Tuesday, October 6, 2009

French captain joins Team Moody, learns upgraded weapons system

by Senior Airman Frances Locquiao
23rd Wing Public Affairs

10/5/2009 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- As part of a three-year officer exchange program, a French pilot recently joined the Flying Tiger family.

Capt. Yann Malard has trained to be able to work with the United States Air Force throughout his career. His hard work and dedication has paid off as he joins the 75th Fighter Squadron as an A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot.

"I'm really excited to be here," said Captain Malard. "It's a dream come true to be able to fly the A-10 and a great opportunity to work with U.S. forces as well as share tactics and techniques. My family and I are also looking forward to learning about the American culture."

Captain Malard is one of two foreign exchange pilots at Moody. They are the first to work in an operational unit in the A-10 community.

He was previously assigned to the Escadron de Chasse 1/3 Navarre flying the Mirage 2000D. The squadron is part of the French Air Force and is located at Nancy-Ochey Air Base, France.

The captain graduated from the French Air Force Academy (Ecole de l'Air) at Salon-de-Provence Air Base, France, in 1998.

As part of the familiarization phase of the exchange program, Captain Malard will spend three months at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., to learn about the A-10.

"The A-10's weapon system is known worldwide as the premier technology," said Captain Malard. "It is more advanced compared to the Mirage, which has an older airframe."

Even though this is the first time the captain has been to Moody, he's no stranger to the United States or working with Airmen.

"I have traveled to the U.S. for exercises at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and for Red Flag at Elieson Air Force Base, Alaska," said Captain Malard. "No matter where I go, the Airmen are always friendly and willing to help."

Upon graduation from his course at Davis-Monthan AFB, Captain Malard will return to Moody around January 2010 and continue training in becoming a combat-ready A-10 pilot.

"I want to learn as many things as possible because I would like to deploy in the future," he said. "There will be many challenges, such as the language barrier, but I hope to overcome all of them and become a better pilot."


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