Chief of the Air and
Space Force Staff
Chef d'état-major de l'armée
de l'air et de l'espace
Incumbent
General Stéphane Mille [fr]
since 10 September 2021
Ministry of the Armed Forces
TypeChief of Staff
AbbreviationCEMAAE
Member ofChiefs of Staff Committee
Reports toChief of the Defense Staff
SeatHexagone Balard, Paris
AppointerPresident of the Republic
Requires the Prime Minister's countersignature
PrecursorDirector of Military Aeronautics
Formation28 December 1928 (1928-12-28)
First holderHenry Michaud
DeputyMajor General of the Air and Space Force
Websitedefense.gouv.fr/air

The Chief of the Air and Space Force Staff (French: Chef d'état-major de l'armée de l'air et de l'espace,[a] CEMAAE)[2] is the military head of the French Air and Space Force.[3] The chief directs the air and space force staff and acts as the principal advisor to the Chief of the Defence Staff on subjects concerning the Air and Space Force.[4] As such, they ensure the operational preparedness of their service branch, express their need for military and civilian personnel, and are responsible for maintaining the discipline, morale and conduct of their troops.[5] Special responsibilities can be assigned to them in relation to nuclear safety.[6]

The chief does not have a fixed term, nor an attached rank. In practice, however, a term has never exceeded five years and all chiefs since the late 1940s have been five–stars generals (OF–09). They are assisted in their duties by the Major General of the Air and Space Force who will deputise if needed.[7]

The current chief, General Stéphane Mille, has been serving since 10th September 2021.

History

Interwar

The office was officially created in December 1928 in the 1929 Law of Finances.[8] It proposed the creation of a high command for the Military Aeronautics, still under the authority of the Army, which would succeed the function of the Direction of Military Aeronautics. The French Air Force became independent in 1934, and the Chief obtained full authority.

World War II

After the armistice, Germany imposed severe restrictions on the size of the French Air Force. As a result, the scope of authority of the Chief was limited, and the office was ultimately eliminated alongside the Air Force.

Postwar

Free France and the subsequent governments of the re-established French Republic recreated the office at the end of the war.

Office holders

Third Republic

No. Portrait Rank & Name Term Minister of Air Commander-in-Chief Ref.
Took office Left office Duration
Office established
1 Division general
Henry Michaud
1 June 1930 5 January 1931 218 days Laurent Eynac
Paul Painlevé
Gaston Doumergue [9]
-
2 Division general
Joseph Barès
5 January 1931 28 August 1931 235 days Paul Painlevé
Jacques-Louis Dumesnil
[10]
-
Paul Doumer
3 Division general
Lucien Hergault
28 August 1931 16 January 1933 1 year, 141 days Jacques-Louis Dumesnil
Paul Painlevé
[11]
-
Albert Lebrun
4 Division general
Joseph Barès
16 January 1933 2 April 1933 76 days Paul Painlevé
Pierre Cot
[12]
-
5 Air division general[b]
Victor Denain
2 April 1933 16 February 1934 320 days Pierre Cot [13]
-
6 Air division general
Joseph Barès
16 February 1934 3 September 1934 199 days Victor Denain [14]
-
7 Air division general
Louis Picard
3 September 1934 27 December 1935 1 year, 115 days Victor Denain [15]
[16]
8 Air division general
Bernard Pujo
27 December 1935 15 October 1936 293 days Victor Denain
Marcel Déat
[17]
-
9 Air division general
Philippe Féquant
15 October 1936 2 February 1938 1 year, 130 days Marcel Déat
Pierre Cot
Guy La Chambre
[18]
-
10 Air division general
Joseph Vuillemin
22 February 1938 ... ... Guy La Chambre [19]
[20]
11 Air army general
Louis Picard
... 10 September 1940 ... Laurent Eynac
Bertrand Pujo
Jean Bergeret
-
-
Philippe Pétain

French State

No. Portrait Rank & Name Term Minister of Air Commander-in-Chief Ref.
Took office Left office Duration
12 Air corps general
Robert Odic
10 September 1940 23 September 1940 13 days Jean Bergeret Philippe Pétain [21]
[22]
13 Air brigade general
Jean Romatet
23 September 1940 21 December 1942 2 years, 89 days Jean Bergeret
Jean-François Jannekeyn
[23]
-
Office disestablished

