Quartorze Juillet

Quatorze juillet (14 July) is the annual French national holiday “La Fete Nationale” and is abroad also known as Bastille Day. The storming of the Bastille in Paris is commemorated on this day on which the French Revolution started. This day is commemorated annually with a large military parade in the city center of Paris on the “Avenue des Champs-Élysées” with assets on the ground and in the air.

This large military parade is traditionally held since July 14, 1789 and is the oldest military parade in the world. The parade runs along the Champ Elysees from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde where the stand for the officials is located. Traditionally the president of the French republik is in inspecting the troops and watching all military assets in the military parade together with officials from several European countries.

The festivities began with the passage of the seventy-three planes of the Air Force, the Navy, the Civil Security but also the General Directorate of Armaments. The second part of the air parade will be followed, after the passage of the ground troops, by the twenty-four helicopters of the Air and Space Army, the Land Army, the National Navy, the National Gendarmerie, Civil Security and General Directorate of Armament.
The avenue of the Champs-Élysées and the skies over Paris welcomed 4,300 soldiers on foot, 71 aircraft, 25 helicopters, 221 vehicles and 200 horses of the Republican Guard.

* Due to the bad weather conditions some large aircraft skipped at the last minute to join the parade like the A330, KC-135 and E-3 Awacs

A large part of these aircraft (mainly the fighters and some transports) are launched from BA105 Evreux some 100km west of Paris. The French Navy (Aeronavale) is operating from their home base, while the Army helicopters from Aviation légère de l’armée de Terre (ALAT) are operating from different location around Paris. This year the Aviation légère de l’armée de Terre choppers used some military barracks next to Aerodrome Saint-Cyr-Ecole which was used for temporary landing/refuel location.

The opening of the parade began with the nine Alpha jets of the Patrouille de France and flew this year in “Big Nine” formation leaving the traditional smoke in the Parisian sky in the colors of the French flag.

A few moments later a Mirage-2000C and two Rafale jets from the formation “The first Fafl units” flew over the historic axis. Then followed by a KC-135, two Mirage-2000 C and a C160 Transall from the “Operation Daguet” formation.

Next is a Mirage-2000B and two Alpha jets from the “60 years of the DGA”.
“Mastering the airspace” was the next group with an E-3F Awacs, four Mirage 2000-5 and two Mirage 2000 B from the Space forces.
Then there will be an A330, six Mirage-2000D, four Rafale C and two Rafale B jets from the “Act in depth” formation, followed by an A-330 Phénix and six Rafale B from the “Strategic Air Force” formation.
The Aeronavale will present one Hawkeye and eight Rafale M of the “Le GAé” formation.
One Falcon-50M and two ATL2 of the “Opex / Narcops” formation.
An A400M Atlas, two Casa and a C-130J Hercules from the “Engage-Project-Support” training will follow
Then an ALSR Beech aircraft from the “Inform-Monitor-Recognize” followed
The training command will show PC-21’s , two Xingu and a TBM 940 from the “Train-Train-Prepare”, an finally a ballet of planes will end with a Beech B200, a Canadair and a Dash Q400 from the “Firefighting” training.

After the parade of the troops twenty-four helicopters will enter the game. The Army will begin the ballet with the formation “30 years – Operation Daguet” composed of three Gazelles , two Puma and a Tiger, then there will be the “GTD-A Barkhane” training with a Tiger, a Caiman and a Cougar.
The training “Protect on the national territory” will follow with a Puma, a Caiman and a Cougar. Then the Air Force will unveil two Caracals, a Fennec Canon and a Fennec TE with the training “Intervene in operations and act on the national territory”. The French Navy will present two Caimans, a Dauphin, a Panther. The National Gendarmerie and Civil Security will fly their EC145 and EC135.Finally, it is an H225 from the General Directorate of Armaments which will fly over the historical axis.

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