French Air Force chief joins museum

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The head of the French Air Force has been announced as the new vice president of the Allied Air Forces Memorial and Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington.

General Andre Lanata, a former Mirage F1CR fighter pilot who has served in Chad, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo, among other operations, is the third Chief of the French ‘Armee de l’Air’ to take up the post.

The museum commemorates the achievements and sacrifice of allied airmen and women in all conflicts, with an increased focus on World War II.

Museum director Ian Reed said: “We are delighted that General Lanata has agreed to continue the tradition and close connection with the Allied Air Forces Memorial and look forward to welcoming him here”.

The museum sits on the historic wartime base of the only two French heavy bomber squadrons during World War II, with over 2300 French airmen based there.

Today, it has a permanent Bureau Francais with French staff, and retains strong ties with France and the other allied nations.

The Supreme Allied Commander NATO, General Denis Mercier, also serves as vice president alongside the chief of the RAF, Sir Andrew Pulford.

The museum is continuously involved with events and war commemorations around the UK and France.

Each September, it hosts the Annual Allied Air Forces Memorial Day, and this year diplomatic representatives from countries including Russia, Germany, the US, France, the Netherlands, Qatar, Australia, New Zealand and Canada attended.

The next will take place on Sunday 4th September 2016.