Provisional Government

No. Portrait Rank & Name Term Minister of Air Commander-in-Chief Ref.
Took office Left office Duration
Office reestablished
14 Air army general
Martial Valin
3 November 1944 1 March 1946 1 year, 118 days Charles Tillon
Vacant
Charles de Gaulle -
-
Félix Gouin
15 Air army general
René Bouscat
1 March 1946 7 September 1946 190 days Vacant [24]
-
Georges Bidault
16 Air division general
Paul Gérardot
7 September 1946 15 February 1947 161 days Vacant [25]
-
Vincent Auriol

Fourth Republic

No. Portrait Rank & Name Term Minister of the Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Ref.
Took office Left office Duration
17 Air division general
Jean Piollet
15 February 1947 1 February 1948 351 days Vacant
André Maroselli
Pierre-Henri Teitgen
Vincent Auriol [26]
-
18 Air army general
Charles Léchères
1 February 1948 22 August 1953 5 years, 202 days Pierre-Henri Teitgen
René Mayer
[...]
Georges Bidault
René Pleven
[27]
[28]
19 Air army general
Pierre Fay
22 August 1953 22 March 1955 1 year, 212 days René Pleven
Marie-Pierre Kœnig
Emmanuel Temple
Jacques Chevalier
Marie-Pierre Kœnig
[29]
-
René Coty
20 Air army general
Paul Bailly
22 March 1955 18 March 1958 2 years, 361 days Marie-Pierre Kœnig
Pierre Billotte
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury
André Morice
Jacques Chaban-Delmas
[30]
[31]
21 Air army general
Max Gelée
18 March 1958 2 October 1958 198 days Jacques Chaban-Delmas
Pierre de Chevigné
Charles de Gaulle
[32]
-

Fifth Republic

No. Portrait Rank & Name Term Minister of the Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Ref.
Took office Left office Duration
22 Air army general
Edmond Jouhaud
2 October 1958 15 March 1960 1 year, 165 days Charles de Gaulle
Pierre Guillaumat
René Coty
Charles de Gaulle
[33]
[34]
23 Air army general
Paul Stehlin
15 March 1960 1 October 1963 3 years, 200 days Pierre Guillaumat
Pierre Messmer
Charles de Gaulle [35]
[36]
24 Air army general
André Martin
1 October 1963 27 February 1967 3 years, 149 days Pierre Messmer Charles de Gaulle -
-
25 Air army general
Philippe Maurin
27 February 1967 13 December 1969 2 years, 289 days Pierre Messmer
Michel Debré
Charles de Gaulle
Georges Pompidou
[37]
-
26 Air army general
Gabriel Gauthier
13 December 1969 12 December 1972 2 years, 365 days Michel Debré Georges Pompidou -
-
27 Air army general
Claude Grigaut
12 December 1972 24 June 1976 3 years, 195 days Michel Debré
Robert Galley
Jacques Soufflet
Yvon Bourges
Georges Pompidou
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
[38]
-
28 Air army general
Maurice Saint-Cricq
24 June 1976 16 July 1979 3 years, 22 days Yvon Bourges Valéry Giscard d'Estaing [39]
-
29 Air army general
Guy Fleury
16 July 1979 11 June 1982 2 years, 330 days Yvon Bourges
Joël Le Theule
Robert Galley
Charles Hernu
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
François Mitterrand
[40]
-
30 Air army general
Bernard Capillon
11 June 1982 16 October 1986 4 years, 127 days Charles Hernu
Paul Quilès
André Giraud
François Mitterrand [41]
-
31 Air army general
Achille Lerche
16 October 1986 25 April 1989 2 years, 191 days André Giraud
Jean-Pierre Chevènement
François Mitterrand [42]
-
32 Air army general
Jean Fleury
25 April 1989 2 December 1991 2 years, 220 days Jean-Pierre Chevènement
Pierre Joxe
François Mitterrand [43]
-
33 Air army general
Vincent Lanata
2 December 1991 1 July 1994 2 years, 211 days Pierre Joxe
François Léotard
François Mitterrand [44]
-
34 Air army general
Jean-Philippe Douin
1 July 1994 1 September 1995 1 year, 62 days François Léotard
Charles Millon
François Mitterrand
Jacques Chirac
[45]
-
35 Air army general
Jean Rannou
1 September 1995 2 July 2000 4 years, 305 days Charles Millon
Alain Richard
Jacques Chirac [46]
-
36 Air army general
Jean-Pierre Job
2 July 2000 1 September 2002 2 years, 61 days Alain Richard
Michèle Alliot-Marie
Jacques Chirac [47]
-
37 Air army general
Richard Wolsztynski
1 September 2002 16 July 2006 3 years, 318 days Michèle Alliot-Marie Jacques Chirac [48]
-
38 Air army general
Stéphane Abrial
16 July 2006 25 August 2009 3 years, 40 days Michèle Alliot-Marie
Hervé Morin
Jacques Chirac
Nicolas Sarkozy
[49]
-
39 Air army general
Jean-Paul Paloméros
25 August 2009 17 September 2012 3 years, 23 days Hervé Morin
Alain Juppé
Gérard Longuet
Jean-Yves Le Drian
Nicolas Sarkozy
François Hollande
[50]
[51]
40 Air army general
Denis Mercier
17 September 2012 21 September 2015 3 years, 4 days Jean-Yves Le Drian François Hollande [52]
[53]
41 Air army general
André Lanata
21 September 2015 31 August 2018 2 years, 344 days Jean-Yves Le Drian
Sylvie Goulard
Florence Parly
François Hollande
Emmanuel Macron
[54]
[55]
42 Air army general
Philippe Lavigne
31 August 2018 9 September 2021 3 years, 9 days Florence Parly Emmanuel Macron [56]
[57]
43 Air army general
Stéphane Mille
10 September 2021 Incumbent 2 years, 234 days Florence Parly
Sébastien Lecornu
Emmanuel Macron [58]

