French air force chief honoured with prestigious Singapore military award

French air force chief Denis Mercier received the Meritorious Service Medal (Military) from Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen for helping to forge  "excellent defence ties" between the French and Singapore air forces. -- PHOTO: MINDEF
French air force chief Denis Mercier received the Meritorious Service Medal (Military) from Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen for helping to forge  "excellent defence ties" between the French and Singapore air forces. -- PHOTO: MINDEF

The chief of the French air force was honoured by Singapore on Thursday for his role in helping to forge relations between the air forces of both countries.

French air force chief Denis Mercier was conferred Singapore's prestigious military award, the Meritorious Service Medal (Military), by President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Thursday. General Mercier received the medal from Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen at the Ministry of Defence, in recognition of his contributions.

He had helped forge "excellent defence ties" between the French air force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force, said the Mindef in a statement, adding that bilateral ties have deepened.

The efforts include supporting the RSAF's fighter pilot training in Cazaux Air Base and facilitating military-to-military interactions, such as the attachment of an FAF Qualified Flying Instructor to the RSAF Fighter Wings Course Programme. "These interactions have strengthened the professionalism and mutual friendship between the personnel of both air forces," said Mindef.

Gen Mercier, who is in Singapore for a three-day introductory visit, called on Dr Ng, defence chief Ng Chee Meng and his Singaporean counterpart Hoo Cher Mou. During the visit which ends on Friday, Gen Mercier will visit Sembawang Air Base and 163 Squadron and 119 Squadron.

Speaking after an investiture, Gen Mercier said he felt honoured and privileged to receive the award. "I consider it a testimony of the quality of the relationship that exists between the FAF and the RSAF, which is one of the most modern and capable air forces in the world. I am looking forward to broaden and develop our already vast and long-lasting cooperation," he added.

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