The nomination of General Philippe Lavigne to the post of Supreme Allied Commander Transformation was approved by the North Atlantic Council on 28 May 2021.General Lavigne has accumulated a particularly diverse and robust operational experience. Having joined the French Air Force Academy in 1985, he qualified as a pilot in 1989, flew the Mirage 2000 during operations in the former Yugoslavia and in Iraq before assuming command of the 1/5 Fighter Squadron “Vendée” in 2001. He subsequently served within the Paris-based Joint Strategic Planning and Command Operations Centre (CPCO) where he contributed to the planning of several peacekeeping and humanitarian operations from 2003 to 2005.
After serving in the Planning Office of the French Air Force Staff, where he was tasked with issues related to space and European cooperation in the field of simulation, he was selected to attend the Centre for Higher Military Studies (CHEM) in 2008 and the “Defence Policy” course at the Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defence (IHEDN). He was appointed Deputy Director at the General Secretariat for Defence and National Security in Paris in 2009, where he served for three years dealing with a number of sensitive and complex issues in an interagency setting with multinational entities.
He served twice in high-level joint positions, first as the Information Director within the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces between 2012 and 2014 and then as Director of the French Chief of Defence’s front office from 2016 to 2018. Between those two postings, he commanded the Kabul International Airport with its 5000 staff and 57 nationalities and supervised the transfer of military responsibility for the airport to the Afghan civilian authorities.
On 31 August 2018, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the French Air Force, renamed as the French Air and Space Force in 2020, whilst under his command.
General Lavigne was made a Commandeur in both the Légion d’honneur and the ordre national du Mérite, and awarded the Croix de la Valeur Militaire. He has accumulated over 2800 flight hours and flown 46 combat missions on the Mirage 2000. He is married to Isabella and they have three children. He continues to play rugby, a long-held passion, whose cherished values have inspired his motto: “Win as a Team”.