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Thales Appoints Bernard Barrera as Land Defence Advisor

In-depth Knowledge of Air-Land Battle and SCORPION Programmes

Thales announced the appointment of Général Bernard Barrera as the group’s Land Defence Advisor on 7 July. The general’s appointment will take effect on 1 November as he replaces Général Alain Bouquin, who will step down from the role at the end of 2020.

An infantry soldier, Gen Barrera is a graduate of Saint-Cyr military academy (1985), the École de Guerre staff college (1998) and the institute for higher national defence studies (IHEDN) in 2008. He served as a commander in France and on overseas deployments, most notably in Mali, where he led ground operations for Operation Serval in 2013. He also served as an adviser to the French Prime Minister (2009–11) and at the Ministry of Defence’s information and communications department (DICoD).

Having drafted the fundamental principles of collaborative combat and guidance for the French cooperative fighting system (BOA – also known as the Air-Land Battle) at the French Land Forces General Staff (2000–04), he led the implementation of those principles under the SCORPION transformation programme as Deputy Chief of Plans and Programmes in 2015. Also at the General Staff, he set out Action Terrestre Future, a forward-looking vision of land forces operations to 2030, organised the ramp-up of airland equipment procurement and coordinated the modernisation of the General Staff in the areas of cybersecurity, digital technology and innovation.

Deputy Chief of the Land Forces General Staff in December 2017, with responsibilities spanning Army policy, operational processes and capability development, Gen Barrera was appointed Army Inspector General in early 2020.

As Land Defence Advisor, he will provide key support for Thales on issues in land defence. Crucially, he will also help to better understand military requirements and advise the group on equipment and system roadmaps, with particular emphasis on future land combat in a European and joint forces context.

Welcoming Barrera to Thales, Chairman and CEO Patrice Caine pointed out that “[…] his experience as a commander of French forces and ministerial advisor is a major asset for the group in its effort to provide the armed forces with the very best technologies available. I also thank Général Alain Bouquin most sincerely for the essential support he has provided to the group over the last five years.”

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