Continuing the France-American Alliance

July 9th, 2021 Uncategorized

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors and French Air and Space Force Rafales perform a flyover at the Battle of Yorktown Victory Monument wreath-laying ceremony in Yorktown, Va., July 6, 2021. The ceremony commemorates those who fought and died during the battle for U.S. independence at Yorktown in 1781. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcus M. Bullock)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. and French Air and Space Force Chief of Staff General Phillippe LaVigne, gathered at the Yorktown Victory Monument July 7 to lay a commemorative wreath marking 240-years of the siege of Yorktown.

During the ceremony, a wreath was placed at the memorial commemorating the final turning point in America’s war independence. The ceremony included four F-22 Raptors from the 1st Fighter WingJoint Base Langley-Eustis and four French Air Force Rafale fighters from Escadron de Chasse 2/4 Lafayette (Fighter Squadron 2/4 La Fayette), Saint-Dizier, France, performing a flyover at the monument, demonstrating true teamwork and strong airpower partnership.

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors and French Air and Space Force Rafales perform a flyover at the Battle of Yorktown Victory Monument wreath-laying ceremony in Yorktown, Va., July 6, 2021. The ceremony commemorates those who fought and died during the battle for U.S. independence at Yorktown in 1781. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Don Hudson)

“Since the beginning of both of our democracies, we have worked hard to ensure democracy is the example for the world to follow. I am grateful and humbled to be here with you today as we lay a wreath at Yorktown to commemorate our past, present and future alliance,” Brown said during the ceremony.

“The French have been our oldest ally and over the last 240 years, have been one of our strongest,” Brown said. “Since the inception of airpower, the French and U.S. Air Forces have worked together to realize the dreams of early aviation pioneers.”

Yorktown is a historic model of a combined and joint task force in one unified command. The battle marked a remarkable set of cooperative decisions by the American and French where 17,000 alliance troops fought side by side in the most important battle of the Revolutionary War paving the way for the freedoms we know today.

French Air and Space Force Chief of Staff General Philippe Lavigne and U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Yorktown, Va., July 7, 2021. The event honors French and American forces who fought at the Battle of Yorktown and commemorates the partnership that endures. In the fall of 1781, the Battle of Yorktown, marked the last major battle of the American Revolution against British forces and effectively secured independence for the American colonies following a six-and-a-half-year military struggle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcus M. Bullock)

“As we honor this momentous event in the timeline of America’s history, we must also consider how to continue to achieve improved interoperability with our allies and partners so that we can fly, fight and win together,” Brown said. “Accelerate Change or Lose also means expanding our network of like-minded Airmen from around the world, to leverage our common perspective against shared threats, to present multiple dilemmas to our competitors and adversaries.”

Yorktown was the last major action of the revolutionary war following six-and-a-half years of military struggle. The ceremony reinforces the French and American alliance that secured the independence of the United States while honoring those who fought and died during the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.

French Air and Space Force Chief of Staff General Philippe Lavigne and U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. walk through the honor guard corridor during a ceremony at Yorktown, Va., July 7, 2021. The event honors French and American forces who fought at the Battle of Yorktown and commemorates the partnership that endures. In the fall of 1781, the Battle of Yorktown marked the last major battle of the American Revolution against British forces and effectively secured independence for the American colonies following a six-and-a-half-year military struggle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. River Bruce)

“This battle of Yorktown was emblematic of a cooperative victory [of] joint strategy and coordination of effort, where Franco-American friendship was sealed,” Lavigne said. “Ever since that battle of Yorktown, both our countries have been fighting to defend democracies, freedom and respect of human rights in the world.”

The Franco-American friendship extends beyond Yorktown to 104 years ago when the American forces helped France win the First World War, to 77 years ago when the American forces landed on Normandy to begin the liberation of France and Europe to present operations throughout the Middle East.

French Air and Space Force Chief of Staff General Philippe Lavigne and U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Yorktown, Va., July 7, 2021. The event honors French and American forces who fought at the Battle of Yorktown and commemorates the partnership that endures. In the fall of 1781, the Battle of Yorktown, marked the last major battle of the American Revolution against British forces and effectively secured independence for the American colonies following a six-and-a-half-year military struggle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcus M. Bullock)

“Let’s keep on winning together as a team with a common desire, a common vision to get prepared for the future battle space that will be more complex, more contested and likely to expand across regions worldwide,” Lavigne said.

The French Air and Space Force visited JB Langley-Eustis as they returned to France from their recent participation in southwest Pacific exercises.