Free France

From its creation in 1940 to the final integration of its air force to the regular French Air Force, Free France had its own staff, based in London. The Free French Aerial Forces were headed by a Commander, responsible to the Commander-in-Chief of the Free French Forces, and was assisted by a Chief of the General Staff.

Commanders of the Free French Aerial Forces

List of Commanders of the Free French Aerial Forces
No. Portrait Rank & Name Term Commissioner Leader Ref.
Took office Left office Duration
1 Vice admiral
Emile Muselier
1 July 1940 10 July 1941 1 year, 9 days Vacant Charles de Gaulle [59]
-
2 Air brigade general
Martial Valin
10 July 1941 2 July 1943 1 year, 357 days Vacant [60]
-
3 Air corps general
René Bouscat
2 July 1943 3 November 1944 1 year, 124 days Martial Valin
André Le Troquer
Fernand Grenier
[61]
-

Chiefs of the General Staff

List of Chiefs of the General Staff
No. Portrait Rank & Name Term Commissioner Leader Ref.
Took office Left office Duration
1 Capitaine
Eugène-Marcel Chevrier
1 July 1940 25 December 1940 177 days Vacant Charles de Gaulle -
-
2 Lieutenant-colonel
Charles Pijeaud
13 January 1941 31 March 1941 77 days Vacant -
-
3 Général de brigade aérienne
Martial Henri Valin
31 March 1941 10 July 1941 101 days Vacant -
-
4 Lieutenant-colonel
Charles Pijeaud
10 July 1941 1 December 1941 144 days Vacant
Martial Henri Valin
-
-
5 Colonel
Charles Luguet
1 December 1941 13 April 1942 133 days Martial Henri Valin -
-
6 Colonel
Pierre Coustey
13 April 1942 13 April 1943 1 year, 0 days Martial Henri Valin -
-
7 Colonel
Georges Andrieu
13 April 1943 3 November 1944 1 year, 204 days Martial Henri Valin
André Le Troquer
Fernand Grenier
-
-

