News>Global Strike Command officials build partnership with French
Col. Lynden Skinner (left), and Tech. Sgt. Lee Thompson show Lt. Gen. Paul Fouilland the mechanisms of an M-4 carbine rifle before a test fire Nov. 16, 2010. Colonel Skinner is the Air Force Global Strike Command Security Forces Division chief, Sergeant Thompson is the 2nd Security Forces Squadron armory NCO in charge and General Fouilland is the French Strategic Air Forces commander-in-chief. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Corey A. Clements)
French Lt. Gen. Paul Fouilland and a delegation of French military officers watch Staff Sgt. Tahnee Bouvy demonstrate how her team operates a weapons loader for a B-52 Stratofortress Nov. 15, 2010, during their visit to Air Force Global Strike Command. General Fouilland is the French Strategic Air Forces commander-in-chief and Sergeant Bouvy is a weapons load team member from the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Corey A. Clements)
French Lt. Gen. Paul Fouilland explains the French nuclear deterrence mission at the Air Force Global Strike Command Technology and Innovation Symposium Nov. 17, 2010, at the Shreveport Convention Center in Shreveport, La. During the visit to AFGSC, General Fouilland and a delegation of French military officers also toured a B-2 Spirit and a B-52 Stratofortress, met with weapons system experts, and attended Global Strike Challenge activities. General Fouilland is the French Strategic Air Forces commander-in-chief. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Corey A. Clements)
Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, prepares to fly in the back seat of a Mirage 2000N July 13, 2010, at Istres Air Base, France, while in Europe meeting with French counterparts. (Photo courtesy of French strategic air forces)
by Lt. Col. Chris Karns
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
12/2/2010 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) -- The French Strategic Air Forces' top officer, Lt. Gen. Paul Fouilland, visited the Air Force Global Strike Command here Nov. 14 through 18 as part of a continuing dialogue between the two nations' strategic air forces.
The Global Strike Command commander, Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, toured French air bases in July to inaugurate what is intended to be a regular series of exchange visits.
"In all of our meetings with our French counterparts, I've been very impressed with their professionalism, technical expertise and absolute dedication to their deterrence mission," General Klotz said. "We have a lot in common and can learn a great deal from each other on the best ways to organize, train and equip the most powerful weapons in our respective air forces."
"I've been very impressed by the motivation and skills of all the (Global Strike Airmen)," General Fouilland said. "We share the same values. Like you, we have no other choice but to succeed in this mission. That is why we train all of our people very hard."
General Fouilland and his delegation toured a B-2 Spirit and a B-52 Stratofortress here, met with weapons system experts, and attended several Global Strike Challenge competition events.
Four members of the French delegation -- a company grade officer and three field grade officers who serve in operational units in France -- had an opportunity to plan and fly a B-52 mission with American aircrews.
"It's especially important to start developing a close working relationship with allied officers early in a career and not wait until you're a senior commander," said General Klotz. "That's a defining feature of the exchange program we're pursuing."
General Fouilland also spoke during nthe inaugural Global Strike Command Technology and Innovation Symposium at the Shreveport Convention Center.
"The imagination of a potential aggressor is boundless when it comes to exploiting the vulnerabilities of Western societies," General Fouilland said during his symposium remarks. In that light, the general stressed the importance of being prepared for threats common to both nations, including the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Most of the French team then traveled Nov. 18 through 20 to the ICBM wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., where they met with 90th Missile Wing officials, received a mission orientation and visited a missile alert facility. Cultural orientation included a chance to ride horses and sample some of the local foods.
The visit and meetings were designed to develop mutual understanding and partnering opportunities, officials said.
"This has been a privilege to see just how important this mission is to you," said French Maj. Gen. Gratien Maire, the French Defense Attaché to the U.S. "We have been very impressed by your professionalism and dedication. This is a strong community of values and our nations rely on you. This is where our community comes together."