Head of French Armed Forces Visits United States
During a three-day trip to discuss common military and strategic objectives, General Pierre de Villiers, Chief of Defense Staff, visited Washington, Omaha, Neb., and Tampa, Fla., from April 22 through 25.
The top official across all of France’s military branches engaged in press conferences, ceremonies and meetings with a large group of representatives from the Joint Staff, STRACOM, and SOCOM.
On the morning of April 23, Gen. de Villiers laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Ahead of the WWII Commemoration Ceremony to be held on June 6th on the beaches of Normandy, he paid tribute to fallen soldiers and emphasized the need to reach out to the younger generations in order to keep alive the memory of those who fought and died in World Wars I and II.
Gen. de Villiers later traveled to the Pentagon, where he met with a group of senior U.S. military officials led by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The exchange focused on American and French analysis of current and future threats that both French and American armed forces will need to manage in good cooperation. The situation in Sub-Saharan Africa was also discussed extensively. The following day, the delegation gathered at U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) to address strategic issues of common interest.
The delegation then traveled to Tampa, where on April 25 Gen. de Villiers visited U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) as well as U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) for further briefings on security activities of mutual interest to France and the United States.
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