70 years of the Patrouille de France: the testimony of Colonel Bruno Bezier

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Colonel Bruno Bezier was director of the presentation teams of the Air Force and Space (Patrouille de France and the Aerobatics team) from 2009 to 2013 and in 2018.

What does the Patrouille de France represent for you?

The Patrouille de France is driven by the momentum of tradition and I measure the listening and understanding it requires in order to serve it effectively. Guarantor of the rules inherent in risk management and flight safety, I was responsible with my deputy for coordinating all the actions so that the pilots and mechanics were equipped with all the means necessary to carry out their missions. To this end, I rely on a whole team of specialists. The sustainability of our national patrol is based on the notion of service and the ability to bring a group together. It is a unifying tool that arouses a patriotic emotion by the vision of the tricolor ribbon during a parade, as well as the wonder linked to the technical performance during a demonstration.

What memories do you keep of your passages in this formation?

Memories are many and varied. I managed five teams (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2018). The mission is the same each time and could slip into routine. However, the fundamentally human aspect of this challenge, constantly renewed for 70 years, has allowed me to experience five totally different human adventures. However, if I look back on this vibrant and exciting past, two years come to mind first:
– 2010: the big emotional gap with the first woman, my former trainee from Cazaux, Virginie Guyot who takes the lead of the PAF with a particularly remarkable humanity and charisma, and the crash and ejection (God be praised) of the number 8, Willow, Captain Sylvain COURTOT on April 10, 2010, one month before the premiere.
– 2013: the year of the 60th anniversary during which I actively contributed to the realization of a magical event that brought together nearly 200,000 spectators in Salon-de-Provence. The spirit of the PAF has remained the same and its 70th anniversary has once again been an opportunity to feel the popular fervor that this formation arouses.


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