Denis Mercier was admitted to the French Air Force Academy in 1979 and graduated as an engineer in 1982. He became a certified fighter pilot in 1983 and the first part of his operational career, from 1983 to 1994, was punctuated by the command of a squadron equipped with Mirage 2000s. The second part of his career, as a staff officer, was devoted to plans, innovation, transformation and international affairs, where he developed numerous interactions with many countries around the world. A graduate of the Joint Staff College in 1997, he joined in 1999 the HQ of NATO’s Joint Force Command North, in the Netherlands, followed by various staff positions in the Air Force or in Joint HQs. He assumed command of Reims Air Force Base from 2002 to 2004 and, in 2008, took command of the French Air Force Academy in Salon-de-Provence. In 2010, he became the senior military advisor to the Minister of Defense and, in 2012, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the French Air Force. In September 2015, he was appointed Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in NATO, a position based in Norfolk, USA. He has a total of 3,500 flight hours, including 182 in combat missions. He is Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, Officer of the National Order of Merit and has received numerous foreign awards in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and America. After 39 years of active service, he joined the Fives Group in October 2018 as Deputy General Manager. He is Director of the Board of various companies and public organizations and member of several Advisory Boards. He also advises different startups in various fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity or New Space.
Deputy General Manager Fives Group, former Chief of the French Air Force and Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation (NATO), Former Chief of the French Air Force