Over 3,000 Romanian and foreign troops marched under the Arch of Triumph in Bucharest within the military parade on Romania’s National Day on Thursday, December 1. Thousands, adults and a lot of children, “armed” with tricolors and cameras queued to see the soldiers and the army vehicles trooping from the Arch of Triumph all the way on Kiseleff Boulevard.
President Klaus Iohannis saluted the guard of honor and laid a wreath of flowers at the Arch of Triumph.
Former presidents Traian Basescu, Emil Constantinescu and Ion Iliescu, PM Dacian Ciolos, members of the Government and of the diplomatic corps attended the parade, included the UK Ambassador Paul Brummell, US charge d’affaires Dean Thompson and France Ambassador Francois Saint-Paul, the head of the Romanian Intelligence Service Eduard Helvig, the Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea and the president of the Constitutional Court Valer Dorneanu.
The Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the Social Democrat chairman Liviu Dragnea and the Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea, who were not invited at the parade, stood in the crowd.
This year the military parade paid homage to the heroes of the WWI, as this year 100 years are marked since Romania joined the WWI to re-conquer its territory.
The parade was initiated by the military of the “Calugareni” Infantry Battalion II.
Over 3,000 military and experts of the National Defence Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the Romanian Intelligence Service joined the parade, next to 300 technical military equipment, 50 aircrafts including, among whom there were also the six F16s purchased by the Romanian Air Forces this year.
A detachment consisting in soldiers wounded in the theatres of operations abroad, in the Western Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan also joined the parade.
Military of the Special Forces, trenchers, Air Forces, Navy Forces, the Military Police, as well as students of the Military Technical Academy, of the Land, Navel and Air Forces academies, but also students and specialist registrars of the Military Forensic Institute passed under the Arch of Triumph.
The land march ended with two detachments-one with period tricolors born by the young soldiers of the “Mihai Viteazu” 30 Brigade and the second wearing the Romanian Royal Army’s equipment and regimentals from 1915-1918: Infantry, Rangers and the Mountain Hunters.
The ordnance march was opened by the air forces, with IAR-330 Puma helicopters and MI-8, M-17 and Eurocopter-135 helicopters crossing the Bucharest sky. C-27J Spartan and C-130 Hercules, the Air Forces’ transport aircrafts, IAR-99, IAR-99 Hawk followed. Two flight formations with supersonic MIG-21 Lancers and one formation of F16 Fighting Falcon ended the aircraft parade.
On land, people could see the land-air Hawk and OSA-AKM missiles, LAROM multiple launchers, radio and radar systems.
Traffic Police officers, firefighters also marched, while various army vehicles could be admired.
As a first on Romania’s National Day, military detachments from Germany, UK, Italy and Slovakia joined the military parade, next to the military from other states who marched in Bucharest in the previous years as well. Soldiers representing Republic of Moldova, Poland, Spain and US were also present. An American detachment consisting in marines of the Second Marine Battalion from Camp Lejeune Base in North Carolina ended the parade of the foreign army forces.
Military parades in Alba Iulia, major cities
Over 600 soldiers and 67 fighting devices, armored vehicles marched in Alba Iulia, with over 10,000 people attending the march. After the parade, the crowd went on the western side of Alba Carolina Fortress where over 8,000 portions of beans with sausages were served, cooked after an old peasant recipe.
Romanians in Cluj, Timisoara, Brasov, Iasi or Suceava also gathered to celebrate the national day, attend the military parades or shows.