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 5000 soldiers on foot, 66 aircraft + 1 Drone, 25 helicopters, 181 vehicles and 200 horses of the Republican Guard.

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  base aerienne 110 (BA110) which was used for temporary landing/refuel location. The preperarion and training flight was undertaken at June 30th from  base aerienne Orléans – Bricy (BA123) just south of Paris.


  • 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.
  • The first formation “protection des citoyens Francais projection de puissance”cosist of one A.330 MRTT tanker aircraft  from ERVT 1/31 Bretage based at Paris/Charles de Gaulle, followed by one Rafale C from 30 Escadre de Chasse based at Mont-de-Marsan  and one Rafale B from 4 Escadre de Chasse based at St Dizier.
  • The second formation named “Soutien de nos ressortissants Apagan” consists of two large aircraft: one A.330MRT from ET3/60 Esterel based at Creil and one A.400M Atlas from ET 1/61 Touraine based at Orléans/Bricy
  • The third formation named “OPEX Barkhane, Chammal” are formed with one KC-135 Tanker based at Istres/Le Tubé followed by three Mirage 2000D based at Nancy/Ochey and one Mirage 2000C formaly based at Luxeuil/St.Sauveur followed by one Rafale C from 30 Escadre de Chasse based at Mont-de-Marsan  and one Rafale B from 4 Escadre de Chasse based at St Dizier. who are based at
  • The fouth formation named “Dissuasion” starts with a A.330MRTT Tanker from ERVT 1/31 Bretagne based at Paris/Charles de Gaulle followed by three Rafale B from St Dizier and one Rafale C from Mont -de-Marsan airbase.
  • The fifth formation named “Protection de L’espace Aerien” is openend by an E-3F Awacs airplane from Avord airbase followed by one Mirage 2000-5 based at Luxeuil/St.Sauveur and two Mirage 2000C from Orange during their final performance, and one Rafale B from St dizier will close this formation.
  • The sixth formation named “Police du ciel” starts with three Rafale C from Mont-the-Marsan, one Rafale B from St Dizier and one Mirage 2000-5 from Luxeuil/St.Sauveur. The formation will be closed by two Greek Air Force (Hellenic Air Force) Rafale C based at Tanagra airbase.
  • The seventh group will be “Transport multimissions” with one French Air Force A.400 Atlas from Oleans and three international A.400’s from Germany, Belgium and Spain while the formation will be closed with two C-130 Hercules transport aircraft one from the French Air Force while the other will be from Italy.
  • The eight group will be formed by the French Navy “Groupe Aerien embarque” and will me leaded by five Rafale M, followed by one E-2C Hawkeye and closed again with three Rafale M all from Landivisiau.
  • The nineth formation will be from the aeronavale (Navy) again “PATSIMAR-OPEX NARCOPS” starting with three Atlantique 2 aircraft followed by one Falcon 50M all operating from Lorient/Lann-Bihoué.
  • The tenth formation “formation de personal navigant” will consist of training aircraft, two Xingu aircraft from Ecole de l’aviation transport and two PC-21 aircraft from Ecole de l’aviation de Chasse.
  • The eleventh group named “Lutter contre les incendies” is a mixed group  of aircraft and consists of one Beech-200, one Canadair fire fighting aircraft and one Dash 8.
  • The final airplae will be a MQ-9A REAPER drone based at Cognac/Châteaubernard.


  • The first group of helicopters “Forces speciales” is leaded by a KC-130J Hercules tanker aircraft followed by two Caracal from EH 1/67 Pyrenees, one Gazelle from 4 RHFS, one Cougar and one Tigre also from 4 RHFS
  • The second batch “Sous groupement aerocombat” will consist of two Gazelle’s from 1 Regiment Helicoptere Combat followed by one Tigre from the same unit. Two NH-90 Caiman also from the unit will close this fomation
  • The third formation “Hephaistos Resilience” are formed by two Puma helicoprts from 4 RHFS/GIH, one NH-90 Caiman from 1 RHC and one Cougar 5 RHC
  • The next group “intervention en operations et sur le territoire national” only see two Fennec Helicopters from EH5/67 and EH3/67.
  • The fiveth group “Maitriser les espaces aero-maritimes combat navel” is formed by the French Navy Helicopters in the from of one Caiman 31F, one Dauphin, one panther and for the very last time two Alouette 3 helicopters who will be withdrawn from use this year.
  • The fine aerial group will be “assister sauver Surveiller Renseigner Intervenir” with one EC-145 end Two EC-135 Helicopters from the Gendarmerie and one one H-145 from Securite Civile.

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