See also

References

  1. ^ Government of the French Republic (10 August 1939). "Marks, honors, salutes and visits in the naval forces and on board naval vessels". gallica.bnf.fr (in French). Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  2. ^ French Air and Space Force. "The Chief of the Air and Space Force Staff" (in French). Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  3. ^ Defence Code – Article R3224–4 § 3
  4. ^ Defence Code – Article R*3121–25 § 1
  5. ^ Defence Code – Article R*3121–25 § 2
  6. ^ Defence Code – Article R*3121–25 § 3
  7. ^ Defence Code – Article R3224–4 § 2
  8. ^ Government of the French Republic (28 December 1928). "Low of Finances for 1929 – Article 116". gallica.bnf.fr (in French). Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Decree of 5 October 1930". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1930–236): 11443. 7 October 1930. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Decree of 4 January 1931". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1931–004): 144. 6 January 1931. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Decree of 27 August 1931". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1931–200): 9474. 28 August 1931. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Decree of 14 January 1933". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1933–013): 464. 15 January 1933. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  13. ^ "Decree of 1 April 1933". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1933–079): 3430. 2 April 1933. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Decree of 15 February 1934". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1934–041): 1601. 17 February 1934. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Decree of 31 August 1934". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1934–205): 9067. 1 September 1934. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  16. ^ "GENERAL PICARD; Chief of 'the French Air Force General Staff Until 1940". The New York Times. 14 August 1943. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Decree of 26 December 1935". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1935–302): 13663. 27 December 1935. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  18. ^ "Decree of 16 September 1936". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1936–219): 9904. 18 September 1936. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Decree of 22 February 1938". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1938–045): 2247. 23 February 1938. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  20. ^ "French Air Staff Chief Will Make Visit to Reich". The New York Times. 22 July 1938. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Decree of 4 September 1940". Journal Officiel de l'État français (in French) (1940–223): 4904. 5 September 1940. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  22. ^ "General Odic Joins Free French". The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 November 1941. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Decree of 23 September 1940". Journal Officiel de l'État français (in French) (1940–243): 5157. 25 September 1940. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  24. ^ "Decree of 28 February 1946". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1946–052): 1823. 2 March 1946. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  25. ^ "Decree of 2 September 1946". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1946–207): 7707. 5 September 1946. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  26. ^ "Decree of 15 February 1947". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1947–046): 1690. 22 February 1947. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  27. ^ "Decree of 28 January 1948". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1948–026): 946. 29 January 1948. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  28. ^ "Foes of Laos in Regrouping". The Baltimore Sun. 3 May 1953. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  29. ^ "Decree of 3 August 1953". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1953–181): 6837. 4 August 1953. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  30. ^ "Decree of 19 March 1955". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1955–071): 2914. 23 March 1955. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  31. ^ "French Air Force Staff Chief Resigns". St. Petersburg Independent. 14 March 1958. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  32. ^ "Decree of 17 March 1958". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1958–066): 2692. 19 March 1958. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  33. ^ "Decree of 1 October 1958". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1958–234): 9174. 5 October 1958. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  34. ^ "O.A.S. Leader Denies Part in Hold-up". The Age. 13 April 1962. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  35. ^ "Decree of 2 March 1960". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1960–053): 2124. 3 March 1960. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  36. ^ "GEN. PAUL STEHLIN OF FRANCE, 67, DIES; Figured in the Controversy on New Fighter Plane". The New York Times. 23 June 1975. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  37. ^ "Decree of 21 February 1967". Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French) (1967–046): 1918. 23 February 1967. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  38. ^ Government of the French Republic (6 December 1972). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  39. ^ Government of the French Republic (31 May 1976). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  40. ^ Government of the French Republic (11 June 1979). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  41. ^ Government of the French Republic (24 March 1982). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  42. ^ Government of the French Republic (8 September 1986). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  43. ^ Government of the French Republic (3 April 1989). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  44. ^ Government of the French Republic (9 October 1991). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  45. ^ Government of the French Republic (9 May 1994). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  46. ^ Government of the French Republic (3 August 1995). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  47. ^ Government of the French Republic (25 May 2000). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  48. ^ Government of the French Republic (18 July 2002). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  49. ^ Government of the French Republic (1 June 2006). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  50. ^ Government of the French Republic (20 July 2009). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  51. ^ Stacy Meichtry & Marion Halftermeyer (5 June 2014). "Last of Surviving D-Day Veterans Battle Time to Bear Witness". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  52. ^ Government of the French Republic (2 August 2012). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  53. ^ "Greek fighter jet crash 'due to takeoff fault'". BBC. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  54. ^ Government of the French Republic (4 June 2015). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  55. ^ "NATO welcomes new Supreme Allied Commander Transformation". NATO. 11 September 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  56. ^ Government of the French Republic (18 August 2018). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  57. ^ Brian Everstine (2 July 2019). "French Air Force Begins Research into Sixth Generation Aircraft". Air Force Magazine. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  58. ^ Bastien Carris (15 September 2021). "New Chief of the Air Staff takes up his duties". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  59. ^ National Order of Liberation. "Émile Muselier". Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  60. ^ Government of Free France (5 July 1941). "Décret du portant nomination du Commandant des Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres". gallica.bnf.fr (in French). Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  61. ^ Government of Free France (1 July 1943). "Décret portant affectation d'un officier général". gallica.bnf.fr (in French). Retrieved 29 February 2020.

Notes

  1. ^ lit.'Chief of Staff of the Air and Space Army'
  2. ^ Division general at the time of his appointment, became Air division general with the independence of the Air Force from the Army.