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Military Tattoo Held for NATO's Air Chief Marshal Mercier

28.08.2018 - Artikel
Military Tattoo for NATO's Air Chief Marshal Mercier
Military Tattoo for NATO's Air Chief Marshal Mercier© Sebastian Wilke/Bundeswehr

Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn hosted a military tattoo on 27 August in honour of NATO’s departing Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Air Chief Marshal Denis Mercier of the French Air Force. He joined General Eberhard Zorn, the German Chief of Defence, in commending Mercier for his service.

Military Tattoo for NATO Air Chief Marhal Mercier
Zorn, Mercier, Zimmer and a serviceman holding a torch: The military tattoo for NATO Air Chief Marshal Denis Mercier was attended by State Secretary Silberhorn and General Zorn.© Sebastian Wilke/Bundeswehr

Special request: the Star Wars theme tune

Held on the Gatow airfield in Berlin, the tattoo was also attended by Hans-Peter Bartels, Germany’s Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, as well as Air Marshal Ingo Gerhartz, Chief of the German Air Force.

At Mercier’s request, the musical repertoire included the theme tune from Star Wars. There followed the tattoo itself – the most prestigious ceremony in Bundeswehr protocol.

NATO cohesion consolidated

Military tattoo NATO's Air Chief Marshal Mercier 2
Troops standing to attention with burning torches: Members of the Guard Battalion conducting the most prestigious military ceremony© Sebastian Wilke/Bundeswehr

Air Chief Marshal Mercier joined the French Air Force in 1979 and trained as a pilot until 1983. He amassed a record of 3000 flying hours, including 182 hours flown on deployments. A number of special assignments followed, including some in NATO headquarters. Mercier was head of the French Air Force training college in Salon-de-Provence, a post in which he did much to promote international cooperation. In 2012, he was given command of the French Air Force.

Mercier was appointed as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in 2015. Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, Allied Command Transformation (ACT) governs the evolution and adaptation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Air Chief Marshal Mercier, Grand Officer of the French Legion of Honour and recipient of the Bundeswehr Gold Cross of Honour, has contributed most particularly to the cohesion of the Alliance. The military tattoo honoured him for this Service.

This is the Translation of an article by Hagen Clement published on the website of the Federal Ministry of Defence


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