This can be considered as a tangible sign of ending the crisis: after a restricted ceremony last year, Covid-19 obliges, the traditional military parade of the national day of July 14 will take place this year in favor of a decline of the epidemic, announced Friday, June 4, its organizers.
“We are in a rather favorable context of coming out of the health crisis. Provided that it continues, this dynamic should allow us to return to the classic, with a beautiful July 14th on the Champs Elysées ”, explained to Agence France-Presse (AFP) the military governor of Paris (GMP), General Christophe Abad.
In 2020, the format of the parade was replaced by a restricted ceremony on the Place de la Concorde, with special tribute to the soldiers and caregivers mobilized during the health crisis. The absence of a parade in France on July 14 was a first since the end of the Second World War.
“Winning the future”
This year, the stands are expected to accommodate around 25,000 people. The seated stands will be occupied without gauge, while respecting barrier gestures. The standing stands will be occupied at the rate of one person every 4 m2. The general public should be allowed on the Champs-Elysées.
The parade will mobilize some 5,000 participants, including 4,300 soldiers on foot, 71 planes, 25 helicopters, 221 vehicles and 200 horses of the Republican Guard.
“Winning the future” will be the theme of this 2021 edition. A double reference to “The collective capacity of the Nation to overcome the difficulties linked to the health crisis” and “For the armed forces, the fact of being turned towards harsher, so-called high intensity engagements, relying on high-tech equipment”, details the GMP.
The Griffon armored personnel carrier, a new generation personnel carrier intended to replace the front armored vehicle (VAB), will parade for the first time, like the new CaRaPACE armored tanker, deployed in the Sahel.
In the air, the new light reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft (ALSR), used to collect intelligence, will take part for the first time in the traditional air parade opened by the Patrouille de France.
The Takuba group in the spotlight
Among the troops in the spotlight will be the group of European special forces Takuba, initiated by France to accompany the Malian forces in combat and to which eight nations contribute – Belgium, Estonia, Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Sweden. and France. However, its cooperation operations had been temporarily suspended since Thursday, like all joint Franco-Malian operations, in reaction to a second coup d’état in nine months in Mali.
The Chadian Marching Regiment (RMT) will open the Army parade on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the “Oath of Koufra” pronounced in March 1941 by Colonel Leclerc to the troops of which the RMT is the heir: “Swear not to lay down your arms until our colors float on Strasbourg Cathedral”.
On the Navy side, honor to the submariners, with the presence of the crew of the nuclear attack submarine (SNA) Emeraude, returning from an eight-month long mission in the very strategic Indo-Pacific region, including one passage in the South China Sea. The crew of the first new generation SNA Suffren, which will go on mission in the fall, will also be invited.
A two-hour parade and a choir
The Air Force will parade its new Space Command, as well as aviators engaged at the start of the year in the Skyros mission, during which four Rafale, two A400Ms and an A330 Phoenix refuelers made a series of stopovers. in India, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Greece.
On the occasion of its 60th anniversary, the Adapted Military Service (SMA), a socio-professional integration mechanism for the benefit of young ultra-seafarers, will be represented, as well as the Army Health Service (SSA), very mobilized from the start of the health crisis.
The parade, lasting about two hours, will end in music with a choir of 120 “Young people engaged” : military high school students, members of the civic service, voluntary military services (SMV) and adapted, volunteer firefighters. At the end of the parade, several activities will be offered to Ile-de-France residents on the Esplanade des Invalides and in several other districts of the capital.