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Joseph Charles French
Nickname Joe
Born 15 July 1949
Allegiance Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Service/branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Years of service 1967–2007
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands held No. 7 Squadron
Chief of Defence Intelligence
Personnel and Training Command
RAF Strike Command
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Air Chief Marshal Sir Joseph Charles French KCB CBE ADC (born 15 July 1949), often known as Sir Joe French is a retired senior Royal Air Force officer, who was the last Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief RAF Strike Command.

RAF careerEdit

French joined the RAF in 1967, and qualified as a helicopter pilot, flying Wessex, Puma and Chinook.[1] Postings included Sharjah, Hong Kong and Germany. He was commanding officer of No.7 Squadron (Chinook) at RAF Odiham, where he was later station commander (1989–1991).[1]

He attended the RAF Staff College and the Royal College of Defence Studies.[1] Staff postings included aide-de-camp to the Chief of the Defence Staff, and Personal Staff Officer to the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Strike Command. He served on the staff of the Central Trials and Tactics Organisation, and was Head of the RAF Presentation Team.[1] French served as Director of Air Force Staff Duties,[1] and as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Policy),[1] before being appointed Director-General of Intelligence Collection.[1] He was Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) from 2000[1] and it was whilst he was CDI that the controversial September Dossier was drafted which attempted to assess the state of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.[1] In April 2003 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief Personnel and Training Command and Air Member for Personnel.[1] and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief RAF Strike Command in 2006.

French was made a CBE in 1991, and a KCB in 2003.[1]


Upon his retirement in the spring of 2007, he became President of the RAF Servicing Commando and Tactical Supply Wing Association.[2]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 BBC News - Profile: Air Chief Marshal Sir Joe French
  2. The President's Award The Royal Air Force Servicing Commando and Tactical Supply Wing Association Newsletter, Autumn 2009
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Alan West
Chief of Defence Intelligence
Succeeded by
Andrew Ridgway
Preceded by
Sir Christopher Colville
Commander-in-Chief Personnel and Training Command
and Air Member for Personnel

Succeeded by
Barry Thornton
Preceded by
Sir Brian Burridge
Commander-in-Chief RAF Strike Command
Command merged with PTC
to form Air Command
with Sir Clive Loader as CinC
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Brian Burridge
Air Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty The Queen
Succeeded by
Sir Clive Loader

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