopted the traditional designation of regiment, which the latter has carried during the Second World War at the corps of the Red Army.
  36. ^ designations of Escadrilles composed of the identifying number of material devices (for instance SPA for escadrille equipped with SPAD, N for Nieuport, SAL for Salmson,etc.) and an order number
  37. ^ [6], Les fusiliers commandos, February 10, 2015, August 2, 2010, defense.gouv.fr.
  38. ^ Officier commando de l'air.
  39. ^ The French referral of "Base Aérienne" is the proper equivalent of "Aerial Base" in English. While the term "Air Base" is more popular, the proper French translation of the latter (Air Base) to the French language would refer to "Base d'Air", which has no relevant meaning for the French Air Force.
  40. ^ "France faced with developments in the international and strategic context" 3 April 2012 (in English)
  41. ^ Scramble. Scramblemagazine.nl. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  42. ^ "Le ministère commande la rénovation à mi-vie des Mirage 2000 D". 
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "World Air Forces 2016". Flightglobal: p. 17. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  44. ^ Riool, Peter W. "Airbus A400M Full Production List". www.abcdlist.nl. Retrieved 20 December 2017. 
  45. ^ http://www.dassault-aviation.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/2/files/2017/03/conf-de-presse-8-mars-v060317-EN.pdf
  46. ^ http://www.dassault-aviation.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/2/files/2017/03/2016-12_Communique_financier_EN-v-070317.pdf
  47. ^ https://www.dassault-aviation.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/2/files/2017/07/Dassault-Aviation-Press-Conf-July-26-2017.pdf
  48. ^ "France – MQ-9 Reapers – The Official Home of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency". www.dsca.mil. 
  49. ^ "France speeds PC-21 deliveries". 
  50. ^ "UNVEILED THE FIRST PILATUS PC-21 FOR FRENCH AIR FORCE". 
  51. ^ Michel L. Martin, Le déclin de l'armée de masse en France. Note sur quelques paramètres organisationnels,Revue française de sociologie, volume 22, number 22-1, year 1981, pages 87–115[[www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/rfsoc 0035-2969 1981 num 22 1 3390]
  52. ^ Bilan social 90, Editor : Direction de la fonction militaire et du personnel civil, 1990, total pages 62, passage 6 to 8 format=PDF.

Further reading[edit]

  • Olivier, Jean-Marc, (ed.), Histoire de l'armée de l'air et des forces aériennes françaises du XVIIIe siècle à nos jours" [History of the French Air Force since the 18th century to the present], Toulouse, Privat, 2014, 552 p.
  • Pither, Tony (1998). The Boeing 707 720 and C-135. England: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-236-X. 
  • Thomas-Durell Young, Command in NATO After the Cold War: Alliance, National and Multinational Considerations, U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute, June 1997

External links[edit]