French air force chief receives military award from Singapore

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen with General Philippe Lavigne after presenting the Chief of Staff of the French Air and Space Force with the Meritorious Service Medal (Military) yesterday
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen with General Philippe Lavigne after presenting the Chief of Staff of the French Air and Space Force with the Meritorious Service Medal (Military) yesterday. PHOTO: MINDEF

General Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff of the French Air and Space Force, has received a prestigious military award for his contributions to strengthening ties between the air forces of France and Singapore.

He was presented with the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera), or Meritorious Service Medal (Military), by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen yesterday at the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) headquarters. The award was conferred on Gen Lavigne by President Halimah Yacob.

In a statement, Mindef said Gen Lavigne was conferred the award for his significant contributions towards enhancing bilateral defence ties between the French Air and Space Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

"Under his leadership, the two air forces collaborated in areas of interest including unmanned aerial vehicles and air-land operations," said Mindef.

"Gen Lavigne's support has also been vital for the RSAF to sustain aircrew training at the advanced jet training detachment in Cazaux Air Base," the ministry added.

Gen Lavigne said: "I am very honoured to receive this prestigious award. The credit goes to all the French and Singaporean aviators who work together to defend our shared values.

"This distinction highlights the friendship and the great cooperation between the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the French Air and Space Force."

Yesterday morning, Gen Lavigne reviewed a guard of honour and took a familiarisation flight on board an RSAF AS332 Super Puma helicopter.

Besides meeting Dr Ng, he also called on Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, Chief of Defence Force, and Major-General Kelvin Khong, Chief of Air Force.

He then visited Paya Lebar Air Base to view the F-15SG fighter aircraft on static display.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2021, with the headline 'French air force chief receives military award from Singapore'. Subscribe