Dead in service

The village of Besayes, at the foot of the Vercors … it was the image of happiness!

The memories of our twenty years, in the village hall or at your home, weddings, dancing until no time on the songs of Jean-Jacques Goldman, the soup with onion in the middle of the night, the mass from 7am on Sunday morning …

And then the children who grow up, and find their way.

He had just turned thirty. In 2011, he obtained his “Gazelle” helicopter pilot license and was then assigned to the Phalsbourg regiment, where my niece also served at the time. In the summer of 2016, he was selected to join the 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment (4th RHFS) of Pau as a pilot.

The 4th RHFS is the helicopter battalion of the special forces of the Army. Reporting to the general commanding land special forces, he is under operational, permanent and joint command of the general commander of special operations. Its mission is to transport and support special forces commandos, day or night, in any theater of operations in Europe and overseas.

On the base of Lanvéoc-Poulmic, which houses in France the Naval Academy, I once had the honor to meet members of the maritime force of the marines and commandos, which can be used indifferently by the Navy or Special Operations Command. At their side, I participated, facing the sea, the rising colors.

Benevolence, courage, commitment, transmission, these four words to which I humbly try to hold myself in my personal capacity, they wear them so high!

He had more than 900 flying hours, including 200 at night.

On February 2, two helicopters from the Army Aviation Light Aviation School (EALAT) crashed in the Var, South of France. Less than 250 kms from Besayes … but no matter of course !  Five officers were on board. He was one of them, “dead in service on a training flight to obtain a new qualification”.

With his four companions, he received today the French “légion d’honneur”.


Iconography: the Minister of the French Armed Forces, Florence Parly, in front of the remains of the five dead soldiers, school base General Lejay in Cannet-les-Maures, February 7, 2018. @AFP


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