Hello, all!

This time, I'd like to introduce to you one more of my personal "heroes" (a living one ...), I mean: my brother in law Bruno Auger.

... (I never asked him any permission to write this little post, as he never considered himself as a hero !!).

Ceremonial drill during UN Peace-keeping mission, Kosovo, 2003.

Ceremonial drill during UN Peace-keeping mission, Kosovo, 2003.

Having begun his service life in the Artillery, he retired in Jan. 2006 from the French Army, ALAT, (Aviation Légère de l'Armée de Terre - French Army Light AirForce), 3ème RHC (Régiment d'Hélicoptères de Combat). He ended his career at the Etain-Rouvres Airbase as a Major, highly decorated, including the "Croix de Guerre TOE" (Théatre des Opérations Extérieures - External Operations Theater.) and  the "Légion d'Honneur" (croix de chevalier - Knight's Cross)  during his service time.

Ceremonial drill during UN Peace-keeping mission, Kosovo, 2003. On Major Auger's breast, upper left is in first the Croix de Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (White cross, red ribbon) and, immediately under it, the Croix de Guerre TOE (bronze cross with swords, red and white ribbon).

He was a leader and showed as much technicity abilities as enthusiasm to gather all his men and keep and improve moral. He is nicknamed and was widely known in the ALAT (and more !!) as "Super Bennett":

Ceremonial drill during UN Peace-keeping mission, Kosovo, 2003.

He was an engineer on helicopters such as the well known Gazelle and SA 330 Puma. As a "Chef de piste" (Mech. chief), he managed to service with his team sometimes more than 15 machines in the same time and participated to several abroad conflicts (OPEX = Opérations Extérieures - External Operations, f.i. 1st Gulf War), and peace-keeping missions under UN mandat (f.i. Tchad, Kosovo).

SA 340-342 Gazelle

SA 340-342 Gazelle cockpit.

SA 330 Puma

SA 330 Puma's cockpit. The photograph is taken from the MECNAV's seat (MecNav = Mécanicien Naviguant = flying engineer).

Among the best memories he spoke to me about is the French aid in the humanitary rescue in Indonesia after the 2004 Tsunami (Operation Béryx).

Children can play even in the worst situation: tennis balls are of highest interest for them !!

After so much deads in the wars he was involved in, these contacts with suffering people and particularly children led him to considerate other sides of his duty. That was for him a strongly positive match.

Upper photograph: in "L'Express" French newspaper.

Here is a photo showing one of the ways supplies and equipments were shipped to destination: the Antonov An 124:

Sumatra: the wide An 124 standing ajar after delivery of her shipment. On both upper photographs, Major Auger is the one turned back on the far right, 

After this 11th of November, Veteran's Day for a lot of Countries, it's a little tribute I offer to my brother in law (long live Super Bennett !!), and with him, to all of our fighting and gallant soldiers of the past, the present and the future.

God bless them all.

UN SA 330 Pumas over Indonesian seas.

His daughter Kim signed too. She choosed Artillery, as her father when he began. Relief is assumed. Major Auger sponsored her as she and her class left the ENSOA-St Maixent Military School, He was himself an ancient non-commissioned officer student of this institution. Note that a MecNav without his clean-mop IS NOT a MecNav !!! - Hyères, France, 2005 -

Take care, all !

Jeff

Photographs: friendly ALAT sources, except the one from the "L'Express" newspaper.

 

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