About 4,000 servicemen and military specialists are parading in Bucharest on the occasion of Romania’s 100th anniversary on Saturday, starting 10 a.m.
Troops of the Ministry of National Affairs (MApN), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI), Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), Protection and Security Service (SPP) and the National Penitentiary Administration, military of the „Mihai Viteazul” 30 Guard Brigade, the Gendarmerie’s Cavalry Squad, along 200 military vehicles and 50 aircraft, as well as 500 foreign servicemen from allied or partner countries will march under the Arch of Triumph.
Defence Minister Gabriel Les said before the event that the parade will be one of the grandest and most beautiful ones that Bucharest has ever seen, as almost the entire military technique will be displayed. According to the minister, the parade will be also a proof of Romania’s importance in NATO.
The detachments of foreign servicemen will come from Albania, Bulgaria, Canada, Czechia, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Republic of Moldova, Slovakia, the United States of America, Turkey and Ukraine.
The military parade on the National Day of Romania will also see the attendance of the Royal Marines Band, the representative orchestra of the British Navy, which is performing several concerts in Romania as part of the Romanian-British military collaboration in the year of the Centennial.
Starting with 8:00 hrs, a military and religious wreath-laying ceremony has taken place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Carol I Park in Bucharest. During the playing of the anthem of Romania a 21-gun salute has been executed.
“Similar activities will take place in the major garrisons in the country, as well as in the theaters of operations where Romanian servicemen are deployed. On the occasion of December 1, the National Flag will be hoisted in all the military institutions in the country and all maritime and river ships will be dressed overall,” a Defence Ministry’s press release reads.
President Klaus Iohannis, PM Viorica Dancila, speakers of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, Calin Popescu Taricenau and Liviu Dragnea (although Dragnea had said two days ago he would not participate due to medical reasons), members of the Government and diplomatic corps, former Romanian presidents and other officials are attending the parade at the Arch of Triumph.
This year, as a first, the military parade will be opened by the military aviation, more precisely by a formation of helicopters led by a aircraft carrying the national tricolor flag. The tricolor is escorted by two IAR 330 Puma Socat helicopters.
F-16 Fighting Falcons could not fly the parade as the airstrip has frozen
C-27J Spartan and C-130 Hercules, aircraft will also fly over the Capital city and the main military vehicles equipping the Romanian Armed Forces will march on the Kiseleff Boulevard, from the Arch of Triumph to the Victoriei Square, including the Patriot missile system equipping the US Armed Forces deployed in Europe, 18 special fight vehicles for special operations, and vehicles of Land and Navy Forces.
As for the F-16 Fighting Falcons, part of those deployed at the Borcea Air Base 86 have eventually missed the National Day parade as they could not take off for the airstrip had got frozen.
As announced, the Gendarmerie’s troops that were marching at the parade have been booed by the people, as a protest against their controversial intervention during the protesters at the Diaspora rally on August 10. Now, during the National Day parade in Bucharest, some attendees have displayed a banner saying “Shame on you!”, while others have turned their back when the gendarmes who were marching past them.